It’s mostly supportive and helpful, and on the first day of school and the last assembly and prizegiving day, there are high fives, words of support and encouragement, and general camaraderie.
That said, I know several moms who don’t love their groups as much I do mine, and a conversation with some moms from other schools a while ago got me thinking – and learning – about the types of mothers one encounters on a WhatsApp group.
I’ve rounded up some of the personalities you might find on a group.
1 The mom who knows everything
Want to know when the kids switch to winter uniform, or what the teacher’s email address is, or who is coaching cricket next term? Just ask The Mom Who Knows Everything. She’s likely got one or two older kids who have been at the same school, and she knows the ropes. She also reads the notices and app updates, and is connected to the teachers too.
2. The mom who still sends chain messages, and hoaxes
You need to pay to use WhatsApp unless you send a message to 30 contacts. You musn’t look at children on the side of the road wearing blue T-shirts. British Airways is giving away free business class flights on Facebook. You know these are hoaxes, but there’s one optimistic or naive mom who believes everything, and wants to warn you of impending doom, or steer you towards that offer you just can’t refuse.
3. The mom who keeps on messaging the wrong group
Once is okay, twice is not ideal, and the third time is unforgivable, yet there she goes… messaging the wrong group with “Babe, I’m going to be late”, or “I need to go to the doctor so I’ll need to leave work half an hour early”. And even though she might delete the comment once she realises, she’s still done it, and you’ve likely got the notification, and seen it. (You’re itching to tell her to read her WhatsApp contacts before typing).
4 The mom who never looks at her child’s diary, school app or notices
This mom would rather use the group as the first port of call to find out anything school-related, than use traditional means such as reading notices. Not everyone notices that she’s the one who is always asking, and those who do are too polite to say: “It’s on the app, where it is every day”.
5 The dad
Some dads choose to be on these groups. while there are single dads who like to keep in touch. Keep them in mind before you address the group “Hi moms, does anyone know what the girls must wear to netball?”
Dads are parents too, and most of the time they’re active and interested in their kids’ schooling and activities (who knew?). There’s no need to call them babysitters (If I see one more Facebook comment that says “Thanks x, my awesome hubby who babysat x while I went to have my hair done. #Bliss #LuckiestWife”
6 The inspirational mom who sends messages of hope and humour, and memes
Say no more.
7 The boaster/teacher’s pet
This one will never make a comment or answer a question without stating that “Mrs Jones told me on the phone that….” or “When I chatted to Coach Williams on the weekend, he mentioned that….”. Or “Kelsey got full marks for her tests for three months in a row, by studying every Wednesday AND Thursday before the Friday test.” She’s not being helpful – she’s being boastful.
8 The complainer
Too much homework. Not enough communication from the principal. Why do they have to finish at 12, just because the teachers have a conference? Why can’t they wear summer uniform when there have been some hot days at the end of winter? This mom complains, and clogs up your group with good mood-destroying comments and observations.
9 The one with no filters
Whether it’s telling the group that young Cassidy has switched to Ritalin, or that her husband doesn’t lift a finger at home, this mom has forgotten that it’s not call to talk to mostly strangers about things that should remain private.
This mom will also likely send you pictures of the slimming pills she’s selling as she’s noticed some of the moms might be looking for a product like this.
10 The martyr mom
This one works, hustles, volunteers, cooks, bakes, parents, juggles. And she sacrifices. And she puts her hand up even when she doesn’t want to. How do we know this? Because she tells us, of course.
11. The self-righteous mom
This mom could be a combination of the mom who knows everything and the teacher’s pet. Because she knows everything and/or has a close relationship with the teacher or principal, she feels she can boss people around, or be virtuous. She’s likely to say things like: “I only send Savannah with juice on a Friday. Because that’s the rule.” Or “I bought cricket kit at the beginning of last term as I knew there would be a shortage and I didn’t want Judd to be sad without his kit”.
12. The mom who should be on Gumtree, Google or Facebook.
Selling a used gHD. Looking for a great plumber. Needs to know of great natural remedies for treating pigmentation. Lady, this is a class WhatsApp group – please stick to school-related topics.
13. The one who isn’t on Facebook
This one isn’t on Facebook, didn’t see the popular memes and videos that everyone shared three weeks ago, so decides to share them on the group.
14. The Ghost Mom
This is the mom who sees all the homework questions, has literally no idea what’s going on, and never says a word. But is forever grateful that someone else asked.