What Is Enough?

Photo by alexanderdrachmann

I can see the humor in this, although at the time, I was shocked and more than a little angry.

I’ve never been particularly active at my daughter’s school, except for the few months when I was unemployed. Since I work during school hours, it isn’t practical for me to take a morning off and run over there to help (if I don’t work, I don’t get paid; one of the downsides of being hourly). There are plenty of non-working moms who flit around the school and help out.

I signed up to give tours of the current school to incoming rising 2nd graders. Since my daughter attends a magnate school, admittance is given to those who apply and who are tested into the right area. One of my best friend’s daughter is going there next year, and I wanted to give her the tour. (It didn’t happen because of a mixup in schedules, but that is another story).

As I was sitting at the front, waiting for a new group to come in for a tour, an outgoing mother was leaving and turned to me. She had two children go through the school already, and both her kids are at the school my daughter will be attending next year. She asked me a question…”what are you doing?” I interpreted that to mean where my daughter will be going to school next year, a logical assumption based on the general conversation that had just been happening. So I told her that my daughter would be going to the magnate middle school.

And then she said, “No, what have you done for the PTA here?”

After quickly sorting through several replies in my mind, I looked at her and said, “I’m doing it.”

Turns out she was the volunteer of the year a few years ago and has a habit of rubbing people’s noses into how much she does. The head of this year’s PTA, who overheard the conversation, told me this, and also told me to ignore her.

One of the things I have learned in Girl Scouts and through working various volunteer positions at my church is how to manage volunteers. You can’t belittle your volunteers. You can’t expect everyone to have the same level of commitment. And if you don’t work outside the home, you can’t expect others to forgo their work to be at the commitment.

Truth is, I am burned out this year. Girl Scouts, single parenting most of the time and my daughter’s outside school activities have turned me a bit crispy. I have even stooped to the level of begging my daughter to eat the yucky cafeteria food because it is too much to put together a peanut butter sandwich.

(I’m not alone: Jen Hatmaker: Worst End of School Year Mom Ever)

I am hoping that they summer will be a break for me as well, and that I get my game back by September.


Photo by alexanderdrachmann

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