Dear PTO, I'm Just Not That Into You
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
How can I get out of volunteering at my daughter's school without making anyone upset?
Hell, No, PTO!
Dear Hell, No, PTO!
Ha ha ha! Oh, man! Sorry, but I just need to sit down for a sec after reading your question. Hold on while I gather my breath here. Innnnnn ouuuuuuut. Innnnnn ouuuuuuut. Okay, okay, I think I'm good now, so let's ha, ha, ha, ha! Sorry again, but your question is totally killing me. Because guess what? THERE'S NO WAY TO NOT VOLUNTEER AT YOUR SCHOOL WITHOUT MAKING ANYONE UPSET. Zing!
Actually, there isn’t any way TO volunteer at your school without making anyone upset, either. Because if there's one thing I've learned after having kids in some kind of classroom for the past 12 years, it’s that no matter what you do, there will always be someone questioning how much or how little you volunteer. Or how you perform your volunteer job. Or organize the carnival. Or whether or not it was appropriate to give the 3rd grade teacher a beer bong as a class gift. (And yeah, Mindy, it totally was. Ms. Jenkins is a slammer.)
My advice to you is to just do what you want because you’re going to be criticized no matter what your choice, anyway. Maybe not criticized a lot, but you will be. If that matters to you, then maybe sign up for a one-time job, like carnival volunteer. Those jobs are pretty easy to do and people will see that you’re making a contribution to the school.
But if you can’t or don’t want to volunteer, don’t be sneaky and try to find a way to “get out of it.” Simply don’t sign up for anything and if asked, say you’re unable to help out at this time. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your choices, no matter how hard they try to get one out of you and give you guilt trips.
That said, I do encourage you to try to give some of your time if at all possible. The teachers, other parents, and most important, your daughter will definitely appreciate it. And those are the people you should be concerned about in the first place.