When my eldest started school I hoped it would make my life easier (30 hours a week free childcare with an education thrown in for good measure hooray). However what I hadn’t banked on was the myriad of requests that would quickly start coming home.
In the short time since Super Kid started the requests have included ; cakes for the bake sale, decorated bunting, and a plate of food for food around the world day. Don’t misunderstand, if crafts are your thing or you love a good PTA meeting then thats brilliant. However I have three children under five, mental health problems and a strong aversion to crafts.
With Christmas approaching I can already predict the requests that will be made. Christmas bake sale (can I pass off bashed up Tesco mince pies as my own?) Costumes for the nativity play (can my son be an innkeeper in modern day jeans and tshirt please) and I’m sure I’ll be manning a store at the Christmas fete. I honestly wish I had the cash to employ a team of crafty pixies to help me with this extra workload (I’m sure that’s what all the yummy mummy’s do)
Help me folk, how do you deal with all this ? Do you feel your heart sink when your little one rushes out of school clutching a note from the PTA? Or do you reckon I’m a real Scrooge about all this ? I need your tips and ideas for keeping up with the demands , I’m sure my children will appreciate it.
I am surprised too by the amount of requests. My elder daughter has been in senior school 2 years now and they are non existant from her school. its lovely. mind you its probably to make up for the fact you have a teenager at home…
My Son Jake started this sept and it feels flipping endless!
My rules of survival are:
1. Yes waitrose tray bakes can be cut haphazardly to look like homemade
2. a well stocked art cupboard for the kids makes most things possible- that goes for creative homework too.
3. I don’t care too much. kids are easily pleased. less is defo more and if nothing else the other mums will love you for making their efforts look better- no one likes a super mum lets face it.
4. Never volunteer. no not even once same goes for attending a pta meeting- no one gets it my ideas are the best.. what is it with that..I offer support by attending fetes bringing gifts for them to raffle ( my mother in law is a shopaholic ) and I am very liberal with praise and recognition for the teachers as well as some nice chocs at Christmas.
5. I smile a lot.
Some great tips thanks. I think the never volunteer is a good one, I shall make it my new mantra.
Oh god! I am right there with you! Even if I do muster up the enthusiasm to bake something they always look shabby and inferior to everyone else’s anyway! It is world book day and the other dress up days that I really dread, with two at primary school!! Sometimes I don’t think they realise what pressure they put on parents all the time.
Exactly , imagine what it’s gonna be like when you have four and I have three at school !
I was a member of the PTA, then gave up to be a school governor, became Chair of Governors, then went back to being a normal governor because I’m now a governor at 2 schools. I am soooo easily sucked in! I’m always baking, crafting or slaving for the kids schools and getting knackered trying to fit it all in. I know there are Mums with much less time than me which is why I do it, so they don’t feel pressured. I do enjoy baking, crafting and helping out, and I do say NO when it gets too much. I feel so angry that other Mums feel pressured into joining the PTA juggernaut or becoming Martha Stewart overnight because it ain’t possible for us all to do that all the time, if at all.
Just do what you are comfortable with, when you can. If they don’t like it then tough! Let them walk a mile in your shoes before they moan. If all else fails, just whinge to me & I’ll send you some brownies xx
Aw thanks, if I brought in your brownies I think the other ladies may feel woefully inadequate !
Its not so bad just have them love a book they have a dressing up outfit already for or make a little hat and cloak or wings and a crown..
I always think its homework for mums.
Yes exactly and I’ve done my homework years.
Hi there…I have learned to ignore them. And I have learned to make no apologies for this approach.
I have 5 children. I am not superwoman. I work f/t in a demanding job.
I support the schools when I can – attending fairs etc, praising those who contribute their time and crafts – but drew the line a long time ago.
There are too many things to beat yourself up about. It has taken me a long time to learn what actually matters – and me contributing wonky home-baking is something I have chosen not to do…
You just chose what is important to you. Draw the lines. All else will follow.
Good advice, thanks.
I’ve got all these joys to come! My mum had 6 children in the space of 8 years and she was definitely one for a bit of shop-bought mince pie bashing. I did a bit of baking last night for a friend’s birthday and it didn’t turn out too well. I did the usual in a situation when I feel inferior: ‘My son ‘helped’ me” – with a meaningful look on the ‘helped’. Unfortunately though, it appears two years is the cut off point for this excuse to be regularly dolled out to all and sundry – bloomin Sam totally dobbed me in!
Yep my kids would definatly own up ! Wow six children in eight years , your mum must be a super star. Thanks for your comment.
I suffer from being a serial volunteer but also with depression and other health issues. I made 2010 my year of no volunteering (ha, yeah, like that worked) but cut down significantly. I enjoy baking (although it tends to be a sign of underlying stress) so make cakes for school but bodge my way through everything else. I often think that writing a cheque would just be easier…
Nativity costumes – one of your black tops with a belt around it over jeans covers most things (add the obligatory t-towel on head)
Mince pies – buy some, take the top off and stick a glace cherry on instead – therefore they are ‘hand-finished’
Christmas Fair – you have 3 children under 5 – one must need a nap (or whatever) at some point during that time – you really can’t commit!
Good luck x
Thanks , love the hand finished idea , actually sounds a little bit more exclusive than hand made 😉
I failed very early on in the school mum stakes,
I *accquired* cakes from Tesco’s for the cake sale and was shamed by my son who pointed them out on the day and revealed my baking shame.
Since then I have continued to live up to expectations!!!!
It’s good to start as you mean to go on 😉