I Wear My Nightgown To School Drop-Off, And I Don't Give A Damn

by Colleen Dilthey Thomas
Originally Published: 
I Wear My Nightgown To School Drop-Off, And I Don't Give A Damn: mother and daughter in car
Courtesy of Colleen Dilthey Thomas

I wear my nightgown to drop-off. Before you let your mind wander too far, that gown is 100 percent cotton, hits me right at the ankle and has lambs all over it. I don’t get up at 5am to go to Orange Theory. You won’t see me flipping pancakes on a Tuesday. We’re more of a “slurp down that cereal and get in the car” kind of family. I don’t have the time, nor the inclination, to primp just to wave at someone exiting the lot. I affirm that neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night is going to make me get dressed to take my kids to school.

Courtesy of Colleen Dilthey Thomas

In order to make such a bold statement, you’d probably guess that I have a clean record of lamb-clad drop offs. Nothing has ever gone wrong, or I’d certainly stop doing this. Right? To the contrary, I’ve had a few scrapes along the way. Of course I’ve chugged that mini into the school parking lot on fumes. No way I was getting home; I’ve pulled into the nearest gas station and hopped out. Sure, the people in their power suits and clean khakis looked confused, but I swiped my card and started pumping. There was a time when I would have thoroughly judged a woman with no bra and a faded gown at the pump in a pair of Ugg house shoes. But that was four kids and 1000 stretch marks ago. Now, I don’t give a damn.

Courtesy of Colleen Dilthey Thomas

Yeah, I’ve been judged at the pump. I’ve also caught a couple of side eyes at Target. I decided to make soup one cold winter day and scheduled a drive up for after I dropped my boys at school. It was chilly, so I was in my flannel owl jams that day. My order wasn’t quite ready, so I had to wait a few minutes for delivery. My darling daughter was potty training and announced that she had to go, “five.” That meant emergency. Too cold to teach her to pop a squat, I had no choice. We marched into that store, wearing just jams; who has time for coats? We pranced past the service desk, the Dollar Spot, and several wide-eyed customers and hit the first stall. We made it just in time. After she did her business, we snapped a selfie to commemorate the day. She decided that she needed a cake pop and a Frappuccino for her troubles. We stood in line clad in flannel and smudged eyeliner waiting for our treats. I don’t give a damn.

Courtesy of Colleen Dilthey Thomas

The ultimate performance in my pajamas came on another chilly morning when we were so late for school I had a second Diet Coke because there was no chance in hell we were making it on time. When we arrived, I looked at the clock, looked at my kids, took a deep breath and got out of the car. We stood at the door, all five of us in different stages of embarrassment and horror, and waited to be buzzed in. I offered no explanation as to why we were so tardy, just that I hoped they enjoyed the show and to have a great day. My kids were mortified and didn’t even turn to say goodbye. The whole office had a great laugh. I don’t give a damn.

Courtesy of Colleen Dilthey Thomas

On most mornings, no one sees me chugging a Diet Coke in my gown as I buzz through suburbia. But even if they do, it’s really fine. My kids are dressed, they’ve had breakfast, their lunches are packed and their homework should be finished, if they’re telling the truth. I do go home and shower and get dressed and put on my makeup and all that jazz, because I actually like myself that way.

But every so often, I don’t, and I’ll show up at pickup in the same nightgown. Don’t worry, I never get out of the car. But even if I had to, I don’t give a damn …

This article was originally published on