How to survive the back to school Mommy Cliques
Your kids aren’t the only people looking forward (or maybe not) to hitting the playground this year. It’s back to school time not only for the kids, but for the Mommy Cliques too. If you have to ask what a Mommy Clique is, you most likely have a child entering Kindergarten or have homeschooled up until recently, remaining blissfully unaware of the Darwinian process of natural selection that occurs amongst the Mommy crowd. If you can’t keep up, you will get eaten (or, less dramatically, your child won’t get invited to little Billy’s big Go Bananas blow out and you will be forever worried about his/her self esteem).
In order to full embrace the Mommy Clique, you need to find yourself a spot in one of the many groups and sub-groups that exist amongst the school crowd. You thought you left high school long ago? Think again.
The Entirely Organic Crowd
Peep into a conversation with this group and you will be sure to walk away with a complex. What, you didn’t wash that apple back in 2005? Well, you can be almost POSITIVE that you exposed your child to all kinds of pesticides! Did you know that strawberries are the absolute worst for harmful chemicals? Well they are, just because those tiny little seed holes harbor all sorts of things. It’s recommended that you spend an hour picking out the seeds then give that fruit a good washing in some antibacterial before handing it over to you child. Yes, that’s my son over there. Isn’t his tshirt cute? It says, “Meat Kills. Beets Rule.” His birthday party will be at the vegetable farm where we will discover the beauty of composting for fun and profit.
Perfection on the Playground
You’ll see these people long before they see you. They look perfectly nice, and they probably are, but it’s their attire that might put you off a bit. Tight, tight tops, perfectly done hair, and full on makeup at not even 8 am. These women must toss an Eggo at their kids in the morning and spend an hour in front of the tiny mirror attachment in their bathroom. Spending time with these ladies, you might discuss makeup, who has a boob job and where to get one, or rampant exercise programs. You may feel hopelessly inadequate. Those with low self esteem and an inability to pick up a brush before 9 in the morning should probably steer clear.
Ouch! Do you feel your ears burning? Although the feeling of burning ears is most likely due to the fact that you didn’t put sunscreen on them before you tried your latest updo, you could subscribe to the old addage and realize that someone just might be talking about you. Rest assured, you have done nothing to warrant this senseless chatter. If you analyzed the Super Gossips you’d realize that they are just bored or really want to capture that feeling of popularity from their youth. You know, back when it was OK to gossip because you were 15 and the ramification was nothing more severe than losing a friend for 2 days. These days, if a Super Gossip talks or texts (yes, the Gossip has an automatic weapon and that is their cell phone. It can spread gossip from one end of the playground to the other in less than 60 seconds) too much, there could be a Super Big Gossip Cat Fight.
These are the ladies (and sometimes the men) that volunteer for everything. Bake sale? Put me down for 20 pies. Door to Door chocolates? My kid will sell 2000 boxes, just you wait and see. They head the school parent council, they man the car wash, they can occasionally make you feel bad for not contributing enough. Realize that these people are Type A personalities and they live for this crap. Enjoy them, they take the load off of the rest of the school population.
So, where do you fit in?
My advice for those just starting out or wanting to break into some sort of Mommy Clique (It’s for the children after all):
- Skid along the edges of school society.
- Be friendly with everyone.
- Keep your mouth shut if you just found out that someone had Botox or if a kid lost control of his or her bladder in the corner of the playground. It’s not funny anyway, and you’ll feel worse for spreading things around.
- Invite every single kid in your kid’s class to their birthday party. See which Moms you like the best and have the most in common with.
- Don’t believe everything you hear about other people. That lady who just picks up and drops off her kids might have a stressful life, a sleeping baby, or 2 jobs to support her family. Don’t judge.
- Volunteer for things that don’t make you feel overwhelmed.
- Wash your apples. It might be a pain in the butt sometimes but it takes away your stress.
- Don’t give out your cell phone number to anyone.
And most importantly, follow the elementary school rule: Be yourself. Just be sure to be the self you are now and not the self that you were in high school. Believe me, its easy to revert when under this kind of pressure.