'Tell me, why the hell I should volunteer at my kids' school?'

If you have kids at school. I have a question for you.

Are you doing ENOUGH?

Are you joining the P&C? Are you at reading groups, and already planning the Easter fete? Are you writing questions for the trivia night, and baking for World Nutella Day?

If you are, good for you. But I am not. I am certainly not doing enough.

At least, not YET.

Listen to Andrew Daddo, and Sam from, try to talk me into volunteering:

Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter’s school. And so does she. I am not triggered by the smell of poster paint, I am not scared of Teacher. I have no objections to spending time there.

But TIME is the problem. Time is the thing, that, just like you, I don’t have. And trying to find it, to skerrick around and find little scraps of it that I might have missed, is the thing that makes me more stressed than any other.

So, I don’t volunteer. But I am smart enough to know two things about that:

  • I am expecting others to pick up the slack. Schools need involved parents to run well.
  • My kid is possibly missing out. She might love to see her mum at the school. Everyone says so.

Yet I resist, and here are my arguments for doing so:

  • I don’t need MORE things to do. I need FEWER things to do. A more stressed-out parent is not what my kids need.
  • While my daughter is at school, I kind of need to be at work. My boss expects me to turn up most days.
  • It seems to me all things volunteering are things I’m rubbish at: Sewing, baking, decorating stuff… I was not blessed with womanly talents.

This week, on This Glorious Mess, I spoke to the very energetic and funny Sam from about my dilemma.

She is also a busy parent (is there any other kind?), who argues that volunteering is really important for you to know what’s going on at your kids’ school, and for your child to see you around the place.

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In fact, Sam, who has three kids aged eight, five and 18 months, argues, “spying” is one of the perks of volunteering.

“It’s not just about school dynamics. It’s about the relationships my kids have with other kids… You start to know who you that child is who your child is talking about when they get home.”

She does, however, concur that the P&C is a place of craziness, probably to be avoided at all costs. “It is completely mental. They scare the crap out of me.”

Well, I’m glad we cleared that up.

Also on this week’s episode of This Glorious Mess, just how smart do you have to be to raise a child? What happens if you really don’t want to know the date of your own scheduled C-section? And, what happens when an educational outing with your child goes horribly wrong?

Most importantly, DO YOU volunteer at your child’s school?

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