Monday, 10 July 2017

The ugly truth about PTA mums

So your first child is starting school. You're already a mixed bag of hormones and emotions and you have so many unanswered questions. You're crying cause you're eldest baby has grown up, what if they don't like it? What if they don't settle in? Did i get the right lunchbox? What if everyone else is having dinners? 

After you've sent yourself into a frenzy, the anxiety about yourself as a mother kicks in. You realise you're nervous about your first school gate encounter. You've heard all about the various mums at the school gate, the gym mums, the helicopter mums, the mean girls, the always late mums, the practically perfect in every way mums and let's not forget the rumours and horror stories you've heard about those PTA dictator mums. Admit it, you thought PTA was code for parents to avoid.


The PTA mums are usually the stay at home, stepford wife type who look preened from head to toe and are holier than thou. They are attention seekers, full of themselves, over achievers, self righteous know it alls who can't do anything wrong. They wear a smug, I can and I will look on their faces and they certainly see you as the no good slummy mummy who is less of a mum than they are because you won't 'volunteer' your precious time for the good of the school. They drive 4x4's, they wear heals and they will quash you with their clipboards faster than you can run away from them at the school gate. 

 Image from Flickr by Athena LeTrelle https://www.flickr.com/photos/blacksnob/2423556199

You've heard all about their cake and coffee mornings. The pristine tablecloths, the Cath Kidston style napkins, the doily's and let's not forget about the perfectly baked cakes. Why would you want to offer your shoddy cake baking services when you have to compete with those pinterest crazy, Martha Stewart whipped, Mary Berry impersonating PTA dictator mums. You do not fit in that cliquey. Maybe you could buy your cake from the shop but if they find out they weren't homemade you will be made an example of. They will stand around you in a circle and hurl abuse at you and chant you are not worthy.


You've heard all about the meetings. The make up of the committee is like every family and army in Game of Thrones. Everyone wanting to get into power and everyone trying to take control. Make one wrong move or one stupid suggestion and you will face the axe. Anyway why would you even want to attend a meeting. You finally get an hour away from your kids so why on earth would you use that alone time to spend discussing kids and getting involved in school politics. Those type of politics that have you wondering whether you're 4 years old again in the preschool playground or defending yourself from the bullying 'mean girls' at high school. 

Now you've heard the rumours, let me tell you the ugly truth about the PTA mums. Spoiler alert....the PTA mums are normal, regular, mums just like everyone else. I know it's hard to believe but they are. 

I can assure you they are not what they are portrayed to be. Despite contrary belief, lots of them have jobs, they do want to join up for the good of the school, they do want to join to make friends and they want to join as they take pride in bringing a smile to their children's faces. I know this doesn't fit the PTA dictator stories but honestly they are just as down to earth as you are. The PTA is not a cult. You will not change if you join. You do not have to conform you can be yourself. 

As a working mum, I joined the PTA to help feel involved in my daughter's school. I knew I wasn't on the school run everyday so I wanted to take an interest in what she does in other ways. She loves the fact that mummy helps organise events and when she comes back from a disco or a fair and tells me how much fun she had, I know all the hard work is worth it. Even if it means staying up till 1am drinking a bottle of wine and being up to my eyeballs in shopping lists and timetables. 

I also wanted to make some mum friends. I didn't know any mums at my daughter's school and seeing as we are there for quite a few years I wanted to get to know people. I've made some fantastic friends since joining up. Some of which I may never have met had I not made that leap when I nervously attended my first meeting. 


If you've seen the film Bad moms, we are very much like Mila Kunis and her gang. We drink, we swear and guess what we actually have fun. Yes we work hard and yes it's tough but we are normal human beings. We are not robots. 

Why not try lending a hand? Sure you'll probably be jumped on straight away and welcomed with open arms of desperation but you never know, you may actually make some friends for life.

Basically what i'm trying to say is spare a thought about your PTA mums before you judge them and declare them as self-centred, control freaks. They are not the arseholes they are made out to be. 



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36 comments

  1. I must admit the other mums is what I am most anxious about with my eldest starting school in September - I hope there are some mums like me in the mix and that they don't all make me feel completely inadequate!

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  2. Eeek, the beginning of this post had me in a mini freak out about Luke starting school, but then it made me howl with laughter. So glad you made lots of new friends by joining up and I bet it's lovely when you're kids tell you they had a great time at an event. I still haven't seen bad moms !

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    1. Glad it made you laugh. You have to watch bad moms it's so funny x

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  3. I know very few people that fit the stereotypical 'pta mum' vibe. Like you say most are just average mums! From what I know though it is like a trap once you are in it is hard to get out!

