Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Day 11: Say No To The PTA and Room Mom Guilt-free

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We send our kids to school worried about them making friends and meeting new people. But the social scene is usually easier for the kids to navigate than the parents. Few things are more divisive than the PTA and Room Mom. Often these volunteer assignments cause a great divide between the working moms and the stay-at-home moms.

The working moms snipe that they don’t *have* time to bake red velvet cupcakes with each child’s name piped in coordinating frosting and the stay-at-home moms gripe the working moms *never* help, sending store-bought cellophane goody bags with, shudder, twist ties instead of bows to substitute for their presence.

These are, of course, stereo-typed generalizations, but if you’ve got kids in school you know them to be spot on.

So here’s the thing, this isn’t about how you fill your 8-5. The real question is does being PTA president or room mom speak to your time, skills and talents? If so, then do it. If not, pass.

No one is giving you permission to be a slacker. No one is saying you don’t need to step up and participate in whatever way you can. You don’t need a specialized degree or to be a people person to work the school carnival Tic-Tac-Toe Apple Booth or to help set up for the book fair.

But you do need to leverage what you’ve been given. In this season if you can make the time to be present, be present. If in this season, you need to be the mom who signs up to bring the napkins and plates and who gives the teacher an extra gift card at Christmas, then do that.

You don’t have to justify it. You don’t need to excuse it. You’re leveraging your time.

The same goes for your skills.

If you’re a whiz bang at organizing and can whip up a low-budget theme party, sign up as room mom. If you’re not, stick to what you know.

My pediatrician tells her husband that doing the dishes drains her creativity. Hear, hear. I‘m so glad she uses many of her evenings to check-in on her patients instead of standing in front of a sudsy sink.
It fulfills her and is a tremendous support for my kids and me.

Maximizing your skills benefits not only you, but everyone around you. 

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