Last year, when I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom, I felt like I needed a rite of passage; something that would allow me to move from “working mom” status to “at-home mom” status. I racked my brain for a few days, and then it came to me. There is probably no better way to gain the at-home mom status than to join the PTA! In my mind, I’m thinking, “that is a total stay-at-home mom thing to do and I know they are always asking for help!” So I emailed the president, and told her that I finally had time to be part of the PTA. She emailed me back saying she was thrilled and sent me the information about the next meeting. At the time, I felt a little quiver in my heart thinking WOW – I can finally be one of those moms who my kids are always talking about that are at the school and helping out. The ones who when you walk into the office, are always chatting with the administrators and seem to know all of the teachers on a first name basis.
Well, I’m here to tell you, that was a BIG MISTAKE…HUGE! (As I type this, I’m picturing Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman as she goes back to the store where the ladies had shunned her and says this same line!) So ya…big mistake! Why? Because I felt like I stepped into an episode of “The Real Housewives of…I don’t care, pick one: OC, Atlanta, New Jersey.” From the outside it’s all glitz and glamour, but once you get on the insde, it’s all pettiness and back-stabbing. Ok…it’s probably not THAT extreme, but you get my point. But I do wonder…are all PTA’s this way or just ours?
I’m not going to bore you with all of the details, but I will tell you that I volunteered to help out with setting up and serving breakfasts during teacher appreciation week, and on the first day, I actually had to excuse myself and leave the room after a few minutes because I couldn’t stand all of the whispering and cattiness that was happening in the room. I mean, come on, these are grown women who are probably highly educated! I truly couldn’t believe it. After that day, I vowed never to be involved with the organization again.
So why am I writing about this now – nearly 6 months later? Because this year, I am the official PTA liaison for my daughters class. I know…I know…I should have listened to Nancy Reagan’s message and “just said No,” but when the teacher told me that no one had volunteered for the position and asked if it would be possible for me to fill that role – I honestly didn’t have the heart to say no. In reality, I should have told her about my horrible experience last year and maybe she would have figured out why no one else had volunteered, but instead, I just smiled and said “sure no problem.”
So I attended my first meeting this week and so far, so good. I didn’t see any of the “real housewife” mom’s at the first meeting, although I’m sure I will run into them during the year. There are enough bakesales, rummage sales and other events planned that I can probably not avoid it. But in the meantime, I will embrace the role of PTA member and when the cat-fights start, I will once again take the high road…or in my case…the exit door!
Until next time…Namaste!