When your children start school you worry about how they'll cope with the new challenges and experiences ahead. Stop. Right. There. It's not them you have to worry about. Hell no. Focus on the hurdles that you, as a parent, need to straddle.
Ready to put your abilities to the test? Off we go...
The class trip
A crumpled slip emerges from your child's rucksack requesting parental assistance for a forthcoming class trip. Do you..
a) Volunteer your partner (who knew that his nine-day fortnight would come in so handy?)
b) Sacrifice your own flexi-day to proffer sick bags on an overheated bus, while being ignored by the child who begged you to come
c) Despair that you can't go: The trip clashes with your regular 'slot' helping out in one of the other classes.
The parent council
A plea for extra assistance has been issued by the parent council. Do you...
a) Negotiate a hefty donation via the large organisation your best mate works for
b) Reluctantly agree to become a *floating* committee member, only to discover that you've inherited all the tasks no-one else wants
c) Follow up with a full-blown campaign for funds and fresh blood. After all, you are the chair.
Time to line up for the parents' race. As the megaphone announcement echoes round the park you feel your child's eyes boring into you. Do you...
a) Cheer gleefully from the sidelines. This is the sole event that you help out with. It's great for your profile - the whole school and their parents see you pitching in. It also neatly gets you out of the race as you're *looking after the children*.
b) Limp in last after gamely participating in your stocking soles and pencil skirt, having come straight from work
c) Win it. By a mile. (You've been in training all year.)
The school concert
Seats are always at a premium. Do you...
a) Breeze in immediately prior to curtain up, taking the sole remaining seat in the front row. (So what if it was meant for the headteacher?)
b) Stand at the back for the two and a half hour duration
c) Have no requirement for a seat. You're compèring the entire thing for goodness' sake.
World Book Day
The children have been asked to enter the spirit of the occasion by dressing up. Do you...
a) Dress your conveniently brown-haired, similar-height offspring in their jeans and T-shirts, providing them with 'Biff' and 'Chip' name badges. Result.
b) Make an emergency dash to the supermarket. You only discovered the all-important note at 8:30pm the evening prior.
c) Rejoice that the Pinterest board you created for this very challenge will be put to good use. Sewing machines at the ready folks!
You are sussed mum. No matter what school life throws at you, you come up smelling of roses. This does not always make you popular among the various parenting factions. Your philosophy on life? Minimum effort for maximum return.
You are harassed mum. Always last to arrive at any major school event, you do your utmost to be a responsible member of the school community (while also taking on far too much at work, at home and socially). Your frequent lament? "There just aren't enough hours in the day..."
You are Stepford mum. Born for the role of PTA chair, you dread the day your children leave school. Still, there are always numerous community groups who could benefit from your organisational skills. Your favourite saying? "Now if only I was in charge..."
Disclaimer: The author is a trifle nervous that readers may draw some similarities between her own parenting style and one of the stereotypes identified above. Any such similarities are entirely coincidental. She is, of course, a healthy mix of all three.
Enjoyed this article? Why not like Average and Proud on facebook or follow me on Twitter?