Wednesday, May 2

My Personal PTA Liberation

I've just never been one of those girls. I never wanted to go to the prom, I didn't really like going out drinking, I don't need to know what everyone is doing all the time. I'm not the kind that craves those things. Not that I don't like those people but I'm just not them, or maybe they aren't my people. I like to be open though, I like to be accepting and if I can, I try to avoid judgyness. I have done a pretty good job of being true to myself in that way, but then children came and with them a whole new set of self doubt. Take for example, Eden's first year of school.

I was suckered into it thinking I was helping, That PTA thing. I was being an active mom and because I'm a young mom (I'm the bridge between teenage moms and the moms that actually had some of a career before getting pregnant. I wear my gray hair with pride to maybe convince one of those set of eyes that look at me that way at pick up time that I am Old Enough.) I jump into these things full force to break a few stereotypes, or to maybe upset a few statistics. So i signed on to be the Arts In Education organizer for the entire Elementary school. At first I thought it would be easy. Some silly friend who wasn't really paying attention told me it was "like, you pick up face paint and things, then they refund you." no, no. It was not like that at all. It was getting plays and artists to come to school and perform but also working closely with the principal who has exactly 2 hours a day for things like this to happen but only if it's sunny and nice.

I am phone shy. I am a procrastinator. I know these things about me. And yet I did it anyway because I was making a difference in my child's education. Except, I wasn't the girl for the job. So I did the minimum. There were some really cool things that came to school for the kids to see, puppet shows and plays. But I didn't do a stellar job and there were some miscommunications that made me want to cry. There were some jabs at meetings that I tried to defend myself against and ignore after the meeting was over. I have very thin skin. I know this too. I beat myself up over it even thought I knew it wasn't for me.

So we move on to when Eamon goes to Kindegarden. Similar pattern, different events. I bake for the auction. I do the gossip out in front to see when they are adding a new Kindergarden class and why and who will get moved and can I keep my child from getting moved? Probably with the help of some PTA friends. Well, I shouldn't say that. What I should say is, yes, the squeaky wheel does in fact get the grease. But this never was right for me.

So just a little while ago I started to look at the real connections I have made around school, The people that actually listen when I talk and don't ask leading questions. The people that I feel relieved to see out in front, under the tree at dismissal. The people I think are pretty amazing people and parents. I started to notice that they aren't PTA busys, they help maybe once or twice a year and that's it. So I'm ok with not being That Mom because I know that someone else is and she is better at it than me. Eden and Eamon will be ok if i don't head a committee or have a Great Fund Raiser Idea! I will continue to bake and make things for whenever they need baking and making because that's the mom I am. I don't know what took me so long. Phew.


Nell said...

Good girl. You deserve to give yourself a break, and anyway, how are you supposed to have time for PTA stuff if you're also supposed to having a glass of wine with me?

Andrea said...

You're right Nell! Plus, i am way more fun when having wine with you then in a PTA meeting. Some other alpha can be fun at the PTA meeting for me. I'll just read the minutes.

evboevbo said...

One time Dad was president of my youth hockey league. I don't remember thinking 'Dad is doing this for me.' I more remember thinking 'Dad is stressed out and grouchy.'

Love by Lauren said...

Like he wasn't always?

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