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Bad (Room) Mommy

So Maddie’s been in school for a few
weeks now, and I’m starting to see how this school thing
works. Truthfully, it seems pretty exhausting.

I’m not talking about all the work Maddie does – though
she is prone to meltdowns on school days, simply from overload. No,
I’m talking about all the work that the parents are supposed
to do.

During Meet the Teacher night before
school started, parents were given the chance to sign up to help
with various parties throughout the year – Halloween,
Christmas, etc. I’m happy to do that sort of thing, and will
volunteer willingly. But then I see emails sent out asking for
“room moms”, with what seems like an awfully long list
of chores attached to said job description, and I start to catch a
glimpse of what the next twelve – nay, fourteen – years
of my life will be like: PTA bake sales, field trip chaperones,
“special” events. And even though I know that I’m
being petty and small, a tiny part of my soul thinks, “Hey,
aren’t I spending money so you’ll do this work

I know, I know. Several good friends of mine work at preschools,
and all of them are underpaid and underappreciated, and the schools
couldn’t function without volunteers. I’m an evil
person, and the mere act of writing this will probably guilt me
into volunteering for twice what I normally would. I’m just

But beyond the school volunteer thing, there’s this whole new
Mommy circle out there now. I’ve gotten emails every week
from mommies of kids in Maddie’s class who are trying to
organize a whole-class playdate on the days Maddie’s out of
school. And as much as I’d like to get to know the moms of
the fourteen other kids in Maddie’s class, the thought of
making all those new friends and keeping up with a whole separate
circle just exhausts me. Thanks to school, I hardly ever see any of
my “old” friends from the neighborhood as it is, and
those two “down” days are the few moments I get to even
try to schedule a playdate with the friends Maddie’s already
got! Add ballet lessons and family errands and, hey, how about some
unprogrammed “let’s just be a kid and play around the
house” time, and my week with Maddie already feels booked.

So I see those emails and know I should make an effort –
Maddie’s going to be friends with these kids the whole year,
and several will go to her kindergarten next year as well. But
truthfully, I can’t stir myself off my hiney to do the high
energy “Hi! I’m Maddie’s mommy, and I like long
walks and listening to Elmo” thing right now.

Maybe next week.


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