The angered parent took to Mumsnet’s Am I Being Unreasonable? thread to share with the masses how her child’s school was “driving her bonkers” with the expectation that parents “can drop everything” to attend events in the middle of the day.
“I know there is probably no answer to this, but the repeated reminders and the ‘we strongly recommend that all parents make every effort to attend’, just makes me feel awful when I can’t attend due to... well... working,” she said.
The mum added that she works part time so if something falls on her day off, she will attend. But if it doesn’t, things get tricky.
Sharing a recent example, the parent said she’d received an invite which her eldest child had hand-written and carefully coloured in, asking her to attend an event at 1.45pm on a work day.
“I thought getting the children to write invites for their parents seemed particularly unfair – and school must surely realise that a lot of parents work and won’t be able to make it,” she added.
The parent said she does what she can to attend these events – like taking holiday from work or making time up elsewhere – but her employers’ good will “only goes so far” and she has no more annual leave to take. “What does everyone else do?” she asked.
Here’s what other parents said
Most agreed she just needs to find peace with not being able to attend every event.
It’s safe to say a lot of other parents felt strongly about this issue – with some sharing their own stories of times they’ve struggled to attend events due to late notice or being at inconvenient times.
“Ours have [been] given notice on a Thursday for something happening on the Friday,” said one parent.
Another said their child’s primary school would give little notice for events and would tell them on a Monday about something happening on a Friday.
“Ignore the guilt tripping and go to things when you can,” advised one parent. “I don’t know why schools do this – teachers are parents themselves and can’t attend events for their own kids.”
“Yes, it’s a pain,” said another parent. “Being able to go into your kids’ school is lovely but getting a couple of days notice or scheduling things in the middle of the day is unhelpful.”
They said at their daughter’s school they would be told about an inset day a week before it happened and sometimes parents evenings would be moved to the afternoon, which meant the school was closed at short notice.
Being able to go into your kids’ school is lovely but getting a couple of days notice or scheduling things in the middle of the day is unhelpful.
“Getting your child to do a hand-drawn invite is not on. I actually would talk to the teacher about that,” another parent chimed in.
“I’m a working parent and I do agree it’s OTT [over the top]. Attending the school nativity or play – yes, fine. I remember my parents doing that as a child. But parents attending every harvest festival assembly, Friday assembly, etc etc, during working hours is too much. It wasn’t a thing when we were kids.
“Just be clear with your kids, and clear with the teachers, ‘we both work so we can’t attend these things’.”
But some suggested schools don’t expect parents to turn up when they hold these events during the day.
“They offer events, you attend what you can. Parents complain if nothing is happening, parents complain if it’s first thing in the morning, in the school hours or if it’s in the evening. School cannot win,” said one respondent.
″[It’s] Up to you to be the grown-up and not take everything personally, and explain to your child when you can and can’t attend.”
Another parent commented: “Well obviously schools should organise stuff for during the school day. It’s absolutely ridiculous to suggest otherwise.
“What’s your point? Kids shouldn’t get to have special events with parents attending? I loved going to them at my kids school. I’d be pissed off if my kids missed out on inviting me in to see their work, show, whatever, because some parents couldn’t make it.
“You do what you can to attend. If you can’t that’s not the school’s fault!”