Monday , 11 December 2017

The Empowered Mom: How To Get Fired as a Room Mom

By Maria Lucé, TSB Columnist

I can’t take it anymore. THIS is NOT September people! It’s June. We are done — kids, teachers, parents. Full-on whooped.  No more bright and shiny like when the school year started. No more everything getting done on time – heck BEFORE it’s due. Now it’s more like, “WHAT? What is due? When is that ceremony? How many more activities? Seriously, you’re not even thinking about asking me to read with you again, are you?” I may smack the next person that tells me there’s another event. 

Since that’s frowned upon in many places – I’ll either do that or I may opt for voluntary root canal about now.

I am so flipping checked out of school by now – it’s surprising my kids even get there. 

And get this: I’m Room Mom.

Not just that. I’m LEAD ROOM MOM. Oh my gawd…who allowed THAT to happen?

We’re going on four years now. 

Of being the boys’ Room Mom. From Kindergarten through today, I’ve either been Ace’s, Lucky’s or Blaze’s ‘Superstar’ Room Rep. 

But this year. This year may have done me in.  I think in the ranks of Room Mom History, I categorically will NOT be nominated for Room Mom of The Year. 

I WAS great at first. I LIVED at the school.

And I LOVED it. As do my boys. And pretty soon I figure they’re gonna get into that stage where they don’t want their parents there – but now they do, so I’m gonna do so. Even if it sucks the life out of me. 

Then year two, again. Signed my name right there on the dotted line. Did it say sucker? Regardless, I was brilliant. Could’ve gotten “Room Mom of The Year” two years in a row.

After my second year being Room Mom, I thankfully had a Co-Room Mom. (Oh YES, there IS a hierarchy in the realms of Room-Momhood.  Do NOT cross those boundaries or you shall be shunned to Room Mom Purgatory.)

Third year: Check! All signals a go. 

And this year? I started out all good this year – put my name on the list as I always do. Especially when the critters look at me wide-eyed, sweetly, WANTING me there and asking in such a way that I’d be remanded to MotherHell if I didn’t absolutely say yes. 

I volunteered, I was there, I communicated with the parents.  Offered weekly help to my AMAZING teacher with chirps of,  “What do you need? What can I help you with?”  Thankfully, she’s a brilliant, supremely organized teacher that loves my child and every child in her classroom – and truly, didn’t need much from me.  I volunteered for everything.

I was still good by about Valentine’s Day.  Even Easter.

But now, at this point in the school year – well maybe not so much.

By this time – I’m a bit exhausted.  Doing so much. Giving so much. The god-forsaken chain of RoomRep emails that took at least 30 painstaking minutes to read through to find out…uh, nothing.

My communication with everyone had — at some point —officially gone fully off the rails. 

And another Room Mom had, well, ‘taken the reigns’ so to speak of “Lead Room Mom.” More like ripping them forcefully out of my hands so that things would get done!  (THANK YOU – you know who you are and am fo-evah grateful!)

And of course, in the interim, there’s this whole “RUNNING MY BUSINESS” I kinda have to attend to as well.  And guess what?  The Empowered Mom.com and Luce Media won’t actually run themselves. SHOCKING, I know.

So – in the classroom. I’m missing things. Not communicating everything. I’m apologizing to the parents. I’m starting out every conversation with, “I’m sorry….” “Lucky” said to me, “Momma, how come you’re not in the classroom as much anymore?” Jeez, kid, couldya stick the red-hot blazing poker straight into my heart?

So me getting fired as Room Mom?

Well, Pretty sure it wasn’t OFFICIALLY announced. Not Like on PR Newswire    — and Fox News or CNN hadn’t run it as their Top Story. But I knew it. The cold hard truth. I’d gotten fired as Room Mom. Parents were wondering if there even was a Room Mom. Room Mom Ghost. I couldn’t possibly run businesses, a household, my brain AND be Room Mom and maintain sanity too, could I?

I think I kinda maintained a smattering of capability. Talking to the other Room Moms, organizing parties. FRANTICALLY getting to Dollar Store to make 23 goody bags – GRABBING my husband to help – no option for him – at the last minute because I was chasing my tail and COULD NOT – WOULD NOT – DISAPPOINT the kids. 

So I hope not to really get fired, maybe uh, re-trained. I could be on “Official Room Rep Probation” or even go into a Room Mom treatment center. (Or some other type of treatment center?)  But certainly I can be on rehabilitation don’tcha think – before I have to walk the plank?

So I’m hoping to make it to the end of the year….  And yes, the end of the year party WILL be done, it WILL be amazing, the kids will NEVER know any better – and will have a BLAST. Kicking off an amazing summer of whatever we want to do…which should last for all of about…hmmm, a week… then they’ll all be saying, “I’m bored!”

And next year? Yep, the boys have already asked me to be their Room Mom. And I wouldn’t miss it for the world. So if I haven’t gotten officially banned from Room Mom ranks, I will sign up again. Maybe there’s a “Room Mom Rehab” I can attend this summer. Or at least get an ankle belt and monitor for next year. 

FOUR MORE DAYS….I am at once THRILLED and weepy — for yet another year of my children’s sweet days are passing so quickly.  And I never want to look back and wished I would’ve been there more.  Nothing, NOTHING is more important than that. 

And I will make every ceremony, every event, every second I can – I will grasp and hold in my heart forever.

For my kids, yep, I’ll do anything. 

I remember one day having a conversation with our Pediatrician. A brilliant, hardcharging woman I trust implicitly and highly respect. This was just after I’d recently made the transition from ‘Career Woman’ to Stay-At-Home-Mom (and in the midst of identity crisis meltdown). We’d been discussing how Type-A we both are, all that we want to accomplish, our bucket lists, the changing role(s) we have as women – especially when we become Moms. She was encouraging me on the importance of my identity as simply, and most importantly, “Mommy.”  At that time, “Ace” (Critter #1) was now in Kindergarten. And I very sarcastically said,  “Oh, but guess what? I AM a Room Mom.” Like big flipping deal – can I toss that out to CEO’s and make the list on Forbes’ Top 25 Business Women with that title?   I furthered, “I don’t remember that being a room mom was ever on my bucket list.”  She replied prophetically,  “Yes, but it is on his.”

Amen. Thank you for that, Doc! It was all I ever needed to hear.

Maria is a veteran of TV broadcast news and founded The Empowered Mom, mentoring, coaching and inspiring fellow savvy business owners and MOMpreneurs. She also owns the communications and public relations company, Luce Media, LLC. Watch for her feature columns regularly on TSB.

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