No, I cannot help with [insert name of school volunteer thing here]

Filed under: Work Life, Day Care & Education

My sons go to a small Catholic school. This school relies heavily on parent involvement, both because it's good for parents to be part of the school community, and because having volunteers take care of various jobs around the campus keeps costs down. I am all in favor of participating in my children's schools, but recently I've been feeling a little overwhelmed by the requests for help.

At least once a week, I get asked to substitute, for teachers who are ill or who have a conflict during the school day. While I am happy to help out in my kids' classrooms, I have drawn the line at subbing in other random classes where I don't know the kids or the teacher or anything about what is supposed to go on during the day. I am also happy to sub when the teacher can give me a few days (or, ideally, a week's) notice, but more often than not, the school calls me at the last second to ask if I can come in.

In the school's defense, they have a hard time finding parent substitutes because so many of the parents work or have younger children at home. Both of my boys are in school, and I work from home, so in theory I am footloose and fancy free (or at least more flexible than someone who actually has to show up at an office). On the other hand, my husband works long hours and I am solely responsible most days for the house and the food and the kids, including supervising their homework and shuttling them to whatever after school activities we have that day.

Oh, and somewhere in there, I'm supposed to be working.

I've been practicing saying no to the requests to sub, but I'm wondering if I need to ask the school to take me off their List of Moms We Call When We Need a Sub. Do you volunteer in your child's school? If so, are you clear about your boundaries, or are you willing to do whatever needs to be done?

ReaderComments (Page 1 of 1)


Flickr RSS



AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.