Friday, 10 January 2014

How to Look Glamorous on the School Run

When you're a mother, it's easy to let yourself go.  Lack of sleep and frazzled nerves lead to less time for you and less inclination to take care of your appearance, especially during the school run when you've got children to feed and dress before leaving the house on schedule.  Thank goodness, then, that you've got me to tell you how to do school run glamour:

Tip 1: Set your alarm half an hour earlier than you need to so you have plenty of time to beautify yourself.

Prise your eyes open, turn that fucker off, roll over and go straight back to sleep until you're woken by your child climbing into bed with you and farting horribly. Check time.  You now have 25 minutes to shower, feed, wash and clothe your child, put your clothes on, scrub baked bean juice off a school jumper and dry it with your hairdryer, bully your child into cleaning their teeth and pack their bookbag before you have to leave the house.  Congratulations.

Tip 2: Set up a regular hair and beauty routine so you're always looking at your best.

Or hack randomly at your hair with nail scissors in front of the bathroom mirror whenever it starts to look particularly witch-like.  Pluck eyebrows with one hand whilst making space station out of Lego with the other hand.  Forget to dye hair, ever.  Remove make-up at night only when not absolutely exhausted.

Tip 3: Own wardrobe full of timeless classic pieces in shades that all go together, so you have a sleek and coordinated outfit on hand every morning.

Apparently, some people (cough) just squeeze on whichever pair of jeans creates the least stomach overhang/has the least amount of kiddy snot trails up the leg and whichever top is clean and still fits, before nicking a pair of their husband's socks and swearily rooting through piles of shoes with worn out soles and heels that need replacing before desperately shoving on the same pair of boots that they wear every day; you know, the ones that have needed polishing for the past 3 months but you never quite get round to doing.  If only you could find the shoe polish.  Or the will to live.  Or anything.

Tip 4: Wash your hair the night before so you don't have to do it in the morning.
Shit.  Shit.  When was the last time you washed your hair?  Oh God, you could fry chips in it.  15 minutes to go.  Wash it or don't wash it?  If you don't wash it, you'll have an extra 5 minutes to do some make-up.  Make-up or clean hair?  Make-up wins.  Remember tip from magazine to tie greasy hair back into stylish ponytail and do this.  Hair does not look like stylish ponytail.  Bits of hair sticking up all over the shop, with errant grey hairs poking out like OAP pubes due to failure to adhere to tip 2.

Tip 5: A little natural make-up makes all the difference.

Break off from poking bits of solidified Weetabix down the plughole to throw make-up in the rough direction of your face.  Apply eyeliner and mascara to one eye, then get distracted by child climbing onto the windowsill naked and waving at John From Nextdoor.  Forget about other eye.  This is OK: You were completely going for the Clockwork Orange look.

Tip 6: Organisation will see you through.

There's 4 minutes to go before you have to leave the house.  Your child has stopped getting dressed after putting one sock half on and nothing else and has decided to take a long, languorous poo. ("NO YOU CANNOT HAVE A BLOODY MAGAZINE.")  You've forgotten to do their reading book, so are frantically waving Biff and Chip's latest adventures in front of their face as they crimp off a turd the size of Bolivia, and the zip on your last pair of jeans has broken.  God knows where their water bottle is.  At least you don't have to make packed lunches due to making them have school dinners (which you convinced yourself would give you an extra 15 minutes of sanity every morning).  Speaking of which, you check your purse hopefully to see if any money has magically materialised in it since yesterday so you can pay your outstanding dinner money debt off.

Tip 7: Own a stylish coat.

Aha! It doesn't matter what miscellaneous crap you're wearing - you can hide it all under your lovingly purchased long and stylish coat.  Up yours, yummy mummies.

Button pings off of stylish coat.  Put on disgusting Karrimor anorak instead.  Fuck it.

Tip 8: Leave the house a few minutes before you have to so that you arrive at school feeling fresh and relaxed.

