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When Moms Should Say Yes To School Volunteering

When Moms Should Say Yes To School Volunteering

When Moms Should Say Yes To  School Volunteering

Yesterday reality hit.  I discovered my week could go for easy peasy to crazy daisy in about 30 minutes flat.  One simple meeting and my lips took over and kept saying, yes, yes, yes,

And so here I sit, adding dates to my calendar that were once so pristine white.

What happened to my “just say no button”?

Did my mommy brain simply delete the word no from lack of use? Did my guilt of not buying the last Angry Birds t-shirt for the first day of school cause me to sign up for every little thing they put in front of me.

I have to be honest, its none of the above.

No, I am not a nit-wit.  I know that in most magazines, current self-help books and other related material they keep telling us moms to say no and to make more time for me.   And I totally get that, in fact, you will probably hear me whining when the holidays hit and I still have this crazy schedule on top of everything else.

But you see, this mommy-no mentality is starting to backfire.

So many parents are saying no that the handful left saying yes are frazzled and stressed.

These folks are providing a huge service to our children and deserve cookies and cocoa every Christmas if you ask me.

What is this work for?

Well in our school the PFA ( Parent Faculty Association) raises funding for some fun things but mostly basics for what we took for granted when I was a child as well as my oldest son, who is the ripe age of 25.

  • Physical Education
  • Library – including the books, computers, and most of the Librarians pay.
  • Music
  • Art
  • Dance (well, I thought the dance class was silly  but the children love it)
  • Computers and Technology Labs
  •  Earth Week and other special events. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Each School is Different, but you get the idea.


I can remember when I was room mom for my oldest son’s class my job was to bring cupcakes and punch for parties and popsicles for Testing Week.

Now room moms are handed a manual on how to get all the volunteers, money, donations and countless other items accomplished on a calendar full of fundraising dates that would baffle and dazzle any large charity.

Stop Saying No To Volunteering For School

What I am trying to say in a nutshell is I simply had to stop saying no and start saying yes!  

  • Yes, so that my son can have access to modern library selections and new computers for labs.
  • Yes, so that my son can take PE once a week, while I sit here and think why not twice or more.
  • Yes, so that he can be introduced and participate in the fine arts just as my oldest son and myself had the opportunity to participate.
  • And finally yes!  So that the PFA president and her partners the rooms moms and other volunteers who work so hard every week can spend more time with their families.

When we moms learned the no-word the other moms had to take up the slack.

I am not saying we have to break down and work part-time volunteering for the local elementary school.

I am just saying when that paper comes from the PFA or the teacher and there are slots to fill or items to donate just say yes to a couple.

Say Yes! It’s okay to say yes once in a while.

And if you are an over-whelmed say-yes mom, then encourage the Just Say No Moms with kind words and bribe them with Starbucks if you need to do so. They are probably terrified you are going to make them sign a binding contract to devote all their spare time to volunteering. Reassure them and keep the promise of a certain amount of time and do not ask for more!

So I leave you with this to think about?

How long has it been since you said yes to helping out at school?

How long has it been since you said no?

When you find the perfect balance or if you already have please comment.  You may save the sanity of the Say- Yes Mom and give a little boost to the Say- No Mom.

But remember we are all just rocking and doing the best job we know how and that is what matters in the end.  But we also need to remember that our children deserve the absolute best we can offer them and if volunteering at the Book Fair or Harvest Festival will help get the tools they need then we need to find some way to reach out and help.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program. 


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  1. I’m amazed at how much schools have changed in the last 30 years, finding the things that we took for granted to no longer be considered a “requirement” for school.

    I say yes as often as I can, though sometimes it feels like there’s a paper coming home from the PTA or my son’s teacher every other day with something they need for the room or something they need to collect for. I’m learning to pick what I can do. Extra supplies? Usually not a problem because I have a ton lying around the house (it’s almost compulsive the way I buy office supplies). Huge bags of a specific kind of food… not always something I can do. Especially when they’re asking every week because snack time just isn’t covered and, with our school being one of the most impoverished in the district (as well as the largest), many parents not having the financial ability to help out.

    For all that I know the days of my youth were far from perfect, there are times when I wish my son could have just a little bit of it.

    1. Yes it is amazing that schools have changed so much these past years. It really breaks my heart. But what breaks my heart more is magazines and books telling moms to take ME time so much. I mean I get having a lunch out with girlfriends, time at churches for bible study and date nights. But where I live women spend more time primping and working on their physical appearance and then get to school and play hide and seek with the room moms to avoid them at all cost.

      It really is a no win situation. The states are giving less and less, the schools are having to service more and more bilingual students and the economy has stripped away everything else.

      I just feel that if each parent said yes to the tiniest thing it would even the playing field up a bit. Even if it is just cutting out leaves for Thanksgiving or reading to the class while the teacher plays catch up.

      God Bless You Amber for giving your time and treasure when you can.


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