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We recently began allowing our eleven year old daughter to wear mascara to school and church.  This has been a very big deal to her.  She has been asking for a year or so, when some of her classmates began wearing it.  We thought entrance to middle school was a good time to say yes.  She just couldn’t understand why on earth I didn’t get how important this was to her.  “Mom, how old were you when you started wearing mascara?  Seriously?”  I gave her my honest answer which was, “Either nineteen or twenty…not sure.”  Her jaw about hit the floor, but this was the honest truth.  When most girls were getting dressed up to go out on a Friday night, I was hanging out with my older brother and his friends, drinking sarsaparilla and playing cards and ping pong and watching them shoot bats (the ones that fly in the sky, which as we learned was not legal and so they stopped).

Anyway, I tell you all of this for a reason.  It’s a funny story, and it gives you some background as to why the concept of being up and ready and looking good for school drop off is not in my wheelhouse.  There are moms who work outside the home who drop their kids off and look so good.  There are moms who are going home who also look so good.  AND THAT IS AWESOME. And then there’s the moms like me, who pray the whole way to school that they don’t hit traffic that will make them late because then we’ll have to walk the kids into the school.  Last year, I could get by with a decent looking shirt paired with my finest pajama pants. This year, though, our youngest is in school and she needs to be walked in.

Well.

Getting three girls dressed and out the door with breakfast and all of their things is quite the feat, but getting myself dressed too?  This required strategy.  I had read a post a few years ago from Kristen Howerton over at Rage Against the Minivan about her mom uniform.  I decided to try it out, and it’s been great.  I have two cardigans that match a ton of different tees and tanks, and I have a fleecy pullover that does the same thing.  The girls joke with my about my “uniform” but it works.  I am very organized with this and try to keep these items handy by either leaving them on the floor or casually draping them over the ironing board that is always set up but yet never used in our room.  5 star all the way over here, you guys.

(I also try my hardest to get my teeth brushed before drop off because my middlest has informed me that my breath smells like poop in the morning, and I can’t talk to the staff at drop off with poop breath. A handful of Tic-Tacs in the center console also help on the mornings the brushing of teeth doesn’t happen.)

Seriously, though, all of us mama’s-whether we head to work or head home or whether we put the kids the bus…we have all lived an entire lifetime before our kids even hit the hallways of their school.  Whatever your situation, the best tip of all is to make sure there is some coffee (or tea, I suppose) waiting for you when you have that one sweet moment of time before you’re on to the next thing, and some good music or a podcast waiting to encourage you.  Keep up the good work, and may your Tic-Tac supply be plentiful.