Is being on the PTA (or equivalent) at your child's school, only for stay at home moms?

Jennifer - posted on 10/03/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My husband says, volunteering on the Parent Faculty Club board (Vice President) at my daughter's school is only for stay at home moms, and thinks that I shouldn't be on the board because I work and I'm stressed out enough as it is. Is it only for stay at home moms?

Most recent example was the school's fall carnival, which I helped organize and even took a day off work to help participate in. I was wore out and when I asked my, also working, husband to help he said no and that I shouldn't be volunteering with stuff like that because I'm busy enough as it is with our daughter almost 7, and our 10 month old son, as well as my full time job. Advice?

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[deleted account]

I go to the meetings after a day at work, and usually sit near the door so I can creep out when I get tired (so I can go home to Circle of Moms!).

So I think the answer is - just do as much as you can handle and don't be afraid to draw limits around the amount of time you can spend on it. Whatever you do to contribute to you child's school is great - some will do more, some will do less, just don't worry about it.

Cheryl - posted on 10/16/2011

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NO, PTA is not just for stay at home moms! There are other things that you are able to do besides being on the board; membership, t-shirts, fundraisers, etc. My husband does not understand either that we as moms just want to be apart of our childrens school. Best of luck with your new adventure!

Jerrilyn - posted on 10/16/2011

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These days, at least as many moms are working outside the home as are able to be SAHMs. The PTA needs us all! And Dads too!! Think of the need for male role models in a world where many kids live with single moms or grandmothers. Our PTA President works FT outside the home as do other Board members & many of our most active volunteers. Others are parents who stay home or grandparents who are retired, etc. The PTA is for everyone! I do believe you find out a great deal more about the workings of your children's schools by doing this as well. My daughter is only a 1st grader, so I anticipate this may change, but she LOVES (as do her friends) seeing her mom involved at her school.

Shelly - posted on 10/11/2011

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Coming from another working mom...yes, you should get involved. The school needs everyone's help not only the SAHMs. It is important for you to be involved with your kid's school. It is also important that your own children see you and your husband take an interest in their school. Our school has a Fall carnival as well and both my husband and I take the day off to be there to help set up and take down. It is a lot of work to expect others to do. The more help the school has the better. I am also on the PTA Board and know how much work goes into everything they do. If you feel like you should help then you should do so. I don't know what the parent involvement is like at your kid's school but at the school where my kids go it is little to none. So, I strongly urge you to help as much as you can. You will feel good for helping out and your kids will be proud that their parents were there to help. Do what you can to help out.

Tricia - posted on 10/10/2011

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Your children will remember you being involved in any of their school functions. I think it is admirable that you are getting involved. Not only is it important to your children, it helps build connections with faculty members and other parents. IMO, it is worth the added stress, as long as it is worth it to you.

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Cynthia - posted on 11/11/2011

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Although I am not married I work two jobs and I am the VP of our PTO. I don't think it's only for SAHM's but you have to know how much is on your plate and can you handle what they will be asking. Lucky for us we have a group of 30 parents to always comes together to help. So with that being said when we do our Fall Festival or Spring Fling everyone knows that I wont be there before 5pm so we usually have someone in charge that can take charge and answer any questions people have. Never be afraid to ask your team (PTO/PTA) for help. That is what they are there for. I remember calling to let them know that I wasn't going to make a meeting and then the President of our PTO called and had a emergency so he couldn't make it. But because we had great communication our Treasurer was able to run the meeting for us.

B Rae - posted on 10/31/2011

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I work 12hour days 4 on -4 off. I joined the PTA at my daughter's school. Think it is great. You should to what you can. Men think finances and self. Women think children first. Don't worry you need to do whats right for you

Colleen - posted on 10/26/2011

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I completly understand wanting to partake in EVERYTHING related to my children, however, if it starts to negativly effect your marriage and home life somethings got to give. You can participate in other ways w/o being super Mom/Employee/Wife/Parent.
Sometimes you gotta listen to the Hubs (I know... I know... its a jagged pill to swallow).

Cathy - posted on 10/26/2011

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My husband and I have always worked crazy ridiculous overtime hours and yet made time for things that were important to us and our kids. We both, at different times, served on the PTA Board and when we didn't serve as officers, we attended the meetings and volunteered whenever needed. Our kids are mostly grown now and I can say that being involved in our kids' school made a significant impact on their academics. Join! Make it work somehow, someway, and talk your apathetic husband into becoming involved too. Your kids are worth it.

Tiffany - posted on 10/21/2011

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For me it's a catch 22. I'm a stay at home mom as well as a full time student like you I'm VP of the PTO and I think it's a bit much for me. It 's one f those sacrafices that you have to go into with a open mind and open schedule .Had I know all that it entails, I would have not hav ran for the position. I would have just volunteered like I usually do.

Tara - posted on 10/17/2011

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Our PTA board members are made up almost exclusively by working parents, there is only one stay at home mom in the group. We manage, yes sometimes we are stressed and sometimes spouses have to help around the house, but really they should be helping anyway.

Jennifer - posted on 10/17/2011

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Thank you ladies, husbands sometimes don't "get" that we just like to be involved and that we sometimes like our plates full. I know I'm not super mom and I do what I can, and that's all I can do. Getting this kind of feedback just reinforces that idea. :) Thanks again!

[deleted account]

And yes - I agree with Jerrilyn - it's for Dads too! Whoever got the idea it was a female thing - wrong wrong!

