Don’t Be A Volunteer Mom If You’re Going To Bitch About It
Thereâ€™s the PTA who wants your time and, of course, youâ€™ll need to duke it out if your children are small to get the coveted title of Room Parent, and then thereâ€™s the book fair, library, lunch duty, party planning, staff appreciation, Halloween, on and on it goes. And thatâ€™s just the school. Thereâ€™s snack coordinating and team parties for sports, scouts, recitals. If something involves your child beyond you parenting them, itâ€™s expected that youâ€™ll pony up your time–free of charge–and volunteer. This year instead of signing up, I say pass it along. Volunteer less. The only thing worse than not volunteering is being a resentful volunteer mom.
I know this because Iâ€™ve met many women who shouldnâ€™t have volunteered their time, but signed the form, smiled, hated it and were downright jerks about the whole thing. Last year, for instance, my family moved to not only a new school district, but a new state. For whatever reason, my email address never made the gradeâ€™s distribution list for information. Before arriving in our new state and my daughter in her new school, I signed up for the schoolâ€™s PTA e-newsletter. My daughterâ€™s teacher had my email and we communicated. I thought everything I needed to know, I knew. I was wrong.
Fifth grade celebrations have become mini-graduations as the students rise to sixth grade. I anticipated this, but information never arrived. A friend tipped me off that the school puts together a slideshow of pictures set to music that includes a baby picture and a current picture of each student. This kind of send off, while sweet, led to a downright nasty email exchange between me and a volunteer mom Iâ€™d never met. Fearing that my daughter wouldnâ€™t be included because I never received an email about when to hand in pictures, I found the celebration coordinatorâ€™s email, sent the pictures and was told I was too late. The presentation was finished.
So I went to the school to ask questions. Without knowing how the celebration worked, I wanted to know if there was someone else who would take my pictures, if I could do the work myself, if anyone was willing to not let one student be left out. With only sixty students, the class wasnâ€™t large. And who, in their right mind, would want one of them left out?
Someone who shouldnâ€™t have volunteered, thatâ€™s who.