Parent volunteering @ school
Like a knife through the heart my kindergartner said to me the other day, "Mama, you've only been a parent volunteer like once. How come?" Ouch. Well, son, because your dad and I arranged our work schedules to drop you off when school starts and pick you up when it ends (no easy feat) and I really, really hate to say it but there's just not much more time in our tightly-wound work-family schedule for volunteering (even though we both work 75% schedules). And if I take time off work to volunteer who'll be around to hang out with you when school is closed? Over your Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring and summer vacations? 'Cause I surely don't have that many vacation days. Not even when combined with my husband if we never took a day off together. Which sounds really fun, doesn't it?
Yes, I clearly have some unresolved issues here. How could you tell? And to make matters worse, when I spoke with my own mom about it, who stayed home when I was young, she recalled the dilemma, too, but from a different angle. That the working moms rarely volunteered and she picked up the slack. Yikes! Exactly what I fear is happening now. I hate it when other people pick up my slack, but I'm just not sure how many times I can be at school when in my few school day non-working hours I have a 2-YO in tow. You know?
I generally like the idea of volunteering in the school (that village thing), but wonder what is the 'right' amount, and how much we are just filling in for unfunded staff positions. One job our son's teacher needs covered is someone to walk the kids around the building when they are in small groups for reading, because she can't be in three places at once. Another is weekly parent envelope stuffing (my job!), lost & found tidying (me, again), and helping kids check out books during library time (just one librarian and so many kids).
What do you think? I'm new at this, and want to do it right, but feel like I'm not pulling my weight and disappointing my son, to boot. And we're only six weeks into the school year. Still time to redeem myself, right?