"When I became a mother, I made a mental list of all of the things I would do differently and had a grand plan to make my children adore me." - Choosing Love
When I was in elementary school, I wanted the kind of mother who chaperoned class field trips and brought cupcakes to school for the class Valentine's Day party. Instead, I got the kind of mother who had to be reminded by her 7 year old to sign the field trip permission slips and wouldn't have known a Valentine's Day cupcake if one was delivered to her by Cupid himself. So, somewhere along my path to crazy, I decided to be the kind of mother I never had. Thus, the list and, let me tell you, that little list is going to be the death of me. Despite the fact that common sense should tell me otherwise by now, I keep perusing that mental list and checking things off. That is how a shy, introverted person who is prone to mocking "joiners" became a room parent for her son's class.
Should you be considering life as a room parent, let me provide some helpful information. Room parents are not the same as they were back in the olden days. Room parents don't sweep into the classroom smelling of Charlie and holding a plate of beautifully iced cupcakes, moving all the children to stare in adoration. No. The only kind of sweeping I have done thus far is in the classroom with a broom. I also cleaned out the organics recycling bin. Nothing says "I love my child" like cleaning blackened mold from a trash can in a tiny janitor's closet on a Saturday morning. My other tasks have included e-mailing parents to ask them to sign up for the parent potluck and to volunteer for the school event that our class is hosting. I have been drowning in e-mails. I know. I could call these people on the phone but I am shy. I freak out when I have to talk to people I don't know. If I know you, I will talk your ear off and have a grand old time doing it. If I don't know you, I will smile awkwardly and look at my shoes. You will most likely think I'm a...well, not a very nice person. So, the room parent gig requires more time than I imagined and requires me to play against my personality. Where's the glamour and glory? It's all good though - I'll settle into my role. I'll have to because I made a two year commitment.