Party Politics

 
Posted on March 14, 2017
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The 5 Adult Cliques at a Kid’s Party

I was always a little odd at school. Most people saw this and understood it and accepted me for who I was anyway. The reason I was considered ‘odd’ was because I did not fall into a certain clique. At college, during break times, everyone would gather in the common room. The common room was a tailor made room for the students. Vending machines, music system, chairs, sofas, tables. Looking back now, we were actually quite lucky. At one end of the common room there were sliding doors to another room that was used as a classroom on the odd occasion, but generally left empty, so the sliding doors would often be left open. The reason I say this is because the ‘divide’ actually made it easy to divide the classes.

‘The popular kids’ would sit next to and control the music system. They would also dominate the vending machines. ‘The not so popular but still cool kids’ would sit in the middle, within touching and listening distance of the music system, but they were never granted access.

Then you had the rest of the year, they sat on the other side of the partition.

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‘The musicians and wannabes’ would sit strumming on guitars and humming tunes. ‘The year book crew and wannabe writers’ would sit not to far from the music lot – you could feel the energy and inspiration bouncing between them. ‘The geeks and nerds’ were generally not in either room, they commandeered one of the IT rooms and spent break times coding, downloading music and films and kept themselves to themselves.

Then you had me. I was a ‘floater’.
There were a couple of others like me, but not many. I found it easier to make friends than most, but I made friends with people in all different groups, which is what made me ‘odd’. No one could categorize me. I wasn’t cool enough to be in the popular kids clique, but a lot of my friends were, so I would often sit and chat to them. When I got bored of trying to fight above the music level I would cross the partition and chat to the yearbook crew.

The reason I tell you this is because it seems that the world hasn’t changed that much since I left school. These boundaries and cliques still exist. Only now these cliques can be found during the school runs when waiting for the bus, or at kid’s birthday parties. The only difference is, this time round, I don’t give a fuck. I have stopped trying to fit into one or all of the groups.

Catherine Bulling Catherine Bulling

I have two children now, both popular and happy-go-lucky young girls. They get invited to a million birthday parties a month and I have a mini heart attack and full on panic attacks when I think of having to take them – because I simply can’t deal with playground politics any more.

Since turning 30 I have less patience for bullshit and even less tolerance for people’s negative attitudes. Let’s face it, we all have those ‘mummy friends’ that we only know because we have children in common, and save that we would never think twice about spending time with them. The combination of children’s parties and all those women makes me break out in hives.

For those who have never been to such a party, here is a brief description of the types of people and party politics you are likely to meet. For those who are regularly at these kind of events, which one are you?

The Yummy Mummies
In this clique you will find one main “IT GIRL” who stands at the centre. She is generally the most beautiful woman in the room, stood looking like she has just stepped off a New York runway. Her children (because yes, she has multiple and still manages to maintain that figure) are almost always in matching outfits and look like perfect representations of the children in an IKEA catalogue. You find yourself staring at her perfectly coiffed hair and impeccable dress sense and wondering how many people it takes to get her out the house looking like that in a morning. She is normally surrounded by a gaggle of equally gorgeous women all preened, perfect and discussing where they had their last pristine manicure.

The Yoga Mums
They rock up to each and every party looking like a group of serene Grecian goddesses. Bodies of 12-year-old girls dressed in tight yoga pants and baggy T-shirts. “Sorry, I’ve just done a class. I didn’t have time to change”. Honey, if I had that body I wouldn’t care about putting clothes on at all. Their kids are normally sat together in a circle munching carrot sticks awaiting instructions from their leaders.

Rob Bertholf Rob Bertholf

The Stress Balls
There is at least ONE mum from this clique at every birthday party – and she is almost always the host. Running around like a bumblebee on speed, and so red faced she looks like she might self-combust. Her kids are the ones tugging on her shirt-tails screaming for attention while she haphazardly tries to pour 30 cups of kiddie juice. If she is lucky enough to be joined by the rest of her team, the other bumblebee mothers will be found running around after her with black bags trying to help her clean up the mess left behind.

The “I Don’t Give a Fuck” Mums
These mums sit in the corner of the room and hope they won’t be spoken to. They are a rare breed and you will be lucky to see one or two of them at each children’s event. This is me. Us mothers sit at the side of the room watching all the other mums dash around trying to fit into their specific boxes, and sip our coffee (or wine, because we don’t care who sees) and giggle between ourselves as we watch the other species panic over the fact they are carrying the same handbag or wearing the same designer glasses.

The Couples
There is always that one couple who turn up together. Despite the fact that most dads try their best to shy away from children’s parties, there is always at least one exception, and sometimes they will arrive, shock horror, with another couple. They try to hide in the corner together, help their children eat the party food – together. Talk only to one another, and of course leave – together. I have always been slightly envious of these couples… The idea of safety in numbers springs to mind. At least they have another adult on their wavelength to help them get through the harrowing experience.

I am sure there are many more Party Mum Cliques – but these are my main five. Which one are you?

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