Am I Cut Out For The PTO?
My mother was on the PTA at my school growing up. When she wasn't working (she was a full-time teacher) or helping us with homework or driving us to our million activities, she was volunteering and doing work for the PTA. For her, it was something that she loved to do. She wanted to be involved. As a child, I saw that and I felt so proud. I remember one year she ran the School Fair...I literally felt like the coolest kid on earth. Not to mention, she ran a successful one and everyone was so excited. That feeling of pride for her, well... it was there. I felt it from my head to my toes.
Which is why, now that my kids are in school, I wanted to join the PTO.
Last year I sat on the PTO sidelines. William was in kindergarten, and I really didn't know much about the school or the teachers or the other parents. I figured I'd watch and observe. So I stayed in the background, not volunteering for too much, but really getting to understand the lay of the land.
This year they want "new blood." The "old" regime is moving on... their kids are going to middle school next year and they want the "younger" moms. Insert myself here. Believe me, I get it. I have one in 1st grade, one in kindergarten and two about to enter right behind them. I'm that "new" fresh meat.
At the first PTO meeting of the year in September, I went with a smile on my face, excited and anxious to hear about the school's happenings. As a blogger, I really don't have set hours. I'm always working and always "on" (so to speak). I actually went that night, knowing I had a Twitter party to host and knew I needed to leave early (or else). They started off the meeting introducing every single committee that the school offers. Each parent got up, explained what their committee was all about and told everyone what they needed for their committee to succeed this school year.
Then the chair of the committees stood up and said, "We still need someone to host the Halloween Dance Party."
Crickets. Literally crickets.
She smiled and said, "Well, if you think you'd be interested, let me know. I have two moms from last year running it, but we need one more."
At that point, I ducked out. As I was walking out, I felt bold. I felt confident that I could bring some newness and something fresh to the Halloween Party, so I did something I shouldn't have done. I volunteered to help run it. It's funny when the words came out of my mouth, I stood there. Did I really just volunteer myself for this Halloween Party? Why didn't anyone stop me?
But I prevailed. I kept going. I kept thinking, "My boys will be proud… my boys will be proud."
And so, I kept my name on that list.
5 weeks have passed since I volunteered.
I have screamed. I have cried. I have vented to my husband a thousand times.
It hasn't been easy for me.
This is all new to me. The people who were supposed to help out a lot, haven't been able to help out at all. I have been relying on moms that have been gracious enough to reach out to me to give a helping hand and lend some support. I have cherished these moms, I will never forgot their kindness.
I don't know how the Party will turnout. It's next week.
The DJ has been booked.
The venue has been booked.
The food has been assigned.
The games have been created.
The prizes have been bought.
The decorations have been ordered.
The volunteers have signed up.
There's not much left. But is hasn't been easy.
Sometimes… there are seasoned PTO moms who don't want to give up the power… and that's made it a little difficult for me. And then you find these gem moms (as I like to call them) who are there for you in a second. I'm always blown away by women helping women that they don't know. It's refreshing.
But you know what, I'm going to keep going.
I'm going to get through this party.
And I want to see the look in William and Alexander's eyes when I'm done. I want to see them proud.
Oh, mom… How the heck did you do this for 13 years with a smile on your face?