We have all been there. You go to Back to School night and see the PTA table and quickly run past. Do not make eye contact you say to yourself. You don’t have time. You are not one of “them”. Those stay at home moms who cannot just let their kid go to school and be independent. You maybe go to one or two events a year. You may feel guilty enough to pay the $10 membership fee. You want to support the kids so you write the check grateful you got out easy.
I was once like you.
I feared the PTA.
I did not make eye contact with “them”. I pretended to write my name down on the sign-up sheet at Open House. I (gasp) marked their e-mails as SPAM. When cornered by one of “them” I would say I was “so” busy with work and all, I couldn’t possibly help out at (insert event here). I would put all of their mailings in my recycle bin, barely glancing at them. When my child would ask why we didn’t go to movie night at school I pretended I had no knowledge.
I took alternate routes to avoid her seeing the signs once she learned to read.
Then I was tricked. TRICKED I tell you by one of “them”. We are in a jam, she said. Can you just come and take notes?
Five minutes into the meeting I was elected to the E-board. I swore they smelled fresh meat. Next thing I know I have meetings, committees and events I had to go to. My child swore she was signing me up for life.
Six years later I don’t regret a moment of it. I have created friendships that never would have happened without the PTA. I never volunteer within the school during the day, but help out when I can. The commitment is only what time I (or anyone) has to spare. I know who my child’s friends are (something you lose as they grow up). I know the teachers and administration. I go out to dinner and drinks that have nothing to do with school business but with friendship. My circle has grown exponentially thanks to my involvement with the PTA.
As your child goes back to school I urge you not to run from the PTA. I promise they won’t bite. Sign up for one thing that interests (or doesn’t make you shudder) you. You will be amazed at how little you have to do to be rewarded by new found friendships.
Sure you might end up on the School Committee. But the chances of that really happening?