So a head teacher asking parents not to drop off their children at school in their pyjamas makes headline news. Plus it is only a few weeks since a shop in a nearby area refused to serve people dressed in pyjamas.
Now I can understand where this relaxed attitude originates. The formality of the fifties and sixties has long gone. These days, pyjamas come in many guises. They are onesies, play suits or clothes designed to be worn as daywear when chilling out on the sofa. So, ok, mums, I am all for chilling out on the sofa – we recognise the health and happiness benefits – but the line has to be drawn at the front door.
I had three children in quick succession in the late sixties and from the day I returned from hospital, my first jobs each morning, once an early morning breastfeed had been given, were to shower, dress, brush my hair and put on some makeup. Once I had that daily task under my belt I could face anything and, if the morning became hectic as we were about to leave the house for school, I could relax in the knowledge that I looked as smart as any young mum with regurgitated food on her shoulder.
Even at their births, the first thing I did after holding and bonding with them was to grab my make up bag and hairbrush from the bedside cabinet and make myself look presentable. In the sixties few of us wandered around with bare faces and unbrushed hair. We would go to each others’ houses on the way back from school drop off and the little ones would play. We had no worries about our appearance as if you have put on makeup in the morning, little attention needs to be paid to it.
As I have grown older I find myself dismayed at the current trend to go out barefaced with more and more people these days displaying unbrushed hair and uncared for clothes around the supermarket aisles. There really is no excuse.
My mantra always was that looking good, well dressed and tidy was to pay a compliment to the people you meet. It also set a good example to my daughters who now are always presentable for the school run. They were raised to be aware that what their father saw on leaving the house would remain with him during the day. They knew self-care mattered for the relationship and for a person’s self esteem.
It is amusing that so many people exhaust themselves cleaning the house for visitors. There are many people who insist on doing a day’s housework prior to a family event but fail to attend to what visitors see first – their own appearance. We should remember after all that visitors usually come to see us and not our ultra shiny worktops.
No doubt the head teacher will be criticised, even forced to apologise for ‘abusing the parents’ rights’ to dress slovenly’. I certainly hope not. I am willing her to remain resolute.
Children need to know that going to school is serious business. They also need to know that what goes on at home after their departure is equally important? Pyjamas give the impression that Mum is going back to bed at 9.15 am.
Isn’t it time now for us all to push for standards?