By now the class mom sign-up sheet has likely arrived in your child’s backpack. Or maybe it was passed around at back-to-school night. I’d like to take this opportunity to stick a shiny gold star on your cute little forehead for even considering this noble role. You are a mom among moms. Just don’t take this responsibility lightly. Class parenting is not for the faint of heart. Many are called, but few are chosen. (Especially if you have a power-drunk PTA board that subjects you to a cloying application process as though you’re vying for Homecoming Queen. But that’s another post).
Between all my three kids, I’ve probably served four or five class mom sentences terms. It’s not like I’m trying to pass myself off as the class mom Grand Puba. I have simply learned a thing or two along the way. And I like to help a sister out. Like loose bowels and other dirty little secrets of labor and delivery, there are elements to class mom stints that insiders tend to keep on the low. To heck with that! I’m telling it all. Here’s what you should know.
- Class mom is not Mommy & Me time. You’ll be asked to do things with as many as a half dozen kids at once—like math bingo, making Thanksgiving hand-print turkeys. If your kid is always first or gets do-overs, the game or activity will get old really fast for the rest of the class.
- Yes, you can juggle class mom with your fulltime job. Depending on the school, you may get a definitive clique vibe from the tight-knit group of mothers who typically volunteer—like it’s an exclusive sorority of stay-at-home-moms and you don’t measure up. Usually, even if most of the mothers don’t have paying 9-5’s, they don’t mean to come off as stuck up, judgmental haters. So put your big-girl panties on and step up. You don’t need new best friends, but you do need to be involved in the place your kids spend most of their time. As class mom, you don’t need to log weekly hours of actual face time. The main thing is communicating with parents and organizing them to donate food, supplies and in-class help when the teacher asks.
- There will be snot. No tissue? No problem. A sleeve or back-handed wipe is proper hygiene in a kid’s world. Think about how often you have to remind your own children to wash their hands after making potty. Now multiply your kid by 23. If you have a germ phobia now is a good time to get over it. Alternatively you can invest in a fashionable hazmat suit or carry hand sanitizer around like an appendage to ward off boogers and other bacteria.