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An Open Letter to My Son's PTA

by Jordan Sadler  |  2758 views  |  3 comments  |        Rate this now! 

And yet. Most meetings are held at 9:30 AM on a weekday when I work. I see a speech therapy client at 9:30 on that day, and my commitment to her is my priority. A few times, the PTA has held evening meetings, which are great in principle but somehow there has been a major conflict for us each time.

I think the reality is that I cannot handle one more responsibility without throwing our entire universe into chaos over here. Honestly. If I went, I'd sign up to help with something, and I cannot imagine how I would add it to the workload I already have.

I started to feel better a few months back when I read a short letter to the editor in O Magazine. It was in response to a previous article about SAHMs and moms who work outside the home, I presume. I wish I had it with me now (I cut it out of the magazine at the time) but the gist of it was this: "I may be the mom who is in the classroom volunteering all the time, and making my child handmade birthday invitations and party favors, but you are the mom who treats her for pneumonia when she gets sick. Why can't we value what each of us contributes?"

PTA, I can't tell you what a relief it was for me to read that letter. I delete about 5 emails from you a week, unable to fulfill your requests for help. I cringe with the guilt of it every time. But on my good days, I bear in mind that if your child were autistic and you needed a good therapist, you would be so grateful that I was at work, you wouldn't mind not seeing me at your meetings.

Sincerely,

Jordan

[Originally posted on Chicago Moms Blog.]

About the Author

Jordan is mom to two wonderful boys and owner of a speech-language pathology private practice in Chicago, IL.

Read more by Jordan Sadler

3 comments so far...

  • I have a 6 year old son with oral and verbal apraxia. I have been working with many moms like you since my son was two. It is because of moms like you that my 6 year old is now talking and is 90% understandable despite all the predictions that we would never get here. The PTA may not be happy with you, but I will never be able to thank moms like you enough for what you have done for me and my family.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by grjag on 28th March 2008

  • Jordan,
    What a shame that your PTA made you feel that way. As an active PTA member and business owner, I know what you mean about being pulled in 100 directions.

    It seems to me that the PTA should be glad that you are reading their letters before you delete them! It would be nice if working parents were made to feel welcome and valued for the contributions that you offer at your school...At our school, parent involvement includes attending teacher conferences and Parent nights and sending in a dish or item for the teacher appreciation lunches or breakfasts!

    Hopefully, the other PTA members are just overwhelmed with work (albeit volunteer work) and don't mean to exclude moms who work outside the home for a salary.

    It would be nice if we could value each other without feeling guilty or "less than."

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Miriam Salpeter-Keppie Careers on 28th March 2008

  • OMG, this makes me want to cry. You hit the nail on the head and quoting that letter just solidified the whole birdhouse. Thanks for this. It will serve to remind me that we moms, no matter what our role, are of equal importance. I hope everyone who reads this will be able to share it, too.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound on 31st October 2007

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