School Volunteer Power Struggle

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by ML, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    I'm sort of always on the fringes of these things but this time I'm caught in the middle. I work full time outside the home so I can't be 100 percent committed to school activities like many of these moms. For some reason manster's 5th grade class has A LOT of only children. So you have these moms trying to devote all their energy into their one kid. Can't really blame them and I understand.

    I'm always getting a hard time from my boss because I do try to attend these functions. He asked me recently if work was getting in the way of my personal schedule lol. Anyway, this year I was one of the two "class moms" who put together the 3 annual parties for the kids (Halloween, Holiday and Valentine's). The power struggle happend at the Halloween party. There became this competition to see who could have the best party I guess. I was really just the helper to C who was one of the major players in this. So basically when she got fired, I got fired by association. I'm not even sure what happened but emails were flying and the 5th grade teachers and principal were even involved. It had to do with who was doing what and who was in charge.

    I could make calls and emails to find out more but decided to let it go and just keep sending my money to these things and to the PTA and let the warrior school moms fight it out.

    Manster is just as happy to have me just be there. He doesn't care about whose party is the best. I don't think any of these kids do. Funny what we parents get ourselves into. Not completely unlike sports parents.
    Lasted edited by : Dec 13, 2009
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'd do just what you said already- try to remain supportive but don't get in the middle. If their biggest problem is being in control of a school party, they have way too much time on their hands. LOL! I worked full time, too, so difficult child was lucky if I got to show up at all.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dont you just love the problems some PP's have? Gee... whose party is better doesnt even rent space in our top 1000th place of problems. LOL
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I've seen this over and over in various classrooms. I was in kindergarten for the valentine party one year...the moms organized "stations" of crafts and cookie decorating, and the natives were getting REALLY restless. Give them their cupcakes and juice boxes, then take them to the playground, for Heaven's sakes!

    You're so right, Janet...not even on our radar!
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Ugh! This is why I'm not overly involved in our PTA. I volunteer (a lot), but I go through the teachers. It keeps things simpler. Like next week; the classes will be having a popcorn, pj's and Polar Express day. I offered to pop the popcorn for the 3 classes. It's quick and simple and I can drop it off and LEAVE (lol!).
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I stayed out if PTO for this reason as well.

    I also found out the hard way that if I was going to be involved in a class party, the only way I'd do it is if I could be totally in charge. One year I was a co-coordinator for a party and that was a disaster. I also found early on I coped better when I had some control. One of the first years I did parties I was assigned to do the snack area. I had one mom who was bringing the snack and another bringing a drink. It turned out about 4 more kids showed up with snacks they expected to be served including a cake (with no plates or forks), huge pretzel rods, and cupcakes. I planned on sending all the extras home and while I wasn't looking one of the moms started loading up the kids plates with full servings of each. You can imagine how much food landed in the trash and the kid who was assigned to bring snacks got lost in the shuffle.

    I'm not sad about being done with parties. We got together with a homeschool group for an ice skating Christmas party and the day of the Halloween party I took my daughter to lunch at the Border's Cafe...did a little schoolwork, had a little lunch, drank some cocoa, had a treat. It was good. :)
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I find all the drama about kids' parties rather funny. I was in charge of parties one year. Another parent jumped in and sent letters out to parents over a month before the party. The items were already signed up for at the beginning of the year. The teacher watned a reminder to go out 2 weeks before the party. when I did that I found this other mother had emailed all the parents but 3 of us (who the teacher had recruited to organize things). The teacher sent out a note and put up a message on her website asking that plans run through the 3 of us (1 for each party) to keep things simple. This other mom showed up for the party, was angry that we were NOT setting up her activity stations (very involved crafts that would have taken over an hour each and we had 35 minutes). She sat and complained to every CHILD until one of them told her that it was nice this way and she was just a Grinch. Then she stood around and looked all prune faced. She sent some nasty emails and got some unpleasant ones from other people. Many told her to keep out of things unless she had the teacher's OK.

    Another school had parties planned like a military maneuver. Literally had diagrams of where the kids were to go and when! It was silly.

    Even the 4th graders want to eat, talk, and go play outside. Let the drama mamas have their fun. Just stop in to say hi when you can!
  8. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'm no party queen and just did the parties because their was a need. The only one I can say I truly enjoyed was the last kindergarten one, when no other parents could make it. It was Valentine's Day and I had them do a cake walk to Little Brown Jug and handed out Little Debbie Snack cakes for prizes. Then they had the snack and opened their Valentines. That was it.

    I was pretty ticked by the last party I did when I got a desperate call to coordinate it as she'd tried every other parent in the class and she was down to having to cancel. Imagine my shock when about 8 parents--none of whom were available to coordinate--showed up unexpectedly for the party. :angrydude: