Want to be a Room Mom? Don’t Do It!

Let me tell you a little secret, being a room mom sucks.  Though, I suppose, this is only a secret to the  lazy asses smart people who knew not to volunteer.  And trust me, I would not have volunteered if it wasn’t for First Son’s food allergies and being in a new school.  In his old school, I never had the pleasure (read sarcasm) of being called room mom and not by choice. They “frowned” upon siblings being at the parties, and well, First Son’s got two of them.  Lucky me.  But I could be part of the party committee, which was the one and only route into the classroom.  If your name wasn’t on the list, you weren’t getting in that school.

Being part of the committee allowed me to find out what was coming into the classroom, or rather, what could potentially be going down my child’s throat (and possibly causing it to swell).  Call me selfish, but that’s all I was really interested in, anyway.

I registered the boys for their new school, two days before it was scheduled to start.  I had no idea how things worked, so I threw my name out as room parent.  If I had known how it worked, I would have just been the parent volunteer, popping in and out at my leisure, checking the ingredient list, working a few stations, before moving on to Second Son’s room, who, by the way, would love for me to show up at one of his parties.

But, no.  I had to volunteer for room mom, seduced by the email that implied it was a hotly contested job that would go to the mothers that hadn’t been room moms, before.  I’m pretty sure the mom that sent out that farce worked in sales or advertising before becoming a career PTO mom, which, by the way, is another thankless, full-time, UNPAID, job.

What can I say?  Some people enjoy being martyrs, and thank goodness they do, because I don’t know about your PTO, but our PTO, as well as the one at my last school, does A LOT for the teachers, students, and community through fundraising.

The worst thing about being a room mom is that all your work coincides with every major holiday, and in case you’re new to these parts, my life is chaotic enough without planning a two hour party with five stations and a snack so twenty-three children are occupied every second of one hundred and twenty minutes.  What the hell happened to a cupcake and some Christmas music at the end of the day?

And if Christmas shopping, collecting money for the teacher’s gift (what was I thinking) and just attending to my children’s every day activities, which are numerous and time consuming (hockey), and special ones, like Little Lady’s holiday party, I suggested that we make miniature ginger bread houses with twenty three kids.  Except, I didn’t really research this idea before suggesting it.  Once I started to see what was involved (washing out twenty three random, gross, milk containers), it was too late to back out.  Believe me, I tried, but my co-room mom, who by the way, must think I am very lazy, wouldn’t let me.So, we did it.  She did the lion’s share of planning the five stations and I washed milk containers, and today, we pulled off a successful two hour class party for twenty three third graders, one of whom (mine, of course) went home early with a stomachache, after indulging in too much decoration and not enough house building.

And you know what?  It was kind of fun.


2 thoughts on “Want to be a Room Mom? Don’t Do It!

  1. I did not volunteer, I was recruited to be a co-room parent. The other room parent just happened to have some major life changes so she has the title but so far has not really helped. Hopefully, I won’t be doing this again. Did I mention we are in a bilingual classroom which means I can’t communicate with slightly more than half of the parents since they don’t speak english, or at least pretend not to. Oh, and about 1/2 of the class is also economically challenged… which doesn’t help with fund raisers since they are the ones usually receiving the “gifts.” No, I do not know how we wound up in this class that is in a school that is predominately upper middle class.

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