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.
[Originally posted on Chicago Moms Blog.]