I was blanked today by a school mother, the mother of a child in my sons class. It was a turning point because for the first time since motherhood was foist upon me I think I’ve regained some confidence. I know this because I actually didn’t care at all, I didnt analyse it, feel awkward (how it was intended to make me feel no doubt) or anything else. I just thought how small and petty, how hard is it to say ‘good afternoon’ and smile? What a small person you are. For a second I did wonder what I had done, then I thought to myself that actually, I’ve done absolutely nothing. I cant possibly have done anything, I know I haven’t. I always try to be smiley and pleasant to everyone, even if I’ve had a hours sleep and feel like a zombie. If someone who bumped into me before blanking me doesn’t even have the manners to acknowledge me, then it’s their problem not mine.
The boy has not had it easy at school recently, he has been subject to some bullying. One day he came home with bruises all the way up his arm where he had been pinched, the other day he told me he had been kicked in the head. I have spoken to the school about this, I do not have confidence in their response. However, when you see the behaviour of some parents it’s no wonder really if some children have issues with their social skills. I am trying to teach my boy to be strong, not to retaliate, but to find a teacher and report what has happened, then to play with someone else.
In becoming a mother I have definitely seen some of the confidence I used to have evaporate, whether it’s the stresses of work and parenting or whether it’s just the impact of not being sure that you are doing the right thing all the time with regards to your children. Or maybe its another one of the effects of post-natal depression.There would have been a time when I would have crumbled about being blanked at the school gates, I would have gone over it time and time again in my mind, bored my husband and my friend about it endlessly. I would have scrutinised it, analysed it and worked myself up into a state where I could barely manage to walk through the school gates without wearing a headscarf and hiding. In fact, I used to feel quite relieved when I didn’t have to do the school run and I could go to work instead.
However, with the birth of my third child and seeing that my other two children have survived this far, well, OK, they may watch endless television, eat sweets and crisps, not always brush their hair and I often forget to brush their teeth twice a day, yet they are funny, bright and alive. I can manage to do stuff with three of them, heck, I managed a third pregnancy, a stressful redundancy and a lot of DIY all at the same time. I think I have regained some of my confidence, I have some of the belief in myself that I used to have and with that, as every day passes I am regaining my confidence.
So, if you want to blank me at the school gates and it makes you feel better, then feel free because for the first time in a long time I really don’t care.