Ping. Ping. My eight year old son is still wearing the same raincoat he wore last summer, so I go crazy looking for one.

Ping. Ping. It is definitely tonight.

My ten year old can’t locate the sparkling water bottle with his initials. What have you done with it? The other is his favorite.

A second ping. ‘No, it’s tomorrow. The letter is here. You can hold on! I will take a photograph of it. Here you go.’

Ping, ping, ping.

Welcome to the worst thing about being a mother near the start of a new term: the relentless tyranny of the school WhatsApp group (File image)

You are about to experience the worst things of being a mom near the end of a term. It is the constant tyranny by the school WhatsApp Group (File Image).

Only three minutes remain before school runs, and my son needs help to tie his shoes. My daughter has her hair looking like a bird’s egg.

Oh! And 25 other messages are still unread.

Here’s the worst thing about motherhood near the new term. The constant Tyranny of the School WhatsApp Group.

Parents with children in the same classes should have an open chat. I find it hard to bear the constant stream of irrelevant, stupid, passive-aggressive, and hectoring messages.

It reaches fever pitch within the first couple of weeks, and an avalanche upon messages arrive before I have even had my first cup.

These 24 pings are about bicycleability. I didn’t read the letter. Is there a spare bicycle that Freddie could use?It was really nice to hear that my son, an autistic boy, can ride a bike.

A cardigan can be left behind at school later. Big mistake.

«Has Milly ever seen her red cardigan? It is brand new.

You will receive around 30 useless replies ending in the negative with, “Hope you find it” in rapid succession. They can reply privately, why not?

It continues to flurry with urgent questions regarding the sale of second-hand clothing, the sign-up process for the dance club, who was ill, the Microsoft Teams login, and many other things that are beyond our comprehension.

Dom, my husband, somehow avoided joining these groups. He has been running school for years and still does not know the names of anyone. He believes ignorance is bliss.

The urgent flurry continues with questions about the second-hand uniform sale, how to sign up for dance club, who is ill that day, what the login is for Microsoft Teams and so on and on, into the black hole of eternity (File image)

There are still urgent questions to be answered about second-hand uniform sales, dance clubs, who will become ill, and what is the Microsoft Teams login.

I am taken back by the hierarchy and pecking order of mothers to my school days.

PTA Mum, also called a ‘class representative’ or class rep, is the one who organizes teachers’ presents (for which, I’m genuinely grateful, even if it’s not with me) and knows everything. She captures letters and email from schools and forwards them to the class rep.

Her boss is class moms and dads, and she makes me jealous. It is her unbidden duty to inform us mortals of the upcoming events.

“Don’t forget to show your support for Ukraine today by wearing yellow and blue with your kids!” PTA mom messages as I push my children out of the doors in their regular uniforms. “There is tea and cake available in the school hall to help raise money. Just made some banana breads and carrot cakes. Are you the one bringing it? She trills.

Another mum is someone who’s never satisfied with life and uses this group to voice her worries. Her messages usually start with a crisp, ‘I’m not being funny, but…’ and end with an, ‘I’m going to make a complaint.’

It means: “I’m not trying to be funny. But does anybody know why they have stopped allowing the children to take their snacks in?” Leticia is disgusted at the rice cakes they are giving. They’re going to be making me a complaint.

Sometimes, the school learns of her latest grievance and adds a note in the newsletter about speaking with the heroic school secretary to address any parents’ concerns.

Parents can also have children who are constantly ill. Would you recommend that I still take him in?

The debate continues on Calpol’s pros and cons and the details about Rebecca’s sickness bug. This all took place before 7.30am.

The mum who makes use of the chat to support her emotional well-being is called the Mumsnetter. A Mumsnetter who was upset described the messages of one parent as ‘like Greek tragedy’. There were dozens and dozens posts detailing how their child is growing up fast, and what she doesn’t want.

Let’s not forget about the ghost parents that you may never have heard of or who you don’t see in school. The group is almost forced to watch their questions with a collective eye roll.

“Do you know the time that school ends today?”

Er, 3:30pm is the same time every day.

And there’s the odd clueless dad (sorry, dads) who never knows what’s going on — ‘When did they change the uniform?!’ — and whom the PTA mum takes under her wing.

It's no wonder that there are sub-groups, set up in secret usually to rant about one particular mother who's annoyed everyone, or to arrange clandestine pub trips (File image)

There are many sub-groups that exist, often in secret, to vent about one mother or arrange for clandestine trips to the pub.

A friend shared with me the story of an anti-vaxxer mom who attempted to organize a protest outside her school in the wake of the Covid jab rollout. This caused fury on Facebook, and resulted in the intervention by the head.

Another friend told me about the time a mum of a child in her six-year-old’s class accidentally posted very risqué bikini shots from her holiday in Marbella, much to the joy of the token dad in the group.

“If you allow me to, Sasha, it’s a compliment that you look mighty fine.

If my life was less chaotic, I would find this beautiful tapestry of humankind amusing. However, it’s often too hectic and exhausting for me to fully appreciate.

Something that should bring together time-stretched moms and foster a sense community and camaraderie is a better choice. It becomes another source for resentment, frustration and one more distraction.

There are many sub-groups that exist to vent or organize clandestine trips to the pub.

“Why is she so lenient in ordering us to all bring our cakes?” Is she imagining that we have nothing better? They lament the loss of a Sauvignon Blanc bottle.

They are very kind. The parents that abruptly quit the group with no explanation are those who leave me truly in awe. One such courageous soul was the one I saw at the school gate the other day. I tried to get her attention, but she looked apathetic.

There is the mum who uses the chat as an emotional support group. An aggrieved Mumsnetter described one parent's messages as being 'like a Greek tragedy', with dozens of posts about how fast their child is growing up and how she is not ready for it (File image)

The mum uses chat to support her emotional needs. A Mumsnetter who was upset described the messages of one parent as ‘like Greek tragedy’. There were dozens and dozens posts detailing how their child is growing up fast, and what she doesn’t want.

“What was it that pushed you to the edge?” “What pushed you over the edge?” I inquired.

“Well, this is how it was. I could not care less about Rosie getting her PE skirt ripped for the fourth and Sarah’s mysterious message that Sarah deleted just before anybody could capture it. Can you please tell me if it’s okay?She replied, “

Well, quite. It would be great if I could. However, the truth is that sometimes, I am the one who must beg for carrots for Charlie in order to get to food technology. Who can’t find that email that confirmed the time of the return coach from the sports match.

With three kids at two different schools, I can’t always keep up — particularly at the start of the year. There will also be a handful of messages that I find valuable, for every 300 that makes me want to punch my wall.

This is why I am stuck here until my last child graduates from school in years.

There is one thing that will keep me calm: The Mute Button.