Last month I signed up, with great trepidation, to be Scarlett’s Class Mum. I wanted to support her to develop friendships at school to help her feel more secure, happier and more connected. I also wanted to meet more of the school mums and create a greater sense of community. But am I really Class Mum material?
My first idea was to host a Valentine’s Day afternoon tea party for Scarlett’s class with their mums at our home. Armed with loads of stellar advice and support from the mums here at CHILD and our readers (for me, it takes a village to be Class Mum), the plan was to…
- Choose a sweet party theme with a focus on friendship and plan the invites and party with Scarlett so we could work on a project together
- Create some activities for the girls that foster team work, pair activities, whole group activities and playing together
- Provide a beautiful, relaxed experience for people to enjoy – heart themed decos, heart shaped or pink and red party food, a pretty table setting, picnic rugs in the garden, plus champagne!
While my Virgo-ness leans towards party planning overload, the goal was to keep things simple.
1. First stop, party invites
I visited multiple craft stores and dollar shops, had a brief UN dispute about why I wouldn’t be purchasing a hot pink plastic tablecloth and encountered zealous sales assistants suggesting layers of intricate invitation designs. I finally walked out of what felt like shop no. 203 with the sparkliest pink cardboard I’d ever seen, to Scarlett’s great delight, plus a fancy pants calligraphy pen, in pink.
2. Initiate comms
Our handmade glitter heart cards were hardly a work of art, but they looked fun and they gave Scarlett a reason to chat with each girl in her class as she handed them out. Apparently they were talked about “for hours”. Yay!
3. Purchase enormous canvas
Heading valiantly back into yet another dollar store a week later, we purchased a large blank artist’s canvas which we asked the girls to decorate with words that meant something to them about what makes a good friend. They were all over that poster like Barbie at a glitter convention. They wrote amazing words like integrity, courage, play together and be kind. So very cool. This ‘artwork of fabulosity’ now hangs in the girls’ classroom to keep the good friendship vibes going.
4. When in doubt, add glitter
Scarlett’s name game was a hit. We cut out more sparkly pink hearts (I have multiple scissor wounds) and wrote each girl’s name on a heart with the fancy pink pen, and the cards were all placed into a hat. Every girl had a turn of pulling out a heart card and writing an anonymous message about why they thought that girl was so great. The cards were a special take-home treasure for each girl. I was delighted that Scarlett dreamed up such a thoughtful game.
5. Connect the dots
As for me meeting new mums…I was soooo nervous, but after those first five minutes of out-of-body, no-idea-what-I-said, try-to-act-normal conversation, I really, really enjoyed having an opportunity to talk to the other mums. I made some lovely new friends, plus Scarlett received a play date invite for next weekend. I also learned that the other mums and I all share many things in common and that I’m not as alone as I thought I was in my ups and downs of motherhood.
Words + Photography: Karen Miles