You go to the school for the carnival or career night or a holiday party.
You see the table. The one situated right up front where you have to pass by it to get in.
Pull out your phone, look in the other direction, act like you are in a hurry.
For heaven’s sake, don’t make eye contact!
If you do they will ask. They will ask you to help with something.
Oh, you’ve heard their spiel before. “Give back,” “If not you then who,” “blah, guilt, blah!”
You don’t have time for this.
You have <insert number here> children.
You are extremely busy doing <insert *anything* here>.
I mean, come on. You’ve heard the horror stories.
And all these women at the table are not your type.
They probably stay at home (and thus are up at the school all the time and have plenty of time to spare).
They probably don’t have a life, so again, have plenty of time to spare.
You’ve heard it’s like a clique. That they think they are *something*. <insert flashbacks of Jr. High here>
No thank you.
There are <insert number> other parents here, plenty of whom must have time to spare and your time is more valuable than theirs.
Confession: I used to think that too.
That scenario up there…that was me.
Until a friend convinced me to help (just this once) with something.
Until my working mom guilt crept up.
Until my son was struggling and I realized I needed to be a better part of the village that was helping to raise this child.
Until I met the people I had unjustly judged.
Of the parents on our PTA Board, the majority work outside the home.
Of the parents on our PTA Board, the majority have multiple children who participate in multiple other activities.
Of the PTA Board, half are teachers/staff members at the school.
Unless we have a big event going on, the time given is typically a few hours a month.
Sure, there are sometimes difficult people. Just like there are difficult people at your work, or in your family.
I’ve made some awesome friends and created wonderful connections with the people at the school.
I’ve alleviated the working mom guilt and feel like I am giving back.
I’ve become the mom at the table.
The one trying to make eye contact.
Will you look at me?
Will you forget the stereotype?
Will you take a moment and listen, really listen?
Will you *sacrifice* a few hours a month to help make the school your kids go to a better place?
We’ll get things done and have a good time doing it.
If not, that’s ok.
I’ll try not to judge you like you’ve done me.
Now quick…look down, around, anywhere but here!
Don’t make eye contact!