ALMOST half of first-time mums admit they feel nervous about the daily school run because of playground cliques of other mothers, research has revealed.
Some 47% of first-time mums admit they are more nervous than their children when they take them into the school playground on a daily basis.
And they lay the blame firmly at the feet of the playground mums who revel in their self-appointed role as playground queen bee.
The politics of the playground is as intimidating to adults as it can be for young children, the study by laundry experts Dr Beckmann reveals.
In fact, 26% of first-time mums say taking their young children into the school-yard reawakens all the playground insecurities they suffered themselves as pupils a generation earlier.
Almost one in five mums even admit they routinely choose wardrobe items with the daily school run in mind, hoping that their choice of outfit will make them assimilate more easily.
But around one in four confess that, even by the end of the first school year, they still don’t feel like they ‘fit in’ with other mums in the playground.
Dr Beckmann polled 2,000 UK mums as part of Airing Britain’s Dirty Laundry - an initiative designed to gauge public opinion across a variety of urban legends including The Politics of the Playground, Behind Every Great Man is a Great Woman and Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche.
The survey reveals that almost three-quarters of first-time mums admit they feel forced to befriend other parents in order to make their child’s school-life easier.
And a further 26% say they are convinced they are gossiped about among the established cliques of other mums when they enter the playground with their child.
Interesting then, that by the time mums begin taking their second child to primary school many of these insecurities have disappeared.
Just 15% of second-child mums said they were nervous about taking them into the primary school playground.
And with a year or two’s playground experience under their belts just 8% of second-child mums say they are concerned that they may be the centre of conversation among other mothers.
Indeed, 63% of second-child schoolyard mums admit they are totally relaxed and feel none of the insecurities of new mums when they go into the playground with their children.
Susan Fermor, Dr Beckmann spokesman, said: “It seems from our research that many mums suffer that same playground insecurity when they take their first child to school as they did themselves when they were schoolkids.
“Many worry about the established cliques of playground mothers and admit they feel excluded, something they worry about because many believe it has an effect on how their son or daughter gets on in the school-yard.
“Fortunately, experience wins the day and often by the time they are taking their second child to school they are absolutely unconcerned with any kind of playground politics.”