Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Mummy Mafia

Prepare yourself for a monster post on a topic I don't usually blog about. It's not about Milo or even babies.. it's about the bullies that are waiting for you at the school gates when you least expect them!

I didn't have he easiest time at school. I wasn't very 'popular' but i wasn't a 'geek' or a 'rebel' either, my friends and I of sat in a kind of in-between group. I was bullied for most of my school life in some way shape or form, sometimes it was as trivia and sometimes it really wasn't. Because of this I couldn't wait to escape in to the real (working) world as soon as possible. So when I left school at 16 I thought I was leaving all those girls behind me and for nearly 10 years I did. Yes I encountered the odd bitchy co-worker but they're usually universally disliked and a good source of gossip and boding between the other, more normal colleagues. Not until Ella went to School did I realise where they'd all been hiding. 

Given that I had Ella at 19 I had anticipated all of the other Mums to be older than me but where we live it's a nice (read posh - we rent) area and it would seem that they are the kind of folks that got their lives together and were financially secure before having kids. This means that they are all well in to their 30s, some pushing 40 (or already there) and practically a totally different generation. So for the first year of Ella's school life I was ignored. I didn't do a lot of picking up and dropping off as I was working full time but still when I waited there amongst the chatting masses nobody said a word to me. When I was visibly pregnant people started to strike up conversations. I'm not sure if they thought it was more acceptable or if they had found their ice breaker but suddenly everyone was interested and you can only imagine once Milo was born.. I had a new posse of "friends". 

So morning and afternoon I would rock up at school and make mundane small talk with women I had nothing in common with and I felt oddly accepted. Ella had play dates and I even agreed to take one girl to school once a week to help out a working Mum who was pushed for a baby sitter. I offered.. I didn't have to but I did. I should probably mention at this point that said little girl is not a nice little girl. She has been a thorn in my side since they first started in September 2010. There's quite a back story but in a nutshell I requested Ella be moved classes before the start of the last school year to avoid them socialising. We've all known a girl like her, they don't change and unfortunately for Ella chances are she will know her for at least another 10 years. The classes remained and bizarrely the two of them became friends so I thought I'd give the kid another chance. I was wrong. 

One day a couple of weeks ago Ella came out of school in tears telling me this child had been picking on her. WELL... pissed off is not the word! That very morning she had sat at my kitchen table eating breakfast with my family and then she has the audacity to be unkind to my daughter? I don't think so! This behaviour had been going on for a very long time and I had held my tongue hoping Ella would stand up for herself and be more assertive but I could hold my tongue no more. I laid in to the kid (not physically of course, I was more than arms length away) I told her in no uncertain terms that I would not tolerate her bullying Ella any longer, that she wouldn't like it if the situation was reversed and that I was wholly disappointed given that I'd taken her to school that day, I was doing her mum a favour!

What I said I said in front of a huge group of parents, It was nothing I wouldn't say again and I did not shout. I may have been a touch menacing in my tone but rest assured... that was intentional!

I left, furious and stormed home. Moments later the child's Dad appears on my doorstep giving me what for. He tells me his daughter is upset and that other parents were asking what she had done. This man came to me angry I had disciplined his daughter (his job by the way) and he left telling me that they didn't know what they were going to do with her. He knew within 5 minutes that she was wrong and I was defending my child. That was the day before half term.

I turned up yesterday morning (first day of term) to be frozen out by every parent in that playground. The Mummy Mafia. What behaviour is that for "adults"? What hope do these peoples children have of growing up to be mature and well rounded with parents like that? I may have flown off the handle but I was teaching my daughter to stand up for what's right and not to put up with someone picking on you. What they are doing now is setting a far worse example. Ella tells me that she and the girl are friends again now and that's fine (though I'd rather they weren't) but the girl cowers behind her Mum when she sees me. Is it terrible that I'm pleased? 

As long as she's scared of me she won't dare be mean to Ella and although my intention wasn't to scare her if that's the outcome.. I'm okay with it! The Playground Politics will continue I'm sure but being a grown up I am equipped to deal with bullies better than my 6 year old so rather me than her!

I guess I'll have another chance at being the 'good parent' when Milo starts school rather than a social pariah/loose Canon Mother that everyone freezes out!


  1. When I once got picked on at school my dad did the exact same thing that you did, told the bully what he could do with his insults, and he too got the cold shoulder... I wouldn't worry as people like that are NOT worth knowing anyway, although I understand how frustrating it is to be ignored! P.S. I'm in Year 11 now, just like you in the in-between group, and I get hassle too. Unfortunatley it doesn't seem to get much better in adulthood so it seems!

    1. oh no I would hate you to think it doesn't get better! it really does! but those idiots that are mean to you will always be idiots and their lives will not get better. Feel sorry for them because you're nearly done with school but they have to be them forever!

  2. Good on you!! If parents kept their kids under control an taught them wats right and wats wrong then others wudnt av to speak to their spoilt brats in the first place! As a mummy to four i totally understand you. Iv been the " young mum" ppl look at im 27 now and my eldest is 11 so wen pll ask me i see their eyes roll bk the years to work out how old i was wen i had her, its slways the washed out,sad jelous has beens that are sorry they left leaving avin their kids til later in life, many a tome av i put them straight!! Im the same, rent my house and fir now am a stay home mum but do u know wat my kids r polite, kind, and respectful and wud not dream of makin another child sad, (( young mums rock)) he he,
    There all ignoring you simply coz they r jelous of u and your beautiful children! X

    1. that kid came to my house once and when I asked her to eat her dinner she hid under Ellas bed. Ella was reasoning with her, was hilarious! She came down to me n said 'she's like this at school' lol
      Like you say they are 'past it' and jealous. They all look haggard and I'm sure it kills them to see me not looking begraggled (I make more effort now haha) when I have a newborn!

