Posts Tagged ‘mother’

Pyjamas in Tesco, nighties on the school run – whatever next?

Many of us read with amusement last week that certain Tesco stores have introduced a dress code to stop women from shopping in their pyjamas and slippers.  Later in the week we read that this lack of decorum is also being seen at school gates.  The head of a Belfast primary school alleged that as many as 50 mothers were regularly turning up at the school gates dressed in night-clothes, while dropping off their children.  In a letter home to parents he slated the practice describing it as ‘slovenly and rude’.  He went on to comment that ‘arriving at the school in pyjamas is disrespectful to the school and a bad example to set to children’.

I was intrigued by my reaction to these stories.  Personally I don’t think I have a problem with anyone shopping in their pyjamas.  If I saw someone in my local store in their nightie I’d definitely chuckle but I don’t think I’d be shocked or horrified.  In fact I must confess that having often longed to stagger to Tesco in my slippers and slob-at-home trousers myself, I couldn’t help a smidgeon of grudging admiration for these women.  How nice it must have been for them to be out and proud in their penguin and teddy patterned PJ bottoms and furry slippers, swanning down the Tesco milk aisle without a care in the world.  Somehow I felt that Tesco were spoiling their fun and infringing their rights with the pyjama ban.

However, my reaction to the pyjama clad women at the school gates was instantly one of disapproval.  I am inclined to agree with the head teacher that it is disrespectful to your child to drop them off at school without bothering to get yourself dressed first.  The implication is that you’re going back home to slob around (or even go back to bed), which hardly seems fair when they are going to school to work.

I found myself wondering how the children feel about their mothers’ choice of clothing?  Maybe if 50 other mums are dressed the same it’s not an issue, but I know that my 9 year old son would be mortified if I tried it!  My 6 year old daughter would just worry that I’d be cold apparently, but she doesn’t mind standing out in a crowd.

I was also interested to see that so far this issue appears to be a uniquely female phenomenon.  There has been no mention of men shopping in their PJs, or dads in pyjamas on the school run.  Admittedly less dads do the school run or Tesco shop as a rule but still, it made me wonder.  Do men have more shame?  Or do they not own pyjamas they would be prepared to wear out of the house, or indeed own pyjamas at all?  Believe me you would NOT want to run into my husband in Tesco wearing his usual night-attire.

The whole thing also begs the question: who is to judge what counts as pyjamas anyway?  Imagine the shame of being turned away from your local Tesco or told off at the school gates; when you are actually wearing yoga pants or M&S ‘relax-at-home’ trousers?  Should we keep our receipts to prove they are really not pyjamas even if they look like them?

So, place your bets where will pyjamas be putting in an appearance next?  Cinemas, doctors’ surgeries, Post Offices?


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