When someone talks to you about the school run, what do you think of… Mums, chaos, cars, parking, kids running feral??
As a school run mum, in a semi-rural area, I don’t see many dads on the school run. The ones I do see are doing an amazing job. They always look less flustered than the mums that’s for sure.
I often wonder how Prince William felt in the playground taking his son to school for his first day. I remember watching Prince William last September on the TV taking HRH George to school on his first ever day. Princess Kate couldn’t join them because she was experiencing morning sickness. It was in the media for the next couple of days – what was George wearing, security issues, how was Kate feeling not being able to attend his first day at school…
I don’t recall anything on Prince William and how he felt. The Royal couple later announced that they’ll do the school run as frequently as possible to give some ‘normality’ to their little Prince’s life. Personally, there is absolutely nothing more ‘normal’ than for a dad to be taking his child to nursery and school. If you can do it – do it!
The playground can be very daunting, I find our playground very bitchy. You have your groups of mums who have a chip on their shoulder, you have the group of mums who are dressed to impress, the PTA mums, the mums with babies, the down to earth mums who get on with everyone. You have the small minority of dads who gather and chat – there are no dad cliques, though, they just get on.
Why can’t it be that simple for mums?
Why do mums have to compete against each other?
Being a school run dad must be hard. In all honesty, I didn’t talk to many dads at first – I guess I felt a bit uncomfortable initiating a conversation with a man. Striking up a conversation with someone of the same sex is less threatening. I know some dads that I now speak to at school say they don’t feel included, and left out of the loop, out of place.
You shouldn’t, you are important too.
Join the PTA? It’s so rare for a dad to join the school PTA, but your voice is so important. Men usually have a different view/perspective on things which can be a good thing ;). It can give you a good insight into how the school is run, and help out with school fundraising events. Schools are crying out for male role models. If you like the PTA, you could go for a school governor position!
Or you could offer your help in class. Schools always need adults to help with listening to children read, go on school trips, help out at discos, movie nights, sports day, some schools allow parent helpers in class also, so this is always worth exploring. Not only is this beneficial to the school, but you and your child. You will understand the school routine, what is expected of them, and what they are learning, and how you can help them at home. So much of what they do in school is hidden from parents. You will have a great insight and witness some memorable moments I bet :)
At our school, I’m amazed at how few dads attend parents evening. I guess most dads work long hours, or its difficult to get time off. If you can attend – go! It’s important to know where your child is academically at, and what levels they are working at, find out their weaknesses and going through strategies with the teachers so that you know what you can do to help them at home.
Also, I have put my husband down to receive texts, and emails about anything relating to curriculum/newsletters and even the lovely nit texts that get sent out. This way he is involved in what’s coming up in the school year and it means he can take the lead on the de-nitting…
Recognise the impact.
It’s so important to be involved in your child’s school life, and you all will reap the rewards.