The 10 types of parents you meet at the school gates
Every parent is different and everyone has their own way of doing things, we hear that all the time and it is true.
Those unique styles are always really evident, I think, when a range of different types of parents are bunged together by the choice of school, or even pre-school, that they make.
You are all forced into the one carpark, the one line outside while you wait for the doors to open, and the one corridor when picking the kids up again - and you get to meet lots of parent types on the way.
Here are the 10 Types Of Parents You Always Meet At The School Gate:
1. Hot Dad
Let's just get this one out of the way, shall we? Amidst a sea of mammies doing the school run, are one or two gorgeous dads, who make the wait for the doors to open that little bit more enjoyable. There, I said it.
2. Chatty Cathy
Even if you've stated 17 times that really, you must go or else you'll be late for work/the childminder/your own funeral, Chatty Cathy will keep 'er lit until you literally lock yourself into your car and drive off while she's mid-sentence.
3. Aero-dynamic Mum
You can't miss her in neon pink or green sweats, as she zooms pass, clenching her buttocks as she goes, en route to a half-marathon before elevenses. Guaranteed to make you feel exhausted just by looking at her.
4. The Recruiter
Whether she works for Herbal Life, Aloe Whatsit, a Jewellery company in China or hosts Tubberware parties - there is a woman at the school gates who wants you on her 'team'. Don't worry, she'll tell you, it won't take up too much of your time - you just need to have a launch, attend weekly motivational group meetings and hand over your bank details. Er, no thanks.
5. Mz Perfectly Turned Out
"I don't come down the stairs without my make up on!" she'll trill at the rest of us, as we mentally scold ourselves for wearing the hubby's football jersey again, and wonder when was the last time that you chucked on a slick of mascara.
6. The Expert
'The Expert' will have been a physiotherapist, nurse or doula in a past life, and wants you to know that she has the answer to all your problems, even if you haven't particularly asked any questions. Casually chatting about approaching 40 and thinking about having another baby? The Expert will put paid to that, based on her past professional experience, leaving everyone sort of..well, depressed.
7. The Over-Sharer
You won't know this woman very well, apart from politely smiling the odd time as you rush off about your business. But one day you will find yourselves alone together, and she will tell you details about her life that you don't even know about your closest friend. Her husband's erectile dysfunction? Check. Their plans for divorce? Check. Her burst cysts and subsequent laparoscopy? Check and double check.
8. Earth Mother
She who cannot for the life of her understand why you are mainlining coffee by 8.55am without acute knowledge of the coffee bean's origin. I mean, how can anybody's brain be operating at such a wholesome level at this hour? Oh yes, constant juicing and bursts of yoga throughout the night, while breastfeeding the twins simultaneously. I forgot, my bad.
9. Nosy Nelly
If you feel like you're being interrogated by someone, then you probably are. If, like me, you live in a small town, then lots of people tend to know your business by osmosis.
"I see you're thinking about going on holiday to Tenerife", they'll nod sagely as they greet you in the car park.
"But..my husband and I..just talked about it for the first time last night!" you'll stutter.
Nosy Nelly doesn't apologise for their actions. They merely pat you reassuringly on the shoulder and add, cryptically:
10. She Who Is Wrecked.com
Even if you or someone you know falls into any of the categories above, the chances are that you will join the rest of us in looking, feeling and acting wrecked at some point. Teething babies, nightmares and terrors or sick kids can all rob us of those precious Zzzz's that we so long for at the end of the day. Wrecked Mammy gets a free pass from all of us at the school gates, agreed?
Got any more to add to this list? Join the conversation on Twitter @HerFamilyDotie
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