Each morning, you’ll navigate your way through the most traumatic fifteen minutes of the day, known as the school run. Amongst all the chaos you’ll still carry out your anthropological studies, by observing the other parents. There’ll be the ‘active parent’ – they’re doing their morning stretches, wearing yoga pants and incessantly checking their FitBit. The ‘together parent’ – they have everything together. They hand in all letter response forms on time, early in fact; they remember every school activity, every P.E day, every child’s birthday, their names, they remember everything. There’s the ‘chatty parent’ – always early so that they can catch up on the latest gossip and knows everything about everyone who attends the school, including the teachers. There’s the ‘office parent’ – immaculately dressed, prompt, and leaves the yard the second their child waves their little hand goodbye, as they have just 10 minutes to complete a 20-minute journey through rush hour traffic. And then there’s the ‘oh fuck; I forgot’ parent; me. I’m the one practically jogging into the yard. I don’t want to run as that will only emphasise my stressed out state, but I also don’t want to dawdle as that will give the teachers the wrong impression, so I jog. If there’s ever a reason to bring something other than your child to school, then you can pretty much guarantee that I will forget it, and if a letter needs handing in on a specific date, mine will be returned the day after. You have all encountered a parent just like me during your school run; we’re everywhere. So, as the school run rush is already a massive stress for anyone else who can’t remember what they had for breakfast and whose lateness makes no exception for the school, I’ve compiled a ‘School Run Survival Kit’ to help. Here’s hoping that even one small item below can make that journey from your house to the school gates that little bit more enjoyable for you, your kids and all involved.
A hat can hide a multitude of bad hair days, and with such a range of styles to choose from, it seems silly not to take advantage. This is a tool that can be used by all, to get over any morning mishap; accidental lie-ins, hiding that you’re three days behind on your weekly hair wash, wet hair, and days where you just can’t be arsed. If you know that you don’t need to worry about your hair until after 8.45 am, then your morning can run a lot smoother. Whack on a hat, pop some bobby pins and bobbles into your pocket and forget about that mane until 9.00 am (or not at all). Below are some of my favourites:
Lines and Current ELIAS Beanie Hat – it doesn’t get much simpler than this. The ultimate ‘shove-it-on-and-go’ headwear. Cool, hair taming and can be worn all year round.
The Beret – Bring a little Parisian chic to your school run.
Pom-Pom Beanie Hat – Adding some fun to your morning (we need all the help we can get, right?)
Your three-year-old decided to reignite their love for your bed, and your ten-year-old decided to sleepwalk downstairs and turn on the telly at 3 am (yep, this has happened to me). Naturally the next morning you aren’t exactly looking or feeling, full of life. A dug up corpse springs to mind. You don’t want it to be evident to the entire school yard that your kids are shit sleepers, so you want to disguise it. I find the best way to do this is to add as much fake glow as you can. I’ve found three products that will help you lie your way to being a glowing goddess who gets a tonne of uninterrupted sleep, night after night.
Lush Million Dollar Moisturiser – This stuff is made from fairy wee and has been packaged up by magical little elves….ok, so maybe not, but you’ll believe it was. It has some element of magic to it – as there’s no other explanation for what it does to your face – I just haven’t figured it out yet. You literally shine.
Hero Project Glow Drops – These were recommended to me by a make-up artist, and they always know all the deep, dark beauty secrets. This was no exception – these Glow Drops are simply amazing. Add under, over, or without your foundation to create a dewy, fresh glow to your skin. You can thank me later.
The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Reviver – A great on-the-go product that can be carried around in your bag to give you and your skin a pick me up later in the day. The reviews on the website are evidence of its super-powers.
There are some mornings when even the magic of fairy wee can’t save you, and that’s when I like to call in for some back-up – concealer. The dark shadows beneath my eyes have always been prominent – I’m not sure if that’s down to my skin tone, my diet, or the fact that I’ve had children since I was 19 – and as a result I’ve tried many concealers over the years, so I like to think that I know my stuff. Many have failed, but some have overcome the toughest of challenges; my eyes.
Bobbi Brown Corrector and Concealer Kit – With the optional addition of the colour corrector, this becomes a force to be reckoned with. The corrector neutralises any purple tones; the concealer hides the dark shadows, and the powder holds it all into place. A bit of an ordeal to apply (not a quick fix), but the results are pretty darn good.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer – A stick of pure wonderfulness. No faff, no frills, just apply and banish those black shadows.
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer – The cheapest of the three, but still rivals its opposition. It can cover any imperfections and signs of a rough night with a hint of radiance. Who doesn’t want some of that?
For all that jogging, of course. Trainers can be styled with everything these days (all the fashion mags say so), so even if you’re a suit wearing office worker, you can still get away with a quick change into trainers for making the morning exercise of dragging your kids into the yard, a breeze – hurray!
Adidas Superstars – The trainers I can’t live without. I’ve once worn only these shoes for over a week. They’re available in a wide range of colours, but I’m a bore and chose black and white.
Zara Chunky Plimsole – To make up for my previous boring option, these metallic beauties will dazzle all. They’re pink, fun and with a slight heel for any of you non-trainer people (there’s also a white version for the boring people, like me)
ASOS Diaz Lace Ups – Cheap and cheerful (with four colours to choose from).
A Throw On Jumper
Everything is ok if your clothing is cuddling you. Late entrances, disapproving glances, embarrassment when your darling child throws a wobbler in front of the whole class because you had the audacity to say that they can’t wear one welly and one school shoe to school. Just take a deep breath and bury yourself inside. They’re also a great item to throw on just as you leave the house if you still have your pyjama top on, have toothpaste splatter all over, or are covered in dried Weetabix.
Stalf Fleece Roll Neck – This jumper is what all other jumpers aspire to be. It’s a fleece that you’ll want to be seen in. Warm, versatile and with the perfect minimal style. You can’t get any better than that.
Zara Oversized Jumper – Warm, non-itchy, and can be worn over the majority of your wardrobe. Although the flared sleeves do have a tendency to be dunked in your morning coffee, I’ve still recently added this jumper to my winter capsule wardrobe.
Olive Cable Knit Jumper – Nothing gives out the traditional cosy vibes like a cable knit jumper. Worn with your trainers, jeans and your new glowing face, you’ll look at one of the ‘together parents’ in no time (look like, maybe not be one).
So, I must admit, I’m not a wearer of sunglasses in any scenario other than driving, or lying on a beach somewhere. I just don’t think I’m cool enough to pull off that look; however, I can see just how beneficial sunglasses can be, especially at 8.37am. No concealer in the world can give you the coverage that these can. So, for all of you who are cooler, and far more chic than me, here’s some pretty sunglasses that I would wear for the school if I weren’t such an uncool coward.
Lines and Current Hendrik Sunglasses – Thanks to the lovely Rebekah, I have these in both the black and the tortoise.
Ray-Ban Aviators – You can probably tell I’m not much of a sunglasses fan, as I’ve picked the most predictable pair here. In my defence, they’re classic and suit almost any face shape.
ASOS Cat Eye – Oh, how I wish I was sophisticated enough to wear these.
And finally, a smile and a sense of humour.
Today it can be your turn to make all the other parents feel less of a failure, so own your role and tomorrow someone else can take your place.