Leave house five minutes late at a gallop.  Slow to odd frog-like gait as your child has chosen this morning to develop mild OCD and is engaged in some weird sort of paving stone avoidance technique.  Battle heroically onwards even though they're having histrionics because if they step on a nick they'll marry a brick and a beetle will come to their wedding.  Step in dog poo.  Arrive in playground toting a distraught child, looking as though you've been dressed by a vindictive care assistant and smelling a bit foisty.  It's probably the dog poo that you just stepped in.  Then again, it could be your festering, unwashed hair.  Welcome to the glamour of motherhood.


  1. Bravo my love! I'm sure you're the envy of at least one other parent who hasn't even managed one of those tips! ;-)
    I don't do the school run yet (due my little 'darling' only being two-and-a-half-years-of-my-life-gone years old) but I can assure you that the Nursery (Monday and Thursdays) and the Childminder (Tuesdays and Fridays) runs are no better!! I did tip 4 last night as it goes (couldn't remember how long it had been since I'd last showered so thought I'd get a head start on this morning), went to bed with damp hair (and a natural kink that takes some taming usually anyway), needless to say I woke up looking like Worzel Gummidge!! (yes I did have to google how to spell Worzel Gummidge!!)
    I love how you make me feel ok about being an inter-changeable headed scarecrow! mwah! xx

  2. Oops I actually do 5 of your tips (the ones in bold). Not sure if I should be proud or ashamed of myself! Lol! Love your post none the less - made me chuckle! :-)

  3. The 'wily OAP pubes' hair thing made me cry with laughter! I totally have that! I hope those aren't your boots though as they have laces - that's a whole eye of mascara you could be applying in wasted lace-tying time...

  4. I lost it at the line "dressed by a vindictive care assistant". Thanks for the giggles and the reassurance that we aren't in this parenting thing alone!

    -Catherine in Canada

  5. i decide every evening that tomorrow i will get up at 7 and tidy the kitchen prepare breakfast dress up and make myself presentable before my child wakes! i have never ever succeeded i stay in bed till my 3 yr old comes and climbs in with me! LOL is too cold to leave the bed

  6. PMSL. Nail hit on head as per usual Lise.

    I probably live nearer preschool than any other Mother and am invariably the last in looking like a cross between a hormonal teenage boy and the stressed post 40 Mum I actually am.

    That reminds me, I really need to find my favourite jeans, and find a tshirt with no stains on it. And my hoodie. And clean my shoes. Ha! only kidding with the last one. Next I'll be pretending I iron!

  7. Oh god, the greasy hair runs close to home. Mine will get to the point of 'Greasy or damp' before I make time to shower.
    As for makeup...that ship sailed a long time ago.

  8. Why do you think I home educate? ;)

  9. It's like you opened a window onto an average day of my life, and photographed it. You perv.

  10. Laughed so much I couldnt read some of it! :-)

  11. This made me laugh! It takes me back years! But even funnier I'm 60 and somtimes do the school run with my grandchildren and I still end up rushing and going out completely wrecked!!

  12. I'm seriously considering sending my kids to bed in their school uniform, save a whole load of farkin faff in the morning. Reckon I could also just lie on top of the duvet in my equally hideous raincoat until morning. Fuck me, I am like some time management guru.

    1. As a small child my brothers and I hatched a plan to do this, and even got away with it for a short while. Why doesn't my own child try to think of morning time saving exercises, le sigh?

  13. LOL my kids are not yet school age but I reckon it will be feat for me to pull myself together to take them. Your steps sound like how I could be.

  14. Ah that made me laff!
    What I don't understand is how some women actually do manage to get to school with their hair brushed and make up on; I seriously do bow down to their determination and time management skills.
    I own a big parker coat that covers everything but the big boots I wear to do the school run.

  15. Hahahah, this sounds like something I'll be doing soon. Obviously, I will have sorted myself out by then, become organised and start washing my hair in the evening...NOT

  16. Literally (almost) pissing myself laughing! Breath of fresh air. Of particular resonance for me this morning was 'chip fat hair', which I was lamenting whilst simultaneously scrubbing tween's sick out of the carpet and texting employer to say I won't be in today. Thanks for making me smile.

  17. Loved this so much - so funny. We too are plagued by a child whose bowels have no sense of urgency. I never thought of waving Biff and Chip at her while she poos - she's so disdainful of the Oxford Reading Tree maybe it would have some laxative effect...