HOW TO SURVIVE THE PTA
By Tania Baker
I walk into the teacher’s lounge, ten minutes late, on purpose, and sit behind that really tall dad and keep my head down. No, I’m not a teacher who’s late to the principal’s meeting and no, I am not in trouble for telling my kid she’ll never multiply fraction by decimals in real life. No, I am a bad PTA mom.
Joining the PTA is an exciting endeavor, at first. It’s not until you commit a cardinal sin, that things go south. You see, if you have different ideas, you are an outcast. I made the mistake of suggesting we sell t-shirts that are usually given away to pay for a field trip that we had lost our grant for the previous year. Now, I’m the mom who sneaks in and avoids taking the reins on projects. But, my shortcomings can be your education. Here I give you HOW TO SURVIVE THE PTA.
Volunteer for something you have the TIME to do without losing sleep or sanity. If you work full time and have three kids and your spouse has the organization and mentality of a ten year old, don’t volunteer to run the fall carnival. Instead, volunteer to run a booth on the day of. You’ll be there with the kids anyway and it will just be a few hours of your day.
- HAVE RESTRAINT
Don’t volunteer for every project. Your child won’t think ‘ugh, my mom sucks because she isn’t constantly at my school and in every project.’ In fact, the older your kids get, the less they want you at school. Don’t get me wrong, they want you to help out but they don’t want you around all the time.
- POSITIVITY IS CONTAGIOUS
Go in with a positive attitude. I can’t tell you how many parents come in dreading the meeting and I think ‘why did you come?’ Well obviously, it’s because they’re gluttons for punishment. Of course, I’m kidding. They just want to be involved. If you go in like a Debby or Donald Downer, people are going to treat you like that. Also, be aware, these volunteers have been doing this for a while and some tend to be on the controlling side. Know that it is all about helping the school, which helps your kid too!
Lastly, just do what you enjoy! Life is too short and goes too fast to worry about what other people think. Help your child, help your school but also help yourself. No parent is perfect! Remember that! Embrace it! Repeat it until you feel comfortable enough to walk into that PTA room with your head held high, you can sit in front of me.