24 Sep
I Volunteered to Be Class Mom. How Do I Get Out of It?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I was so happy that my kids went back to school last month that in a moment of weakness I volunteered to be class mom. I figured it would be a good way to stay involved with the school and how hard could it be? Well, two  months later, I’m ready to quit. There are nonstop emails from the PTA and other parents in the class. There are snack sign-up sheets, supplies that need to be bought and more coordinating than I could ever imagine.

It’s taking up too much of my time and I hate it.

Is there a nice way to quit or will it brand me forever?

Help,

Reluctant Class Mom

_________________________________

Dear RCM,

So.

So you didn’t heed the warning of million of class moms that came before you. You didn’t believe their cries of pain and desperation as they sat through PTA meetings, organized potluck dinners and lived through the terror of “reply all” while sending an email to a friend complaining about SOME PEOPLE in the class who make life IMPOSSIBLE for the rest of us.

You thought your sisters in classmomhood were exaggerating, didn’t you? You thought it couldn’t be that bad? Or perhaps you felt too good with your kids being back at school and out of the house that you had to tempt fate a bit, eh?

But all that is prologue, or as we say in the advice column business, the first three paragraphs of the advice column, assuming the first “So” counts as a standalone paragraph. 

Now that you are Class Mom and less than thrilled about, you have some options:

1. Move.  This has the obvious advantage that if you move out of the district (and preferably out of state) you will no longer be class mom.  Some disadvantages of the move include having to move and the possibility that once your kids are enrolled in the new school, you’ll be so euphoric about it that you’ll re-volunteer to be class mom again. Some lessons are tougher to learn than others, I’m afraid.

2. Claim confusion. As in “CLASS Mom?! I thought I was volunteering for ASS Mom!”  Very few people can pull this off, so let me know if you need an ass double if you try this.

3. Stick it out. Is it possible that it will get better? Perhaps after the initial emailing/coordinating frenzy everyone will calm the hell down and focus on Dancing with the Stars like normal people?

4. Trap a friend. Ask a friend or two in the class to be co-class mom(s) with you. Misery loves company but also, the division of labor will make for a lighter load. (It’s like I’m a mathematician or something.) Needless to say, you will need to have regular margaritas-fueled meetings to discuss class mom business.  As a matter of fact, invite her out for margaritas when you ask her. (And trap her after she’s had a few.)

5. Quit. I see this as a last resort, but if you absolutely, positively can’t stand to do this job for one more millisecond, let the powers in charge know and offer to help them find a replacement.

Good luck with your decision! And great news, there are only about 8 more months of school left!

Marinka, TMH

 

12 Responses to “I Volunteered to Be Class Mom. How Do I Get Out of It?”

09.24.12#1

Comment by Avprobeauty.

Do not quit. You will not be setting a good example for your kids. Persevere and next time, dont sign up for something without kmowing the weight of the
Job first. I agree with asking other moms ora friend for help, but do not quit.

09.24.12#2

Comment by StylinMom.

Yikes….sorry for your pain! I am going to remember this advice when I have a weak moment, and some overachieving PTA Mom is trying to sway me!! wink wink
M

09.24.12#3

Comment by I Volunteered to be Class Mom. How Do I Get out of it? | The Mouthy … | Captainslacko's Blogging Moms.

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09.24.12#4

Comment by Lib.

I’ve been on both sides of this: as a teacher and as a mom. My kids are several years apart and something made me decide to sign up as a class mom this year for the first time in ages. I agree that quitting should be an absolute last resort. Yeah yeah, we shouldn’t care what people say about us, etc. but the truth is that bailing on a job you volunteered to do won’t soon be forgotten. Hang in there!

09.24.12#5

Comment by Amy.

I agree that you’ll be setting a terrible example for your kids if you quit.

Set boundaries, ask for help, and don’t try to be the Martha Stewart of 2nd grade. But you don’t get to quit. Sorry.

Lisa Reply:

“Set boundaries, ask for help, and don’t try to be the Martha Stewart of 2nd grade.”

Exactly. Answering stuff from the PTA is one thing, but dealing with emails from every other parent in the class is something else.

09.24.12#6

Comment by Jamie@SouthMainMuse.

If the other parents keep emailing, suggest that they form a committee to take care of whatever they are all worked up about. I have the opposite problem. I’m supposed to get helpers for a fall festival and 5 cakes. I only have one person volunteer to bake something. It really is a no win job. Just do your best and stick it out. That’s my motto.

09.24.12#7

Comment by Ali.

Oh yeah, you definitely need to elicit the help of other moms. Just think…there had to be one other unsuspecting one who wanted to do it, but you beat her out.

09.24.12#8

Comment by dusty earth mother.

Delegate! Delegate!

I have nothing more to say.

09.24.12#9

Comment by Julie S..

As a long time class mom, I agree with the delegate idea, unless you’re a super control freak like me because you’ll never be able to trust anyone to do it the way you think it should be done.

However, I can help you with the hell that is reply all and massive number of e-mails for every sign-up. The website MySignUp.com is literally a lifesaver. Make one for class parties, snacks, etc. and everyone can see what is needed and select what they’d like to bring without clogging up your inbox.

09.24.12#10

Comment by One Funny Motha.

I would go with the “Ass Mom” excuse. That is the BEST advice.

09.30.12#11

Comment by Erin@MommyontheSpot.

I am going to bookmark this post and refer to it when I feel the urge to take over as my daughter’s Girl Scout troupe leader.

I say delegate, like Dusty Earth Mother. I also think it would be a good idea to set up a form email like “Thanks for your input. I’ll look into that at my earliest convenience.” That way they feel heard, and you can prioritize the ones you really need responses.

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