It’s a jungle out there in the school yard. And we don’t just mean for the kids. The mums you’ll meet on the Singapore school run have a veritable riot of tastes and tendencies. From the crunchy neo-hippy mum, to the active wear enthusiast, the corporate mummy to the organic vegan mum, there are many vying for their own patch of bitumen. Observing these women in their natural environment is your reward for wrangling your littles to school on time every freaking morning.
Disclaimer: this is all tongue in cheek, obviously! We love all mums – whether they’re looking like they went through a hedge on the way in : it can be a tough gig for all of us.
Active Wear Mum
Taking out the number one spot as the most commonly spotted madre at the school gate is the active wear mum. You know the type: immaculately dressed head to toe in matching high-end sports garb (think Lululemon and Adidas Ultraboosts). A sophisticated eye will quickly spot the two distinct subspecies in this prolific group. First up is the boot camp babe, who you’ll spot around town at every possible hard-core sweat-fest on offer, and whose idea of a relaxing Sunday morning is to treat her perfectly sculpted body to a 5am half iron-woman race. Kudos. The mere thought leaves us in a cold (non-sport induced) sweat.
By far the larger contingent in this sporty spice group are the genetically blessed creatures whose manicured brows will never sprout a bead of sweat. Fake it ’till you make it ladies! To be fair, there may be a spot of pilates or barre happening on alternate Tuesdays. She’ll have ditched the unsullied get-up come sundown in favour of a kaftan and a glass of Fat Bird Sauvignon Blanc. We like this mum.
Crunchy Neo-Hippy Mum
Free-spirited crunchy mum is a bit of a chameleon, morphing from attachment mummy to free-range parent over time. She’ll be “wearing” her infant, who will be almost constantly simultaneously sleeping and feeding at her bra-free bosom. Said baby has no cot, pram or highchair, opting to live in symbiosis with a bamboo fibre-clad mother.
Co-dependency is well and truly over once baby Patchouli reaches school age. This progressive minded mum is a disciple of the free-range kid movement, otherwise known as ‘how we were brought up in the ’80s’. She’s been known to arm her independent mini-adult with a map, $5 and a compass, and challenge them to navigate home (c’mon, it’s only 5km and and two buses people!). Playdates are to be actively avoided unless you aren’t judgy about unaccompanied five year-olds looking after two year-olds in the swimming pool. Totally fine.
Tiger mum is a force to be reckoned with. Whether or not she hails from greatness, one thing’s for sure, she’s grooming the next Bill Gates. You’ll spy her charging through the school gates with her hyper-scheduled offspring trailing in her wake encumbered with violin case, karate kit, a stack of extracurricular Mandarin reading and en pointe ballet slippers. And that’s just on Tuesdays. You quite like her, but sadly you’ll have little opportunity to foster a friendship, as her only available time slot is between 4.10 pm and 4.45pm. Friday afternoon three weeks from now. Shame, as she always brings delish power cookies to PTA meetings (even when it’s not her turn).
True to the old maxim ‘if you want something done, ask a busy (wo)man’, this chick is also a Mumpreneur. She has style in droves, and runs a pop up clothing store which turns a tidy profit. She’ll be seen doing contra deals in the playground with her other savvy small-business sistas, swapping strappy leather sandals for whimsical cotton maxis.
Organic Vegan Mum
Organic vegan mum is a whippet-thin advocate for living a plant based, cruelty free, gluten free, lactose free, and fun free life. Her idea of a perfect sixth birthday cake relies on the liberal (and exclusive) use of ethically sourced coconut oil, cacao powder and avocado ganache. This lady makes Gwyneth Paltrow GOOP devotees look like fast food junkies.
Settle on the couch with a glass of red and block of chocolate and follow Organic Vegan Mum’s @wholefitfoodie handle on Instagram. You’ll feel clean and lean by association. Be wary of this mum if you feed her child sugar: she’ll take out a restraining order against you.
Corporate Working Mum
Corporate Working Mum is so wracked with guilt that she’d rather die than miss a drop off (except when in Hong Kong for bi-monthly board meetings). She prides herself on personally knowing her child’s current crush, and library book return day to boot. She attracts more than a cursory glance from the other mum tribes in her non-food smeared, cinch waisted pencil skirt and sky-high Louboutins. Her offspring is a singleton so she can devote her free time entirely to one child.
Hold your toddler tight post drop off as she’s a little distracted by her conference call and might accidentally mow them down in her convertible.
Bonus Mum: The Helper
Let’s face it; at any given time in this wonderful city called Singapore, all of the above school mums are interchangeable with The Helper. Bless Bonus Mum’s cotton socks for being there when we can’t, for carrying the school bags, and always keeping calm under pressure. Us HoneyKids mums rely on Bonus Mum to pick up any pieces that fall between the cracks. This never happens of course…
So which kinda mum are you? We like to think we’re a little bit of all of them, but really we’re probably a whole different category entirely: Doing The Best We Can Mum.
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