We’ve all seen them at the school gates - slummy mummies, with their pyjama bottoms tucked inside Ugg boots. Sometimes they’ll wear a coat to keep out the chill after falling out of bed five minutes before school register.
Usually, and I’m stereotyping, they’ll park up their 4x4, half on the kerb, half on the road, slam bang outside the school gates on a double yellow. They don’t care if they cause an obstruction or make other children risk their lives to step out into the road, because, in their world, they are queen bee and nothing or no one will stop them doing what they want. If you dare to challenge them you’re guaranteed to get a mouthful because they are past caring what you, I, or anyone else thinks. They don’t even mind their own kids cringe every time ‘mum’ drops them off still dressed in last night’s bedclothes, because she has no self-respect or awareness of her child’s feelings.
It all began a few years ago. A friend told me about a new breed of women, who not only dropped their kids off at school in PJs, but also went shopping in them. I laughed because I didn’t believe her. And then I saw it for myself - a mum, wearing pyjama bottoms, Ugg boots, and a jumper. Now, I’m not a snob, but I was flabbergasted someone could be so lazy and unkempt. How long does it take to pull on a pair of jeans? I was in the supermarket one evening when I spotted a young mum. I was just thinking what a bizarre set of trousers she had when I realised they were covered in teddy bears. She was dressed in pyjamas and slippers, so was her husband and their children. Imagine getting on a bus to find the driver dressed in PJs? There’d be an uproar, he’d be sacked.
When I heard Kate Chisholm, headmistress of a primary school in Darlington, had sent a letter home telling parents to stop wearing pyjamas at school drop off, I cheered. Someone has to draw the line. What kind of chance do their kids have if their own mums haven’t got enough respect to get dressed in the morning? I certainly don’t adhere to the full-face of make-up every morning brigade, but at least I wear clothes! Children need a role model, and if you can’t be bothered to do the basics, what kind of example does that set? Predictably, some ‘parents’ reacted with typical Jeremy Kyle show mentality - in protest they wore pyjamas and posed at the school gates. These people think they’re sticking two fingers up to the establishment, when all they’re really doing is proving what numbskulls they are. Maybe these so-called slummy mummies should take a leaf out of their children’s book and grow up a little.
* Veronica Clark, Author, Journalist.