I Am A Proud Slacker Mom When It Comes To School Volunteering

empty-primary-school-classroomI have never volunteered at my child’s school.

Okay, that’s a bold faced lie. I did volunteer once, at a classroom party, where my entire job was to help kids I’d never met before to ice some cookies, with the caveat that the children were to not eat those cookies when they were done.

I was a categorical failure at it, and all of the kids basically snuck bites of their cookies and the Room Mom was shooting me looks that said something like, I’m memorizing your face. You live on my shit list now.

There are a lot of reasons I don’t like to or want to volunteer at school. For one thing, I dislike other people’s kids. With few exceptions, I would just prefer not to be around children that aren’t mine. I’m never sure if I’m allowed to discipline another person’s kid, and I think the kids can smell that on me. In the aforementioned cookie example, the only child besides my own that I chastised for getting their cookie on was, unbeknownst to me, the Room Mom’s own kid. She clearly didn’t appreciate me intervening, and a weird time was had by all.

Another huge reason is that I don’t like walking around the elementary school. Fifth graders tower above me and their snickers cut me really deep. Also, teachers have asked me where my hall pass is, and yell at me to get to class. It is a singularly mortifying experience.

I know this makes me come off as a slacker, and that used to bother me, but now I wave my slacker flag high.

Some moms and dads are great classroom volunteers. They are kind and patient and have some kind of magical ability to find extra hours in a day but I am not one of them. That’s not to say, of course, that I’m entirely useless.

For one thing, I will throw money at the problem, and that makes me feel a little better. One resource the school always seems to need is dollars, so I will buy all of the bejeweled school sweatshirts and frozen pizzas that we’ll never eat if it means I can feel like I’m doing my part.

For another, I will do pretty much anything you need as long as I can do it at home. You want copies made? I’m your girl. You want stuff laminated? I’m finally allowed to use the laminater at the education supply store again. You want flashcards cut out? Envelopes stuffed? You need pom poms glued on to random surfaces or Box Tops taped to a sheet of paper? I am so here for you.

The fact is, we aren’t all meant to be super mom classroom volunteers, especially those of us who sometimes aren’t able to shower until long after the sun has gone down.

My lack of classroom involvement used to make me pretty self-conscious. What if the other moms could tell that I was kind of a lazy awkward person with unwashed hair? But now I don’t really care. I don’t need the glory of everyone seeing me do volunteer work at school. I just need the comfort of my couch and a label maker to feel like I’m making a difference.

(Image: Marko Poplasen/Shutterstock)


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