Why parents wear suits and sneakers

When I used to work in Sydney, I would often see professionals in the city wearing their beautiful suits paired with sneakers. I never really understood it. Sure, as a female, you may not want to be killing your feet in high heals on your commute to work so a more comfortable shoe makes sense, but there seemed to be a surprising amount of men and women doing it. Then I had children and all of a sudden, the penny dropped.

I was doing the day-care pick up after work one sunny Wednesday and the car park was surprisingly very busy so I couldn’t get my usual spot by the front door and had to park on the other side as far away from the front door as the car park goes. Now I am quite particular about my car spot as I have 3 children that I am trying to huddle into the car with 3 bags. Two of which can absolutely not be trusted in a car park and another that will usually listen but still cannot really be trusted. So the further away my car is from the front door, the higher my anxiety levels go that one of them is going to escape or get run over.

So, I go in, do the usual routine. Get Sofia, go to get the twins, try to leave, the twins run away… Sebe insists on waving goodbye to everyone and I am tottering after him in my clogs (that are awkwardly loud) and a floaty skirt thinking I look and feel like a total idiot shuffling across the wooden floors trying really hard not to fall over.

I eventually manage to gather up my children- and get them in the direction of the front door so we can leave. I pick up Lola and ask Sofia to hold Sebs hand so we can walk across the car park.

We get half way and Lola decides she doesn’t want to be held and starts the plank like squirm that is impossibly to keep a grip of so I put her down and tried to grab her hand. Nope, too late. She’s off.

I start running after her in my stupid clogs, 3 bags in hand, Lola’s bunny and trying to stop by skirt from blowing up in the wind. Lola is in stitches as she gets further away from me, that girl is a total sucker for a game of chasey. It took Sebe a moment to realise that his sister had escaped so he could join her (they copy EVERYTHING the other does) so I dramatically threw everything in my hands on the floor and swooped him up before he had a chance to run too.

So there I am, in my silly clogs, a skirt blowing up in the wind and a 15kg lump under my arm trying to run after my not quite 2 year old that is running rings around the car (And me, if we’re honest). I was laughing so much I could barely run, my clogs were falling off, my skirt was blowing up, Sebe and Lola are both howling with laughter thinking this is the best game ever and Sofia is standing their patiently waiting to be let in the car asking “Mummy, what is happening?”. My thought’s exactly Sofia.  

I’m quite embarrassed to admit that Lola managed 3 entire laps of the car before I managed to catch her. I Scooped her in the other arm and started the next obstacle challenge of trying to open the car door when there’s a twin hanging from both arms. I plonked Lola slightly across my knee and crossed my fingers she wouldn’t fall while I let go of her to open the door, hook my foot in and use my leg to pull it open. As I am getting a grip back on Lola to slide her into the car my skirt blew up- oh fantastic. This is where one’s mindset really comes into play. I could loose it and fall in a heap on the floor because this all feels really hard to deal with, or I can constantly repeat in my head how grateful I am to have three wonderfully charismatic children than keep me well and truly on my toes!

So now I get it. Surely all those people that are wearing suits and sneakers have children and in order to do the school/ day-care run they need to be fully prepared in their active wear. It was a total shambles. It’s all fun and games looking nice for work until you realise how impractical it is when you’re then trying to be a mum. All these other professionals are clearly much smarter than I am and are dressed ready and prepared to tackle any physical challenge that is thrown at them during pick up.

So there it is…. the real reason people wear suits and sneakers. When I change before leaving work into full active wear with elbow pads and a helmet and people ask if I’m off to do some extreme sports, the answer is no. I am just going to pick up my children.

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