Just say no

Tonight was open house night for Sarah’s second-grade class. You know, meet the teacher, see the classroom and file past about a dozen sign-up sheets for volunteer “opportunities.” These sheets have been a problem for me in the past. So you know what I mean, here is what I signed up for last year:

  • Leading my daughter’s Girl Scout troop
  • Teaching Junior Achievement in Sarah’s class (5-week commitment)
  • Leading a Junior Great Books group in Grace’s class (10-week commitment)
  • Assisting in four science labs
  • Shelving library books once a month
  • Baking for and attending assorted class parties/school events
  • Working two shifts at the school book fair

I know parents who volunteer for much, much more and parents who volunteer for absolutely nothing. The point is, I signed up for way more than I wanted last year.

The operative word is “volunteer.” It’s not like anyone makes me do this stuff. But typically I look at those lists, my working mom guilt kicks in and I write down my name.

No more. I’ve already stepped down from Girl Scouts. The girls were great, but leading a troop takes way too much time. And tonight, faced with the signup sheets and their promise of supermom status, I signed up for only one science lab and a Halloween party.

If time allows, and if I feel like it, I may sign up for something else as the year goes by. But only if I want to, not because I feel like I ought to.

This whole supermom thing is a load of crap anyway.

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12 Responses to Just say no

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    I’m so proud of you – I think you’ve met my dare!

  2. notquiteold says:

    I guess I would do library books… they are never belligerent, cranky, or loud.

  3. workmomad says:

    Your school has very high expectations. My daughter’s school only asks parents to volunteer for 3 hours any time during the school year – and field trips and parent/teacher conferences count. I am very lucky in that my child’s teachers always snap up my offer to chaperone the yearly field trip. I don’t know what that says about my daughter, but she and I and her class mates have a good time together. So, one field trip = my name on the “Wall of Fame” which doesn’t impress me but means everything to Kayla + my yearly commitment to the school and then I am good to go!


  4. Wow. Good for YOU! This whole supermom thing IS a load of crap, ’cause the kiddoes are not having a good time when we’re all stretched and stressed. I think the object with kids and school is good two-way communication with the teacher, all the other stuff is supposed to be for fun. Isn’t it?

  5. Gilly says:

    Go you! It amazes me how much bravery there is in saying no. It seems like it would be so simple, but other people’s expectations always get in the way…

  6. Ah, spoken like a real mom…it is a load of crap. 😉

  7. Pingback: Crazy mom confessions | If I Were Brave

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