Kelsey - posted on 10/16/2011

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I don't mind helping out with any school functions. As a matter of fact, I helped out with the school's yard sale. (we are trying to raise money for a new playground) Also every Tuesday, I help out with popcorn sales and I LOVE helping out with cookie sales on Thursday! My daughter, who is 7 now, loves seeing me at her school and being able to give her mom a hug in the hallway. It makes me smile too. I figure help out now while she likes it.
But I don't think it is for the SAHMs. If you wanna help out, I say help out. I know lots of moms who help out and are also working. As long as it is your idea, I say "GO FOR IT!"

Karen - posted on 10/11/2011

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I am the VP at our school's PTA and I work Part Time - my President is a Paralegal full time. There is ALWAYS something to do - and your daughter will be EXCITED when you are at any function. My kids can't wait for me to get to the school for any function. Even if I am helping with Library or Copy Crew - if they see me in the hall they are excited. Help anyway you can. It will be appreciated by both the PTA and your child

Amy - posted on 10/09/2011

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I work full time and attend PTO meetings. I am not on the board but it's also my son's first year of school so I'm really new to it. Our school offers meetings at 6:30 at night and even provides day care. My husband plans on attending all meetings if his schedule permits as well. We want our children to know how important we think education is and our son really wants us involved with the school.

I think it's great that you are so involved. I think if you're really concerned about how much you are taking on your children would be the best ones to talk to, does you daughter feel like she sees you less or is she excited you are so involved with everything? I also think it's important to get a good mix of parents both working and full-time involved.

Tamara - posted on 10/09/2011

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Listen to your gut:-) You know what you can handle and what you can't. Just remember that your family is what is most important. There are lots of ways to be involved in your child's school and you just need to find what is right for you. Having a 10 month old is a tough job anyway so maybe it's just not the right timing for you to be so involved. Only you know the answer to that:-)

Flo - posted on 10/09/2011

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That is sad that your husband feels that way. I am on the pto and believe me we have parents that work as well as parents that are S.A.H. M.'s I find it important to serve on the pto as our school calls it because I like to know whats going on in the school. It is also important to have a say in whats going on. I do a lot of volunteering for the school and like to help out where I can. You should not get yourself stressed out though who am I kidding I have gotten stressed out many times helping with winter craft night and Bing night but it's called being an involved parent.

Trina - posted on 10/09/2011

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I am a single mom who offers time to our schools PTA and has been Team Mom for Basketball & Cheerleading. At times this can be stressful. Remember that you are not a team of 1 and there are others dedicated to the Parent Faculty Club who may be able to handle some of the load. Part of being a leader is knowing when and to whom to delegate.

Jennifer - posted on 10/05/2011

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Our PTSO meetings are always at 6:30pm at the school there are the 5 board members and some are SAHMs and some arent

SomeRandomMother - posted on 10/05/2011

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jennifer, our husbands sound very similar!

Being involved in your child's school is not just for stay at home parents ... its a valueable way to be connected with your child's education and your community.

If you are like me, you probably really enjoy helping out, planning and seeing the success of the event ... even though it can be tiring! Try explaining to your husband that this kind of thing is a good tired and that by helping out at the school you get a unique persepctive of what's going on their and that can only end up helping your daughter in the end.

I am a work from home parent and I volunteer on the PTA of both schools that my kids are in. Its busy, frustrating and exhausting at times but it is also very rewarding to see the fruit of my labour. I love knowing that the schools area better place because me, and my other parent pals, have taken the time to show up, get to know the staff and the other families in our school.

Stay connected ... and ask for help! ;-)

Jennifer - posted on 10/05/2011

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Well, to give my hubby some credit, he wasn't saying it to be mean, more out of concern, at least I think, lol. He thinks I shouldn't add anything else to my already full plate. So I guess in a way he's right, but I think he made me mad because of the non supportive way that he said it. I'm going to show him all of these responses and then see what he says. lol. Thanks ladies, I feel a little less guilty now if I were to relinquish my position to another more readily available parent. :)

Sherri - posted on 10/05/2011

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It is most definitely not only for SAHM's. It is for anyone with the time and dedication to be able to do it. I say shame on your husband for not supporting you and your daughter with her schooling.

[deleted account]

Our PTA welcomes and encourages ALL parents to be involved--Hey, we need all the help we can get!!

Our working moms play a different role than our sahm's, but all are important. If you are too stressed and tired juggling all of your roles, consider taking a smaller volunteer role, but stay involved :)

Unfortunately, our board meetings have to be held during school hours because we cannot afford to open the school up after hours, so that limits a lot of our parents who work traditional hours' participation in those, but they help in other ways.

Working moms tend to have more professional contacts, so they are key for good fundraising campaigns--Here here some big things they have done for us that fall out of the realm of most sahm's.

They set up a partnership with 2 of our local grocers so that a portion of what we spend there is donated to our school--in it's first year alone we made $41k!
They also work to sell ads on our sporting field fences--for $400 we have a banner printed and hang it along the fence for the year--that raised over $12k
They sell ads in our play/recital programs.
They set up "spirit night" partnerships with local restaurants--$56k last year.
Some come in early for our Friday muffin sales before they go to work.

Sahm's are more involved in the stuff that must be done during the school day while working moms are more involved in the stuff that can be done from an office or in the evenings. Neither is less important than the other, they just have different schedules and strengths.

[deleted account]

I have to say that while the PTA holds meetings in the daytime and in the evening to accommodate working parents, the majority of the ACTIVE parents hapen to be the SAHMs that can dedicate more time to the school, during school hours. As a working parent, I can contribute in othwe ways by supporting events like the carnival and fundraisers. But to be perfectly honest, the PTA at my son's school does not frown upon or shun working parents. It's just that most of the active parents are SAHMs and that's just the way it is. I personally don't have a problem with their system. But if you are willing to volunteer, then perhaps limit the hours you can help out.

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