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Is it ever okay to do the school drop-off in your pyjamas?

There’s no dress code for mums at the school gate. Or is there?

When I drop my daughter off to school in the mornings, I am thinking about a million things. Is it library day today? Does it matter that she drew a circle on her forehead with a red pen and I haven’t been able to scrub it off? Is she really going to get up in news and give a speech about the mouse that used to live in our kitchen, or can I talk her out of it before we get to the school gate?

Lipstick. No more time for that in the morning.

I am not thinking about what I’m wearing. I take approximately 30 seconds to get dressed in the morning. I grab whatever is closest and has big pockets.

There was a time when I actually planned what I was going to wear every day. I chose shoes that matched the tone of my outfit. I selected lipstick from a range of colours. I wore stuff called “jewellery”.

I still get dressed up if I’m going out with friends, but in the mornings, honestly, I just can’t be bothered. Sometimes, when I get back into the car after the drop-off, I catch sight of myself in the rear-view mirror and realise I’ve managed to achieve that “just got out of bed” hair without using any styling product at all.

That’s why I was surprised to read a UK survey that said nearly two-thirds of mums had bought a new outfit to wear for the start of the school year, and more than three-quarters had arranged beauty appointments to get them looking good for the big day.  Like, fake tans. There’s even a term for it: “the school-gate fashion parade”.

Oh. My. God.

I don’t think too many of these mums go to my daughter’s school (well, obviously, because they’re in England, but you know what I mean). I am so grateful for that.

“I don’t wear my pyjamas outside my front gate.”

The other day, I saw a mum drop off her kids at the school in her pyjamas. Not a tracksuit, but patterned PJs that she’d definitely worn to bed the night before. I knew they were pyjamas because I heard her announce, to no one in particular, “And now I’m going to go home and get dressed.”

I don’t wear my pyjamas outside my front gate. I occasionally wear them on the verandah, but I consider that part of my house. And I admit I have taken my young son along to the school drop-off in his PJs, but only when he had ones that looked like a tracksuit. (I was mildly disappointed when he recently chose new Peppa Pig pyjamas that are unmistakably pyjama-y, so that I now need to get him dressed first thing every morning.)

But it got me thinking. Maybe I’m a snob for even noticing this other mum. Everyone should wear whatever they want to drop their kids off, right? It’s getting them to school that matters. No one’s looking and judging – or are they?

Is there a dress code for mums at your child’s school?

Want more? Try these:

“My son’s school expects too much of me.”

5 things you’re not allowed to do now that you’re a mum.

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