Please don’t take this personally, but, I don’t want to watch your child’s performance on stage… there I said it.

But I don’t mean it in a nasty way.

It’s just that I have trouble sitting still for my own child’s routine, let alone stick around for two and a half hours to watch everyone’s little ones perform.

I know, your child and their group are going to do an amazing job up there on stage, as is mine. But do we really have to stick around and watch each other’s child’s act?

Why Can’t I Leave?

If you got up and left before my child’s class started their performance, I wouldn’t mind. I know that people have things to do, places to be, I can empathise with that.

Would you mind if I quickly bolted out the door as soon as my child’s gig was over?

It’s just that I’ve got a million and one things to do at home, not to mention that I’ve left the rest of my little tribe at home with their grandfather and isn’t part of the bonus of being a grown-up that I no longer have to stick around for the whole duration of these long winded events?

I’d Much Rather Do Something Else

Besides, if I had two and a half hours to spare I’d much rather spend it on myself doing something that I love. Free time is an absolute luxury to most parents…

It’s not a wedding after all…

I’m sure our kids won’t even remember being up on stage when they’re our age. So why in the world does the event letter state that I can’t leave after my child’s performance is over?

Is it because they suspect all the parents who are leaving are going to disrupt the course of the show? This may very well be a possibility, but in that case, couldn’t there be a pause after each act for people to leave if they so desire?

I feel like I’m walking into a hostage situation here!

If I’m paying for the tickets to watch the performance, shouldn’t I be able to leave whenever I like without the guilt?

Mums are all for eliminating ‘mum guilt’, so couldn’t I just waltz on out of there without ruffling anyone’s feathers?

It’s Part Of Being A Parent

When I was a child at school I looked forward to becoming an adult so that I didn’t have to wait around at what I felt were boring school plays… but I guess the truth of the matter is that growing up means having to be placed in time-consuming situations which you may not always enjoy.

So I guess I will go and sit through the entire ordeal without falling asleep or playing with my mobile…

I still think my ‘pause’ at the end of each act was a brilliant idea though… I mean they wouldn’t have stated that attendees cannot leave, unless they knew that most people want to do a runner just like me!

My child is only going to be up there for ten minutes max.

Perhaps if I’m being forced to stay against my will then I should be the one getting paid for my time?

With all due respect to your child, and mine, if I had a spare two and a half hours in my day, I’d much rather spend it catching up on sleep… not because our kids aren’t going to do a fabulous job of their performances… it’s just, when I signed up to parenting, I missed this in the fine print… the part where it states I would have to form part of the tribe and watch everyone else’s child as well as my own.

The Village

… and there it is! The answer! I am part of the village that will be there for you, and your family, cheering them on as though they were my own and helping to create a sense of excitement in the atmosphere because that’s what parents do best!

I guess I’ll see you at the hall! I’m sneaking in a flask of coffee, and enough food to feed an army, if you need some come see me, I’ll be the one in the back row clapping and whistling the loudest!

Do you agree with me? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • You definitely need to stick around. All the kids have worked hard on their performances and would feel devastated if half the audience left before they got a chance to be on stage.


  • I get this mum’s feelings, I really do. But it’s often the older kids who work really hard (when they have a lot of pressure to perform well in their academic, sporting, and artistic work too) who miss out as the exodus begins. I think it’s kind of like taking one for the team, and supporting the school and other students. One day that will be your kid/s up there who see half the hall empty before they get the chance to have their moment. But I’ve been like you – there have been times when the concerts and presentations seem to go on forever. I’m grateful for good schools and teachers who keep things running along quickly so everyone gets home at a decent time, especially when there is often school the next day! And – of course there are exceptions. Sometimes people have to work and can’t get time off, or there are other commitments, kids unwell etc, and that’s a different situation.


  • Being a teacher I feel for those kids who’s parents might not be able to get there and if everyone left who are they performing for? We all have such busy lives but sometimes we need to just slow down and suck it up


  • I’m with this woman. There should be times for kids performances and you should have the option to either stay or leave. I get it from both sides, some kids don’t have anyone to show up, and would definitely notice it if they were only viewed by the parents of their class. But when you have to get a baby sitter (if your lucky enough to get one) or have a difficult child, or have so much stuff to do you are totally overwhelmed you do need to leave early! My daughter got her very first award earlier in the yr. my husband arranged to go into work late so he could be there. Our 3 year old was extremely difficult before the assembly even began and he got louder and more disruptive as the minutes ticked by. Not going to lie, as soon as she got her award and the kids were returning to their spots, we left! My husband is a teacher and had a responsibility to his students and his school, and I wasn’t going to let my 3 year old shout and tantrum the whole way through. Why should I let him ruin the event for everyone else?


  • I would definitely go to my own childs plays etc. Maybe not so keen when it’s someone else’s- but you aren’t expected to be there. Your own kids? Of course stay the whole thing.


  • Wouldn’t that be sad for the last act if everyone had such a view.


  • wow I feel sorry for your kids! The school concert is a highlight at my kid’s school, every second year they practice for months on end, they are so excited to see each other’s performances as everything is kept hush hush it is so cute to see! By the time the grade 5/6 kids come around it is amazing the amount of talent and maturity they show, this is their grand finale for primary school and they go all out, my favourite 5/6 class performance was not even my own kids!


  • I can definitely understand some parents who have babies or toddlers who are crying and won’t settle. Sometimes little ones have stay awake and get very restless and “noisy” Some won’t settle or go to sleep if there is different noises around. Some young children struggle to go to sleep and get over tired There are times when it is best to discreet and leave, especially if the performance is at night. If you have to go to work you don’t have any option.


  • I totally get this but I also get why staying to watch all performances is important and how the children would feel.


  • I didn’t even know this was a problem.


  • Oh, such a hard decision to make, The thing is, we all do the best we can.


  • I really miss watching my kids perform at primary school as they are all grown up now


  • Wow, I thought this was a terribly entitled diatribe but I’m glad I read it until the end. I think it’s important to show support for everyone too!


  • Thank you for saying it. I always leave after my daughters class preform as I have to get back to work and then I hear the gossip about how I feel too good to watch others kids. For me it irritates the hell out of me I’m a single Mum of 2 and I have to earn a wage


  • I read this getting angrier at every word – then read the punchline. Well done – you got me!


  • I enjoy it, we struggled so hard to have kids that I enjoy every single second of it, even the “boring bits” but kids plays are not something I find boring, at all.


  • I must be one of a rare breed that love watching little kids perform. The look of accomplishment on their faces is priceless

    • Yes. It’s just one of those little things we can do for our kids but with a major impact


  • I get you.But it’s sad if you are child has last performance and no one around Its a sad feeling.One or 2 parents leaving because of a emergency seems ok But hopefully this wont be all.As everyone has something to do


  • I sort of sympathise, but can you imagine being the last kids to perform, when the hall has slowly emptied?


  • I think the whole reason for them making you stay is so they have more than like 5 people watching each performance. It gives the children more confidence when performing in front of a larger audience, it builds morale and supports the school/organisation. Yes it can be boring but the kids are benefiting by people being there and seeing them perform.


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