I’m pretty pissed off right now.
My son has a field trip to the Children’s Museum in a few weeks for school. The way my work schedule goes, I have every other Friday off. I work what is called compressed. I work 8 9 hour shifts and an 8 hour with every tenth day off. I do this because it gives me more time with my kid. This allows more days that I can be the one to put him on the school bus and in the summer, more days that I have off with him to do activities without eating up all of my vacation time.
For being a single mom, I’d say I do pretty well at being active in his life. I’ve coached baseball. I’m coaching soccer this spring. I make it to almost all of his hockey games and skating practices. I’ve only missed a few, two because I was sick and one because I had concert tickets.
I’ve gone to as many of his pre-school parties as I could manage and field trips when my work schedule allowed. But there is only so much I can do so my parents fill in when I am unable to make it.
I decided I wasn’t going to join the PTA. It’s honestly just not my thing. They constantly hound me for money for activities that I can’t even get behind for all grade levels. I feel that my tax money on top of the fundraisers that they do almost weekly should be going toward better books and science supplies, more science and math related activity programs, supporting art and music classes, and helping cut the cost of before and after school care for kids with working parents.
Seriously, the PTA sends home fundraisers WEEKLY.
Anyway, the day of this field trip is one of my scheduled Friday’s off. So of course I want to volunteer to chaperone.
What exactly makes a PTA member more qualified to chaperone kids to the museum than myself? I know this probably shouldn’t bother me as much as it is, but I’m very upset.
I work hard to support my kid and to give him everything he wants. I do my best to make sure that I’m active and involved as a parent in his activities and sometimes my life is absolute chaos trying to make it work. I rush home from work a lot of days to make sure that I can get him fed and in the car for hockey practice or ice skating lessons because there is no one else to pick up the slack when I’m strapped for time. So to tell me that I can’t be a volunteer on this field trip because I’m not a PTA member is fucking ridiculous.
My life doesn’t even allow time for PTA. I barely make it to the parent meetings for the hockey league, but I do what I can when I can. So now I have an opportunity to do something with my kid, which is why I went to this work schedule to begin with, and I get a door slammed in my face because I’m not a part of the PTA?
The school district can go fuck themselves. They preach family values and encourage families to spend time with their kids, but I’m at the mercy of this fucking bullshit system to do so. I have to play by their rules.
Not all of us can be PTA mom and dads, but that doesn’t mean that I should be denied opportunities to be a help to the school and his class where I am able to simply because I didn’t join the club.
This isn’t how schools should be functioning. We want to make our schools better and get families involved, but if you aren’t a member of the club, you don’t get to play. You should be grateful when parents want to help, not tell them they can’t for bullshit reasons.