Why I Wear Pyjamas On The School Run

I Wear Pyjamas On The School Run. So What?
27 January 2016

Do you ever do the school run in pyjamas? And if so, how would you feel about getting a letter home from your child's school asking you to get dressed properly before you take the kids to school?

That's pretty much what happened to parents whose children attend Skerne Park Academy in Darlington.

The school's head teacher wrote to parents advising them to 'wash and get dressed' before bringing children to school.

The BBC reports:

Ms Chisholm said the final straw came when parents wore pyjamas to the Christmas show and to recent parents' evenings.

"It just got to the point when I thought 'enough's enough," she said.

"I'm not trying to tell people what to do with their lives, but I just think having a really good role model first thing in the morning, getting yourself up, getting yourself dressed, ready for business, out to school is a really good example to set.

She added that wearing pyjamas to school wasn't setting the right example, and that giving children the best chances in life begins with 'raising the bar' with parents.

Is now the wrong time to admit that I frequently do the school run whilst wearing my pyjamas?

I wouldn't ever dream of turning up to a school assembly or a meeting at my children's school whilst wearing my jammies - heck, I won't even set foot out of the car when I'm wearing pyjamas on the school run, for fear of being spotted.

But I wouldn't be impressed if I got a letter from the school demanding that I smarten up and put some real clothes on. Why? Because not all pyjama-clad school-run mums are lazy, feckless parents who just can't be bothered to get dressed.

On the days that I do the school run in my pyjamas it is invariably because I've been up until the wee small hours earning a living as a freelance writer, before collapsing into bed just in time to spend the next few hours before dawn nursing a teething toddler. Some of us aren't getting dressed to do the school run because we're squeezing earning an income around caring for our kids - not cos we're rushing home to spend the day in bed watching daytime telly.

Factor in that I am often getting my kids ready for school by myself as Daddy has long since left for work, and you'll understand why I'm often in PJs on the school run - I'm reluctant to leave three kids to run amok while I go and take a shower. Much safer to get the older two (and worst mischief-makers) out the door before I attempt to attend to matters of self-care. At least the toddler can entertain herself safely on the other side of the shower door while I attempt to take the world's fastest shower without letting her out of my sight.

And yes, I've heard the 'have a bath the night before and chuck clean clothes on first thing in the morning' advice a million times. But as I've said, the moments when my kids are finally in bed at night are my main earning hours. Waste half an hour in the bath, and it's half an hour's less money in my pocket. I know which my kids would appreciate the most.

As one mum put it, we don't presume to tell our children's teachers how to dress, so what gives them the right to appraise our attire? She said:

"Can you imagine the furore if I wrote to my daughter's headteacher to say 'Kindly make sure your teachers are dressed in an appropriate manner instead of caked-on make up, skyscraper heels and leather leggings'? I wouldn't dare."

So please, teachers everywhere, don't jump to conclusions when you see school run mums (do dads do this too?) wearing their pyjamas, and don't tar us all with the same judgy brush.

TOPICS:   Parents

11 comments

  • dvdgremlin

    I agree with the school.

    It's inappropriate and lazy. It sets a really bad example and I've seen whole families waddling around the supermarket in their PJs with a trolley full of ready meals, microwave chips, icecream, fizzy drinks and cakes. then they wonder why they are obese.

    i was a single working father with two boys so I DO know it's possible to dress reasonably and get the kids to school too !   it means send the kids to bed a sensible time and wash the night before. it's organisation, not a miracle

    • Heidi Scrimgeour EDITOR

      Thanks for the candid comment. Personally I think there's a big difference in leaping in the car in the leggings and hoody I crashed out in the night before - especially when I won't be setting foot out of the car - and wearing a onesie to Tesco - that's definitely a step too far, even by my standards!

    • Bonnie

      To DVDGREMLIN: I have never felt the need to comment on anything on here but your comment has spurred me on. All obese people are lazy all lazy people are obese. How narrow minded of you. I hope your children are brought up to be less judgemental than you!

  • speakycl

    I completely disagree, you say you would never get out of the car in your pjs for fear of being seen, (a very normal thought). The letter, however, is addressing the parents who do not care that they are seen wearing their pjs. Children are incredibly impressionable, do you really think parents should be turning up to parents evening, concerts and school runs in pjs?  Not wanting to be seen in your pjs on the whirlwind of a normal hectic school run is most definitely not the issue this headteacher is dealing with. 

    • bigtopcom

      "As one mum put it, we don't presume to tell our children's teachers how to dress, so what gives them the right to appraise our attire?"

       - actually you would make a point if you didn't feel the teachers were dressed appropriately , don't kid yourself you and others wouldn't. 

      There are always exceptional circumstances where a parent may not be ready and need to wear PJs but in general parents should be dressed when going to the school I am not sure how anyone could disagree with that.

      • Heidi Scrimgeour EDITOR

        Thanks for reading. I think we have to agree to disagree on this one! The mum quoted sincerely wouldn't say something about the way teachers dress - she doesn't see it as her place. And while I think turning up to school events in pyjamas is absurd, it seems plenty of people disagree with your view and share mine - that what you're wearing when you drive your kids to school (especially if you're not getting out of the car) matters much less than getting them there on time.

    • Heidi Scrimgeour EDITOR

      True - I saw pics in the paper this morning of mums doing the school run in fleecy pyjamas covered in snowflakes and wearing dressing gowns - definitely way beyond my slightly dodgy school run attire!

  • Amzzzz

    parents should try to make an effort but i think the main priority is to get the children dressed and on time, well done for the wording of this article

    • Heidi Scrimgeour EDITOR

      Thanks so much. I'm totally with you!

  • bontheka

    I have 3 kids to get ready and out the door for school in the mornings. I basically brush my teeth and wash my face, and when they're eating their breakfast, will get myself changed if I haven't already done so. I take my shower when I get back from the school run. 

    • admin EDITOR

      Thanks for letting us know what happens in your house bontheka! 

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