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Yes, I'm THAT PTA Mom

Croton on Hudson, New York, USA
Photograph by Getty Images

School has started and while I’ve always been happy and willing to volunteer in my children’s classrooms, this year I'm stepping it up. I officially joined the PTA committee at our school and now I'm totally THAT mom. You know the one. The mom who is always asking you to bring in cupcakes or attend that meeting. The one you probably try to avoid at all costs when dropping your kid off at school.

But hear me out.

I don’t want to be annoying or judgmental, and I know that not all parents can participate so heavily in every school activity. Many parents work full-time. They have enough on their plates trying to keep life moving. I, however, have found myself in a life stage where I have the time and flexibility to help out.

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I love our school. It’s a small school and we've gotten to know almost everyone that works there. It feels like a second family to me and I’m grateful for how they love and care for my children during the school day. I’m also nosy and I like to see what goes on in the classroom and during special activities. So in the past I've volunteered as room parent, helped with book fairs, chaperoned field trips, and generally tried to support the teachers however they needed.

But now I’m on the committee. Now I’m wearing a special t-shirt and trying to convince other parents to purchase a shirt as well. Now I’m reminding parents about upcoming meetings and waving a sign-up sheet in their faces.

I know some parents probably see me and try to avoid eye contact. They try to slip on by hoping to go unnoticed. But I can’t just let them slip away. I have to catch their attention and flash them my biggest smile. I have to talk up any upcoming volunteer opportunities. Because we need help. We can’t do it all! We need other parents to give of their time and money, too.

So next time you see me, please don’t run away.

I promise I’m not trying to shame anyone into giving more than what they have to give. I’m just trying to find the easiest way for you to volunteer. For one parent that may mean manning the donut sale table we have once a month. For another parent that may mean dropping $5 towards a special project. Some parents have more time on their hands than others. So it’s my job to coordinate volunteers and make sure everyone is finding the opportunities that work best for their time, schedule, interests and budget.

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I know the PTA isn’t everybody’s thing, and that’s OK. I’m pretty sure neither one of my parents ever attended a PTA meeting in all my life. They probably didn’t even know what the PTA was. And it’s fine because other parents with more flexible time filled in the gaps. Right now, that’s me.

So next time you see me, please don’t run away. I promise I won’t take it personally if you can’t volunteer, but you know I have to ask because I’m totally that PTA mom now.

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