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  4. This made me giggle. I tend to shuffle away when they come my way looking for help. It's so not my thing

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  5. My daughter is currently in preschool and starts big school next year and I am totally going to be a PTA mum and get on board.

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    1. Yey glad to hear it. I never thought I'd be one but I do enjoy it x

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  6. Awh what a lovely post! I don't have kids but I can definitely relate to the stereotype that mums looks a bit scary haha. Glad to hear you're having so much fun with your friends xx

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  7. I wonder what sort of school gate mum I am..Lol.

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  8. Loool I am actually looking forward to being a PTA mom when I have my own children! It all about the PERKS!!


    www.nmdiaries.com

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  9. Bad moms is a must watch. Haha! Yes, we are humans, not robots.

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  10. Very nice PTA mums in my local community too, for the most part! Great post.

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  11. Our pta mams are awesome, especially as it's such a thankless task here!

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  12. We don't have to worry about this for another couple of years but hoping it won't be this bad xx

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  13. I'm chair of the PTA at our school and couldn't be further from the stereotype! We're a good bunch who want to help the school though and I really enjoy it.

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  14. glad I read the post through to the end haha - I joined the PTA when my son started school in September as to way to help, but also to make friends, and they have all been lovely. It simply is just about helping the school as so much funding is being taken away. Lovely post x

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  15. I am the chair of our ptfa and have been since my eldest started school 4 yrs ago. I knew no one at the school when he started and had no idea about school life at all. Yes it's a thankless job and there have been many swear words and tears, but the smiles on the kids faces when they attend an event or make a secret gift for their Mum or Dad makes it so worth while. I walk into school every morning and get to say hello to so many parents who I now recognise from events etc and I've made some amazing friends too. We never have enough support and are always having to threaten to cancel events. I'm sure people get sick and fed up with us, but in the end it's all done for the kids no that's what makes it worthwhile. X x

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  16. Love this so much! I was the chair of my son's school PTA until I recently became pregnant. I worried as to start off with I was the youngest at early 20s and being the chair I felt especially from teachers wasn't respected because of this. It is hard work - really hard. But I proved I could do a bloody good job despite my age. Not enough people do it at this school. It relied on a team of 5 basically. But it really was fun.. It is quite like the film Bad Moms, we used to wrap Santa's presents over wine and all sorts. It was fun!! :) Certainly not as scary as people may think. xx

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  17. Phew! I was a bit worried when I started reading this. I love being part of organising and always fancied myself as being on the PTA when my children start school... good to know that I will be in a nice normal crowd! Kate www.fivelittlestars.com

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  18. I'm a working mum just like you and I'm not one of the mums who would chat up other mums randomly. Hats up to the mums who organise everything. My eldest will also be attending school this September. But I won't be dropping him in. It will be his dad because I start work before school.

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  19. Love this...I'm Chair of Governors at C's school and we get much of the same bad press....but we are of course all very lovely (and busy!).

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  20. Love this Kerry - I have so much respect for you as a PTA mum - I am not brave enough to infiltrate ours!! Kaz x

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  21. I love the bad moms movie - so funny, especially the PTA bits! I think the reasons you joined the PTA are great and being involved with school is lovely

    Laura x

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  22. Aw we are very lucky that the PTA mums at y children's school are just amazing and do such a good job. It is lovely to be able to find the time to also join the PTA if you can xx

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  23. I was a PTA mum, and these mums have become some of my closest mummy friends, we are the kind of mums that love a drink, but at the same time pitch up to face paint for hours on end at the school fair. I missed this type of community living in France, but heading back to the UK and have signed up straight away for the PTA. Yes PTA Mums - your rock!

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  24. So fab! My little boy goes to a special needs school & I've made some amazing friends through being involved at school

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  25. Great post. My oldest is starting school so its all so new and scary for us grown ups too!

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  26. I find the PTA intimidating, they are all super organised, fab cooks and make motherhood seem easy! (I know it's not real!)

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  27. Reading this was such funny timing as I'd just been to an open morning where W is starting school (nursery) in September. As we've just moved to this village I'm seriously considering getting involved just to get to know people, I did wonder if they were all a certain type but your post has convinced me that they're all normal! We're all in the same boat heh! Xxx

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    1. That's exactly why I joined and I haven't regretted it x

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  28. This is a great post. I think it's good to dispel the misconceptions of being in the PTA.
    Such a great way to be involved in your child's school.

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