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.
Priese 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 feed your child, shower, wash 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 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. I am certainly not one of those people. *cough*
Tip 4: Wash your hair the night before so you don't have to do it in the morning.
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 wily 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 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, 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 outfit 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. Screw 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 of faeces. It's probably the dog mess that you just stepped in. Then again, it could be your festering, unwashed hair. Welcome to the glamour of motherhood.
As an ex primary school teacher, I often write about education, early years and parenting issues. I am also Mummy to my megalomaniac son, Rory. Please excuse the dust.
Blogs at: How to be a domestic disgrace