Having kids can be quite an adventure. There are so many things parents have to navigate that they don’t talk about in any of the baby books. Sure, they cover the ways to child-proof your home and what to watch out for once they become mobile, but what they don’t ever discuss is what happens once they get old enough to be out of the house and underfoot.
Once your kids head to preschool, there's a whole new set of worries and rules to navigate that most books just don’t cover. You may have attended a mommy-and-me play group or done stroller strides and met some new and different mommies, but that still can’t prepare you for the mothers you’re going to encounter once your children begin school.
There are all kinds of mothers out there and no doubt you’ll come across some characters, but there are specific ones you're guaranteed to run into. This list just may save you from a long-detailed conversation with a mom you have no interest in chatting up or help you figure out which moms you might want to add to your mom tribe. You never know where you might find your next new mama-friend!
If you're new to the preschool world (or maybe it's been awhile since your oldest passed through preschool and it's new territory all over again), here are the moms you'll encounter during your drop-off and pickup:
1. The first-time mom
Honestly, this mom is pretty much everywhere you go, but in preschool, she’s generally the first one you meet. You can bet your bottom dollar she’s lingering outside the playground to make sure her "baby" is safe at all times and she has the school on speed dial. She may or may not call daily to check in and see that her kid ate their lunch or had a nap. Oh, and she’s definitely voicing her concern over the cleanliness of the classroom to anyone within earshot.
2. The friends-with-the-teacher mom
Being friendly with the staff is one thing, but this mom takes it to the next level. She’s eager to be a constant in her child's life, so she makes it a point to help out in the classroom. Well, all the classrooms really. In doing this, she’s gotten in good with the teacher and they're way past the point of polite conversation. They’ve exchanged phone numbers and have most definitely hung out after school. There’s also a strong possibility she might be getting them to baby-sit on occasion as well. Can’t knock that hustle.
3. This-isn’t-my-first-rodeo mom
Also known as the "Veteran Mom," she’s been there, done that, and is completely unfazed by all the whining and crying in the morning. She practically tosses her toddler at the gate, takes a few seconds to sign them in and peels out with the music turned up. She’s usually got older kids waiting in the car and is on a serious schedule because she has things to do. She’s so categorically unbothered by all the hoopla that you sometimes wonder if she even cares that her little one worked so hard on his drawing. She does, she’s just seen it all before.
4. The busy mom
To be clear, all moms are busy. But this woman makes it look like a profession. You never know if she’s running late or on time because she’s always rushing in and out of the door. Her kids are always asking for "just one more minute" and she always has to say no because she’s in a rush and her time is important, too! You can spot her by the phone glued to her hand, earbuds or bluetooth in her ears and the brisk stride. And she's always concerned about kindergarten-readiness as if her kid's preschool extracurricular activities count toward college applications.
5. Play-date mom
Her kid may or may not be an only child, but she’s read all the books that say kids need friends and organized meet-ups, so she’s on a mission to make it happen. She’s excited about her little one being in school and can’t wait to for them to make real friends. And it’s probable that she wants to be your friend, too! She’ll constantly flag you down in the hallway or while you're filling out the sign-in sheet to inquire about a play date for the two of your little angels. Preferably at her home or a park, but please let her know by Wednesday because they have sports one day this week....
6. The mom whose kid is always crying at drop-off
I don’t care how long they’ve been going to school or how many days a week they go, this kid is crying every single morning—no matter what. Mom has tried a million different techniques to get them to relax but nothing seems to be working. You can usually hear this child from the parking lot and other parents look in awe as mom struggles to get them out of the car and then into the school without throwing her back out. If you see her, offer her a hand and a Starbucks gift card. Trust me, she probably needs both.