I have the good fortune to be a work-from-home mom, which means I rarely get dressed and ready before I drop my kids off at school. Lately, though, I’ve really let things slide. Maybe it’s the winter blues, or maybe I’ve just gotten too friendly with the snooze button, but in recent weeks I’ve managed to top my personal worst with each passing day.
In the fall, I would usually pretend I was headed to the gym or yoga, and I’d put on workout clothes for the school run. It’s important that you understand that I have exercised after morning drop off exactly once, and it was only because another mom I wanted to be friends with asked me to go for a walk with her. Regardless, in the fall I was making an effort to put on something clean and somewhat matching.
Right before winter break, I confess that I did the school run in my PJs once or twice. To be fair, I often sleep in cute leggings, and really, who can tell the difference these days between athleisure (which is apparently totally acceptable to wear out and about) and PJs (which mysteriously are not, but should be)? I did wash my face and put on a bra, though, so it was basically like I got dressed, right? The looks I got as I walked my daughter to her classroom would suggest that it was not the same, but I can’t say the judgment changed my behavior. Quite the opposite, in fact.
I thought winter break would be the rejuvenation I needed, but clearly, it was not. Last week I not only drove my kids to school in my (cute, athleisure) PJs, but I also did not wash my face, nor did I put on a bra. I have become *that mom.* The flashback to my own mother waiting with us at the bus stop, braless, in her robe, was not enough to deter me. I was only mildly horrified with myself. My grandmother, who once asked me if I got a fine from my sorority for walking across campus without my girdle on, was surely rolling in her grave, but me? Mostly not bothered at all.
In part, I blame that friend with whom I went for a walk. One sleeting morning, I saw her dropping her daughter off in the fire lane, and not parking and walking in like a sucker. She gleefully rolled down her window and announced that she wasn’t wearing a bra, so there was no way she was walking inside. It was her pure giggly joy that got me. Rather than feel not up to par, I, too, could just stay in my car and be thrilled with my decisions. She normalized this for me, giving me permission to start my day at a more humane hour after I got back home and had another cup or three of coffee.
Wondering how many other moms are in this boat, I brought it up to a few other girlfriends. One of them said she fantasized about a drive-up chute like the book return at the library that she could use to deliver her child to school. I have to say that if this chute were slide-like, the kids would enjoy it. I see a win-win here. Can we have a bake sale to fund this thing?
Anyway, the highly non-scientific, purely anecdotal, non-representative sample that I used for my research confirmed that more and more moms are starting their days later and delivering the kids to school in PJs or “I’m-not-actually-going-to-workout” clothes. So the next time I walk my kid inside looking less than my best, I’m just going to assume that all those looks I get are jealousy and not judgment. Let me know if you’re joining me! And also let me know if you’ll chair the bake sale because that kid drop-off chute is a solid idea.