    2. Will be funny to see that child pick on one of the "perfect mummys" kids coz thats wat will happen eventually and then they'll see what part of the playground they shud of stood on why there janglein abt big knickers and grey hair!! Haha X

  3. OMG the mummy mafia, it describes them exactly. Its the same at my boys school, im one the youngest mums there and they all think they are above everyone in their little group. Thing is I dont get spoken to, ive never had a incident like you and I live in a crap area haha but they are not my kind of people so im happy to stand alone. At the end of the day you was standing up for your daughter, thats what any good mum would do. Nobody wants to discipline their kids no more, or teach them wrong from right. The same set of parents who get their 7 year olds contract blackberrys as a way of trying to 'outdo' everyone else... its insane. You can hold your head high at that school because you done nothing wrong x x

    1. I'm definitely the youngest mum, I wish there was ONE parent there I could relate to.. but no! But as you say I am most certainly in the right so screw 'em x

  4. Good on you! I'm a teacher and both me and my sister were bullied as kids.With me it was niggly and on and off but I saw my sister suffer badly with it from the day she started primary, most of the way through school-they made her life hell even though my mum did everything she could.In the end it was only threatening the school and parents with legal action (and a solicitor's letter!) that made it stop. As a teacher, I think that any bullying whatsoever is unacceptable and I do my best to stop anything I see happening in school. However I do think their attitude and behaviour starts at home and that a lot of parents could do with taking more responsibility for their kids and bringing them up with more manners.You're right to be protective of your little girl and if the kid's parents had brought her up right in the first place she wouldn't be picking on people, she deserved it!x

  5. The girls parents obviously don't tell her off and that's why she was so upset when you did.... I would have done the same thing if it were my brother or sister (both much younger than me, I don't have kids for now ;) Some people never grow up, and their child is always in the right, even then they're doing something blatantly wrong :/

  6. god i know exactly the childish behaviour you mean and i dont mean from the kids. I hated the school gates and am sooo much happier my daughter can walk herself now. People can be so darn pathetic! You did right telling the child off, sounds like the dad thought the same. Bitches are bitches, sometimes i think they are just born that way cos as you say the ones at school who were vile are equally vile as adults and they breed more bitches! harsh, maybe . . .truth - probably!

  7. Definitely understand this, I would do the same for my little boy! I dont talk to any of the mums whilst Im dropping/picking him up either (nor do I want too!). Good on you!! :)

    Ashlie x

  8. It seriously makes my blood boil when bullies get away it. You did good, those other parents are just another type of bully at the end of the day & most of the time a bully is that way due the insecurities they have. I don't look forward to the school gates when my little one goes to school but I know that if another child did that to my child I would do the same thing..

  9. I'm a mum pushing forty and I think the school ground politics (by the adults I mean) can be tricky at their best, what I will say though-if you do have a problem with a child always go to the parents!
    I wouldn't appreciate my son or daughter being told off by another parent, unless that person was in charge of them at the time.
    As the other parents did not know the history leading up to you telling off the child, they might just think you're hysterical and that's why they're keeping their distance now??
    One of the positives of being an older mum I find is, that we've already established our circle of friends and we talk to a large variety of parents in the school, I find the younger ones very "cliquy" and I'm kind of glad I dont need to "get in" with them...
    Bullies should never be allowed to win, but remember they're mostly the creations of their parents..

    As long as your teach your kids right from wrong.
    You cant do much about other peoples kids...

    Good luck

    1. Always good to hear from the other side but my main issue after this happened was the fact that the girls parents completely blanked me. Yes I was out of line speaking to her alone but if someone did that to my child I would have something to say to them. For me their silence speaks volumes. Although I went about expressing it in the wrong way they really have nothing to say in their daughters defence. She's horrid!

      To put my behaviour in to another context imagine you see another child kick or hit your child in front of you with their parents not around. Are you telling me you wouldn't say a word to that kid? It would take everything I had not to beat the crap out of them myself and while I know that's not the PC thing to say I know I'm not the only one that feels this way!

      Oh and to give you and idea of how the older Mums spoke to me prior to the incident.. one asked me who I lived with - I'm 26 and married with 2 children.. who do you think I live with??? And another asked my husband if he had a job!! We do both look young but seriously where we live it's like The Stepford Wives.. they don't understand how you can possibly have children in your 20s and not be destitute or still living at home.

      I'm sure you can imagine how infuriating that could be!

  10. I agree with a lot of what you say and yes, if I actually see anyone hurting my kids I will deal with it, which did happen one time in a soft play centre.
    My little boy was about 2 and just toddling around on a mat when a boy of approx 4 ran over to him and pushed him, so he went flying!!
    I told him "Not to do that" and asked him to bring me to his mum.
    He did and when I told her what he'd just done, she told him off proper!!!And yes I enjoyed seeing him being told off...

    My kids are 4 and 6 and I guess what I'm saying is, that at 6 kids are "rude" (according to themselves..) to eachother one day and best friends the next day.
    They cant really distinguish between what's really serious and not so serious, coz it all seems very important to them in their little world.

    With regards to people judging you, I say if you feel safe in the knowledge that you're both good parents who provide for your kids (which I believe you are having followed your blog for a little while :-) ) dont worry about others..

    Can I also add that I used to stand alone in the playground, not because I didnt want to speak to anyone, but because I didnt really know many of the parents, as I work shifts and dont drop/pick up the kids as often as my husband and the childminder.

    Keep and open mind and dont assume, apart from the obvious snobs etc there can be many reasons why people stick to themselves (especially in the playground....)

    Keep up the good work!!

  11. Very energetic blog, I liked that bit. Will there be part Two?




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