Bruce Feiler’s, “It’s Okay to Skip that Bake Sale” (NYT, 8/31/12) came out just in time, as I waded through a barage of PTO mailings and school emailings informing me of all the ways in which I can “get involved” at the kids’ school this fall. Is it just Feiler and me, or have schools’ demands on parents time gotten out of hand? I don’t think I ever once saw my mom at school during the school day, unless I’d forgotten my lunch or got sick and needed to be picked up. Was I wounded, stunted, and traumatized as a result? Not exactly.
Volunteering at school is wonderful and appreciated for those parents who are interested and available. I admit it, though: even when I’m available, I’m just not very interested! If I have a few hours’ break from parenting, I need that mental space for being an adult away from kids. Call it selfish, bad parenting or whatever you will. Days spent at school are inevitably followed by evenings spent too burnt out to be a good, involved parent once the kids get back home. [Read more…]