...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Vexed Volunteer

I hate volunteering to do things for my kids at school. I realize how bad of a mom that makes me sound, but it's true. It seems like every time I open my mouth and offer to volunteer, some mom or five get pissed.

Let's take the latest instance for example:

Three weeks ago, an email was sent out to all fifth grade parents, asking for volunteers for this weeks "Promotion Ceremony". Parents could choose from making punch, to setting up, to making a slideshow presentation of the kids. As a mom who sucks at scrapbooking, but loves making virtual videos, I thought the slideshow would be a great way of using my skills to create something touching for the kids and parents So I opened my stupid mouth and said I would do it.

Two weeks ago, a mass email was sent out to all parents and teachers, asking for photos to be sent to me. The deadline was for this past Friday. That would give me one weekend to go through all of the photos, organize them into a timeline of the year, and orchestrate them to music with visual effects.

Ten days ago, I had received over 100 photos..... but only from one class. Fearing that time was passing, I emailed the teacher whose kids had no parents send in photos, asking her if she had any to send over. She sent me about 50, and re-sent an email to her class parents saying that they had to get those photos in by the weekend. A few parents sent me a bunch.

Two days ago, I began working on the tedious task of picking out the best photos while trying to stay as balanced as possible between the two classrooms. By Sunday I had everything together, and worked on this slideshow for hours.

Today is Tuesday, technically four days after the deadline, but I allowed photos up until Sunday. I sent out the video for approval before carpool. Since then, in the past four hours I have received no less than five emails from parents with every excuse under the sun as to why they haven't sent in photos of their children until today. I had to be the mom who was both understanding yet sorrowful, that the deadline was four days ago and that the video has already been completed after many hours of work.

Now, most parents have been really understanding of the situation. I appreciate that more than they could possibly know. Because I have already been sent some nasty emails implying that it's my fault that their precious snowflake won't be in the slideshow. I received a passive aggressive response from a mom who said it was such a shame that it was too late, because her child has never fit in at school, and now she is an awful parent for letting her child down by not getting them in by the deadline.

Look, I get it. I really do! I am a mom who deals with ADD and there are a ton of times where deadlines for something have come and gone and I have totally fucked up. I have been that mom! And it sucks. But whose fault is it when I forget something? Mine, and mine alone. I own up to that, because it is my fault for dropping the ball, and I hope to teach my kids to own up to their own mistakes.

So it really bugs me when I feel like I am being thrown under the bus for volunteering MY Labor Day weekend to build a beautiful montage of the fifth graders, when some parents waited over two weeks to send me photos. Everyone had more than enough time to go through their photos and send them in. And why should I, the one who volunteered in the first place, have to be punished for your mistakes? Where do parents get off thinking that I have more time on my hands to sit down with your late photos, and redo the WHOLE damn show just to get your child front and center in the video? I may be a SAHM, but that doesn't mean I have anther six plus hours up my sleeve to seamlessly merge music and photos together. No, I have a three year old who wants me to take him on walks, and read to him, and play games with him. I have two kids who will be home in a few hours, and will need me to help them with their homework. I have a son who needs to go to middle school orientation tonight. I have errands to run tomorrow, dinners to cook, laundry to sort.... I don't have time to redo a project I volunteered to spend my weekend working on for the fifth grade class because you missed the deadline.

I AM sorry that you missed it. I wish I could help you. But it's not my fault. I did the best I could with the material I was given to work with. I did this because I love my son, and I want him, and his classmates to be able to look at this slideshow and feel like they have accomplished something great. But in order to give them the best that I can offer, like anything else, I had to work with a deadline to complete it in time. And so did you.

(P.S I am sending this out a week later than when it happened. I should be over it by now ;)

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