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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Once, twice, three times a mommy volunteer

Here's a riddle:
How do you get a mom to volunteer for something?
You ask.

That's not much of a riddle, but it's certainly the truth. It's also what I was thinking last night as I walked into the board meeting of my local Mothers Club. My sense of deja vu was strong; hadn't I done this before? Yes, I had.

And now I'm doing it again.

Last year--when pregnant with Thomas--I held the position of newsletter editor. This year I handed over the reins to another mom. I knew I wouldn't have the time to produce a monthly newsletter while taking care of a newborn and a one-year-old, and I was right. I didn't even have time/energy/brain power to write a journal entry for the first six months in my life as a mother to two.

The dark days in my life as a mother to two are gone and things are easier now that Thomas is older. They're also easier because Rosa comes in on Tuesdays and Thursdays and plays mommy so that I can lounge around in my pajamas and blog and pretend I've not a care in the world. This is the life.

Unfortunately, while I've been lounging around I've also been talking. I've got a big mouth and I can't help bragging to my friends--as well as to the entire Internet--about my new, free and easy lifestyle. So when the current vice president of the club called me a couple of weeks ago, she started the conversation with, "Now that you've got some help..."

Big mouth strikes again.

My friend the VP quickly got to the point of her phone call and asked me if I would sign on as newsletter editor in 2006. I told her I'd think about it; a week later I agreed to do it. What the hell. I'll enjoy the job; it feels good to have something to do that is like what I used to do for a living when I was a respected member of society and also doesn't involve changing diapers or cleaning food off the floor.

Besides the fact that the job does not involve KP duty, the real reason I agreed to be editor again next year is simple: she asked. It's nice to be asked. I had been tossing the idea around in my head anyway, but before I got the phone call it's unlikely I would have acted on it. The angel on my right shoulder was telling me, "Do it! You owe it to the club! Don't be a freeloader!" The devil on my left was advising me, "Why take on more work for yourself? You pay your yearly dues. They can't ask for anything more."

Unfortunately, they can ask for more; they have to ask for more. The truth is that organizations such as mothers clubs, preschools, and schools need parent involvement. They require the help of volunteering moms (and dads) in order to run. I have enough mom friends to know this. Volunteering for the Mothers Club is simply my own personal stepping stone to volunteering at Emily's future preschool, then Thomas's preschool, then Emily's elementary school, and so on. They will ask and I will say yes.

Most of the time I will say yes with a smile on my face. Like I've written about before, I get a lot out of the Mothers Club. I like the people, the general meetings, and the outings. Heck, I even like the board meetings and the political aspect of committee-based discussions and decisions. It's mentally invigorating to have just a little bit of that in your life. Too much is a horrible job that sucks the life out of you, but a little bit is nice.

Oh, and then there's my hidden agenda. As newsletter editor I get final say on the content of the newsletter. Should I include a poem? An essay? Pictures? Seasonal recipes? A book review? A trio of articles about breast feeding? The power to decide, shuffle words, and stay up all night cursing Microsoft Publisher is mine, all mine!

I already know the PTA's gonna love me.