24 Oct
Ugh. People Keep Asking Me to Do Things

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

Someone at my kids’ school is spreading terrible rumors about me: they’re saying I am organized and friendly

So now all the organizations at school are trying to get me to volunteer to run this or that. Room parent, girl scout troop leader, fundraising – it never ends!  All these requests are being hung over my head with begging eyes and claims of “Good for the children and community” blah blah blah.

I haven’t had a moment to myself since the start of this century. Now that my kids are older I almost have free time during school hours, these rumors are encouraging involved members in the community to recruit me and take it all away.

It’s not my fault I own a P-Touch label maker and positive attitude.
How do I make them all go away?


Uninvolved & Hiding in New Jersey


Before we start with the advice, I’m going to give you a choice.: Blunt or sugar-coated?

If you go with option A:

Dear Sap,

I’m afraid that unless you were born with a P-Touch label maker instead of an arm, it’s all your fault.  I mean, who forced you to buy that label maker? We all see them at Costco, but most people just have a quick peek and keep on walking. Because nothing good can come from owning one.  Sure, they’re fun at first. You make the “Mom’s Special Juice” label for the Chardonnay and “Place dirty dishes here” one for the dishwasher, but then what? You’re going to want to label something that actually leaves the house and that’s how the whole world knows what you’re capable of. You think the 99% aren’t going to want to get in on that action?

And don’t even get me started about that pleasant personality of yours. I know some people believe that it’s just how some people are, but I’ve always considered it a choice.  And you didn’t choose wisely. So I’d start rethinking your approach to life. Enough with the smiling and being agreeable. Watch a few hours of Real Housewives of Any County and take notes. You’ll want to project whoever gets bleeped out the most at the reunion show, because you can bet that no one’s asking her to help in the name of the children.

So in order to have any chance at happiness and free time, deep six that P-Touch and transform your personality. You’re welcome!

If you insist on Option B:

Dear Lovely,

How wonderful that the school  community sees you as an asset! Every child deserves to be in a school where he or she feels supported by the parent body! Why, if it weren’t for parent volunteers like you, our schools (and children) would really suffer. And ending child suffering is a very admirable goal!

But of course you need to balance it with your own life and need for free time. So, how about you select one project (or two, if you can squeeze it in!) and then beg off the others, saying that you’re already committed and don’t want to overextend. That way you have some time for yourself and the children suffer just a little!

Another idea would be to lend someone that P-Touch. Just tell them where you buried it. They’ll dig it up themselves.

Good luck!

Marinka, TMH

4 Responses to “Ugh. People Keep Asking Me to Do Things”


Comment by StephanieG.

There’s nothing worse than being that nice mom people can count on!! Well, actually, there is, but that’s a whole other reply.

People will give you as much to do as you are willing to take on. As hard as it will be, you’ll have to beg off a time or two (or ten), and eventually they’ll move on to someone else they can label as the go-to Mom.

If you’re always around and you’re always available for their little chores, they are always going to seek you out first when it’s time to get something done.

Play a little hard to get. Take on the jobs you want and turn down the ones you don’t. You don’t need to make any excuses, just decline their request politely and don’t feel guilty about it.

Put the control in your life back in your own hands instead of theirs, and it will make the tasks you do to take on more enjoyable.

In the meantime, I suggest you raffle off your P-Touch for some extra bottles of “Mommy’s special juice.”


Comment by dusty earth mother.


I suggest you do a public burning of your glue gun. Shrieking and dancing. Naked. No one will ever ask you to do anything again.


Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

I think the problem here is your incapability of saying no.
They beg you to do things? You beg them not to ask, end of story. Sooner or later they are bound to tire out and go to someone else who’s “organised and friendly”. I guess they say so to your face, so that you can’t refuse their request without seeming unfriendly? It’s an old technique, and it’s called manipulation…


Comment by Melanie.

Quietly tell one of the head gestapo that you’re unexpectedly pregnant and can’t take on anything more at the moment. If this falls on deaf ears, mention that you’re not sure who the father is. That should do it. Even when you don’t begin to show, you will
have bought yourself at least a year or two off.

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