Thursday, October 08, 2009

Confessions of a 1st Grade Room Mom

Sorry, I don't really have any confessions, it just sounds a lot more interesting than:

  • How I Got Bullied into Being a Room Mom
  • Why I Hate Being a Room Mom
  • Remind Me NEVER to be a Room Mom Again
Juan Carlos' first grade class had no volunteers for a room mom. I have avoided that job like the plauge ever since the one and only time I've ever done it; it was for Margarita's kindergarten class long ago, back in our Venezuela days. But when his very nice teacher begged me to do it and promised me she would ask nothing of me, that I would be a room mom in name only, I warily accepted the position.

Why don't I want to be a room mom?

1) I hate planning parties
2) I hate when other people complain about the parties I've planned when they offered no input or support in the first place. (I've had a little experience with this)

Well, it's true, she has asked nothing of me in my two month term. The PTA President is an entirely different story. She and I are good friends, our daughters are best friends so when I complain about her demands, I do it with love in my heart. And, it's not her fault the Children's Day Ice Cream Social and Teacher's Day with its accompanying parent-provided Teacher's Appreciation Lunch fell in the same week this year, leaving me to collect the many items that my class was responsible for.

It's almost as if parents didn't enjoy receiving my daily emails imploring them to send in this many kilos of sprinkles and that many kilos of M&M's, a half dozen pasta salads, and, oh yeah, enough money to get two decent presents for the kids' teachers.

Do I like being responsible for a group gift?

Ummmm, NO.

When I asked for suggestions, several people recommended buying clothing or handbags for the teachers. Ok, if any of you know me, you know I have a problem with shopping (other than at Target and other stores that have carts), fashion, trends, etc. I would NEVER in a million years purchase a handbag for someone else. So why that might have been a perfectly acceptable suggestion to someone with a normal level of fashion sense, it made me break out into a sweat.

I ended up going with a gift certificate to a popular bookstore here. Gift certificates are not as mainstream here as they are in the States, so I had to really do some ground work to find an acceptable store that offered them. I added a nice lotion gift set and baked some banana bread. The teachers both seemed happy with their gifts (If they were hoping for a nice handbag, they hid their disappointment well).

It was worth all of the frustration when I saw how pleased they were to be recognized and how excited the kids were to know their parents were all apart of the gift (well, most of their parents, but we won't discuss names right now). I really have a deep respect for good teachers; especially early education teachers-I could never do it and I'm glad there are people who can and even seem to enjoy it.

So, I'll be room mom to help them out and I'll try not to complain too much.

(Well, maybe just one more little thing and then I'll stop complaining; just when I thought I could relax until the Christmas party, it's one of their birthdays and I have to send a cake in tomorrow.)



Janice said...

So far, I have never been a room mom. I am not saying that it won't ever happen but I am hoping it is not likely, since I live in volunteerville .

BTW: They announced ward boundary changes for this Sunday. I'm am SO excited!

Awesome Mom said...

That was one reason I was so glad Evan ended up in the class room he did all the party spots were taken so my lazy butt did not have to help plan them. I only have to show up for the fun stuff and that is how I like it. Good luck with your job!

andalucy said...

Oh, Gabriela. How I empathize! When my two oldest started a new school a few years ago, I volunteered to be room parent of my eldest's class--then fifth grade. But then the second grader's teacher did just what yours did--begged me to be the room parent and said the very same things. I foolishly accepted. I found out just how bad I am at planning parties, calling people to volunteer, etc. It was very humbling. And since then, I have never done the room parent thing again, but I have volunteered to help with as many parties as possible because now I know how hard it is to be in charge and have no one help.

Good for you for helping even when it's so hard! That takes courage.

Betty W said...

Been there, done that! Totally know what you´re talking about. But believe day you will miss these days! I know, you probably think I´m crazy, but I do! :)

Kari said...

Bless you--you are earning your angel wings! I had to chuckle at your "bullied" comment--that term EXACTLY has come to my mind quite often with these positions. "You're a stay-at-home mom--YOU DON'T WORK--you should do this!"

(Well, thanks anyway, but I'll just keep sitting here all day watching my movies, trying to decide which ice cream to open next...)

Abby said...

Wait, you have to make cakes for every kid in the class's birthday? Or is it one of the teacher's birthdays? If it's a kid, shouldn't HIS/HER mom make the cake?

If it's a teacher, okay, but that's still above and beyond in my book. I don't remember ever celebrating a teacher's birthday in elementary school; and I went to a very nice, very friendly and parent involved, very small class size school. :)

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

Never been the Room Mom- but I have been team mom several times- and soccer coach a few as well. I always try really hard to support whoever is doing the room mom- because I know it is hard and there are way too many flakes out there who see nothing wrong in not following through. And I would never dare buy something personal- like a purse for someone- every one has their own tastes.

Good Job!

Ballerina Girl said...

I am laughing with you my friend...
and you know me...I didn't even OFFER to buy a gift, hahahaha!!!!

Love ya!

Gabriela said...

Janice: "Volunteerville" Love it. I know you have been den mom or cub leader or whatever it is a ton, so I'm sure you've had your share of these kinds of experiences.

Awesome: That's my normal game plan but it didn't work out this year. :)

Lucy: I know, it's the parties that kill me. My nightmare calling at church would be Activity Committee Chair. Agh!

Betty: I know, I do enjoy having Elementary age kids-they still want me around and I love that.

Abby: it was a teacher cake. I had a soft spot in my heart as someone whose birthday is very close to, or sometimes falls on Mother's Day. Why should her birthday be less important just because it's close to Teacher's Day? So I made the cake and sent (another) gift.

HNurse: I love parents like you-I have a few that I can always count on. I like them a lot.

BG: Sorry to bore you, you've already heard this vent how many times this week?

Kari: Thanks for the laugh. :)

And now ladies, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to my snacks and movies!

Jeanie said...

Jill and Joanna are both knee deep in that stuff also...always baking something, taking something, buying something. I think Jill is PYA president this year. At least she will have that behing her.

Jeanie said...

Boy, my typing is bad. That's PTA and behind.

Fabiola said...

I am laughing.
You know in Brazilian schools there is no Room Mom?? Only on international schools.

I hope you are having a rain free weekend.