Thursday, February 9, 2012

F#@* It, Just Be Nice

I am about to become even more of a cliche than ever before...not just a suburban stay-at-home blogging mom who likes to run and loves Starbucks...there's more cliche a comin' people.  I feel like apologizing.  

My god, how did this happen?  I f-ing promise I was cool (or at least cool-er) once in my life.

Sorry for my lameness, but now it comes down to a blog post about volunteering (or lack there of) at my kid's school.  Big problems I know.  (Please believe me, I really do realize these are not life shattering problems.  I know big problems, don't you worry.)

This week I watched a blogger out there do a vlog about how frustrated she was that no one was volunteering in her child's class.  She was the room mom and she couldn't believe that people wouldn't reply and "want to help in their own kid's class."  She was angry and trying to be funny, but ultimately kind of making fun of "slacker" parents.  I was fired up after watching it.

Fired up because of her annoyance.  Fired up because of her lack of empathy.

Charlie's mom made this really cool coat for Mrs. Pearson when I was in kindergarten, we all signed our names on it and then presented it to her as a thank you at the end of the year.  A bunch of moms used to come in on lice checks day--you remember those right? where you lined up and the moms used tooth picks to look for those pesky little bugs.  I loved lice check days, so relaxing (yes I was even high strung in elementary school).

My own mother ran the talent show in fourth grade and helped to choreograph a very large dance number to Michael Jackson's "Thriller."  She helped plan class parties.  She taught first-graders the importance of wearing seat belts way before seat belt laws.

Those moms mattered, they made a difference and are remembered.

And I thank god for the modern day room moms.  

But here's my admission, I don't like volunteering at my kids' school.  Gasp!  The occasional special event or party is cool.  Helping with special projects like the sheep eye dissection--sign me up.
I may not help out in class, but I sure as hell help out during homework.  Or at least try, honestly, I'm not even really that great at the homework help.  But have you seen how much fun we have dancing in the kitchen? 

My problem isn't with what I do and don't do, it's the lack of empathy out there (remember the angry vlogger I mentioned).  If your thing is helping the PTA raise money for special assemblies for our kids, more power to you.  If you have time/money/ability/desire to help with reading groups at the kids' school, more power to you.

Empowerment not judgement. Empathy not anger.  I know you may be picturing me singing "Kumbaya" or saying "can't we all just get along?" right now, right?  And that's okay.  I would much rather be that person, than the angry, haggard woman blaming and judging people for not doing what I want to them to do (rest assured I have those days too however).

If you are a mom that volunteers at church and helps plan a fundraiser or a blood drive, but can't help in your kid's classroom, thank you.

If you are a mom that makes calls at a phone bank for your candidate or potential candidate (honestly whatever your political affiliation), but you can't help in your kid's classroom, thank you.

If you are a mom who works full time and does everything you can to be the best parent, but you can't help in your kid's classroom, thank you.

If you are a mom who is barely holding it together but you are taking care of your family and not sinking into the depths of a full blown depression, but you can't help in your kid's classroom, thank you.

Thank you for doing all that you can and parenting with intention and love, no matter how you express it.

See folks?  That's f-ing empathy and empowerment.  Try it.  It feels a hell of a lot better than bitterness, burn out and jealousy.

Parenting is hard, mothering isn't for wimps.  More cliches, but f@#* it, just be nice.  Appreciate what we all bring and bring it.  

And there you have it, the ultimate cliche....a mommy blog rant.


  1. WOW...I'm shocked there are no comments yet.


    2 little thoughts, that come from reading today's post...

    (Like your words) the best volunteering encouragement I heard at church... "Not everyone can play with 2 year olds, and if you can't we don't want you to do it"... there is something else out there that you like to and are good at doing. Do that!

    The other thought...
    I've volunteered on the PTA & at school for 7 years, now I'm in a different place in life and am now working outside the home regularly. WOW... it's a lot harder to do both... I'm thankful for the time I was able to, and for those that can now that I can't.
    Ya never know how hard it is for another, until you've experienced things from both sides. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could remember that...

    Thanks for reminding us all

  2. I love you Angela. You know I used to be that mom that volunteered at school all the time, then got annoyed and burned out by the time my oldest was in 4th grade. Then I had to go to work more than just 1 or 2 days when I felt like it. The people I can't stand are the OTHER PTA moms who will remain anonymous. Not to protect the innocent mind you, to protect me and the kids from the backlash if I dare even mention said school. Wait, yeah my kids would be the innocent!

    The other PTA moms were completely ungrateful! Never a thank you for chairing this or that committee, no showing up for the things YOU signed YOURSELF up for! Or the parents who would show up at the last possible moment to act like they did something, but then tell you to your face that they could have done it better!

    The PTA is a modern day all girls high school with all the cliques and backstabbing you remember. I hated high school, why the F&$# would I want to go back?

    So I sat my kiddos down and asked them straight out if they cared if I arranged the games for the holiday party (not Christmas party because that wouldn't be politically correct!)or the latest fundraiser. You know what they said. We don't care Mom as long as you are here when we get home.

    I am now a proud PTA dropout. I attend every play, musical, field trip and graduation form what ever grade they throw at me, but I will never again go back to high school.