Momservation: To say “yes” to any school committee is to forever commit to being taken advantage of in the name of your child’s education.
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I’d have to say one of the down sides to being a SAHM is people have the general feeling that you are just sitting around eating bon bons (especially if your kids are all in school) with oodles of spare time on your hands.
This includes my husband. To him, if there are no dishes in the sink and it appears some laundry has been done, I’ve had a really productive day. If we’re breaking this down to just the basest of concerns – this can be good or bad.
Good – all I have to do to keep him happy is wash the breakfast dishes and do a load of underwear.
Bad – He just doesn’t get what it takes to keep this ship afloat.
But, I love my husband, he’s a pretty great guy, and I will throw him a bone that he’s doing a bang-up job of working his tail off to provide for this family. We’re not picking on him today.
No, the people I’ve got a bone to pick with are the very people who should get me – other mothers.
It is my own friends, my own peers, my own community of (PTA) mothers that are always turning to me and saying, “Hey, Kelli – you’re just at home trying to establish a writing career with actual deadlines and endless marketing demands, plus you need to balance all that with the demands of parenthood – you have time to head the Fundraising Committee, be room parent, organize the set and costumes for the school play and drive on every field trip because no one else will volunteer.”
Actually, they don’t really say that, but that’s what I hear when someone once again tries to recruit me to another school project.
It’s not even a flattery thing where I can at least think of it is a nod to my skill set. It is strictly the need for a warm body and sucker who really thinks they’re just donating some materials for the class play. Only when you go to the committee meeting and no one else shows up that you realize you’ve been duped.
I don’t begrudge my working mother counterparts their stealth at avoiding getting roped into another “simple” school project that morphs into the same level of commitment as single handedly getting someone elected for president. I just wish I had access to standard excuses when someone backs me into a corner again in the name of enriching my child’s academic career:
– I can’t get the time away from work
– I’ve got meetings all day.
– I’m going to be out of town on business.
– My boss has really got me swamped.
– There’s just too much going on at work right now
People nod in understanding and back off when they hear these explanations of why they are unavailable to help. Nobody’s giving me the free pass for:
– I can’t get the time away from the washing machine.
– I’ve got errands all day.
– I’m going to be all over town on carpool duty.
– My kids have really got me swamped.
– There’s just too much going on at home right now.
But who am I kidding? All it’ll take is one of my working mom friends to say, “I feel so bad I had to miss another field trip,” or beg me to take pictures for them of the class play because they will be out of town on business, and not even the imminent threat of global warming could stop me from volunteering my time again.
If only they could be satisfied with the dishes in the staff room sink being washed.