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I Admit It. I Am a Volunteer-a-holic.

We did it! We have survived two full weeks of school. Of course, I should probably amend that to say that I have survived two full weeks of school. The kids are adjusting perfectly.

My oldest son has adapted to high school like a champ. At least I think he has. He communicates about as well as most high school freshmen communicate with their mothers. I have taken to texting him to ask about his day. It seems to get a better response.

My middle son is enjoying junior high school now that he is no longer the smallest fish in the sea and does not have an older brother to live up to. He finally gets to take some electives and realizes that school can be fun. I enjoy watching him come into his own.

My daughter just hit second grade and school is still a fun time every day for her. She loves to tell me in great detail about her day. It is exciting to see her enthusiasm. I want her to hold on to it for as long as she can. I have seen what happens as school becomes rougher and it is no longer and all-day party.

Now, let’s talk about how I am adjusting. Before school started I began dreaming about how wonderful it will be to have all day to myself. I have time to work on my writing! I have time to accomplish those tasks that went unfinished all summer! I can go to a movie! During the day! That is not rated G! Though, that idea of what it would be like after school started does not match the reality that has occurred. I seem to have contracted a disease: Volunteer-a-holic. I am hoping it is not fatal.

I caught it from the PTA.

That pretty much blew all “me time” out of the window. Did you know that being on the Executive Board of a PTA can be similar to holding down a full-time job? (All of the hours with none of the pay!) And did you know if you hold a position on TWO Executive Boards on two PTAs it is … well, it is insane.

That would be me. (I think I need an intervention.)

Since school has started, I have put in at the minimum the same type of hours as if I held a full-time job and then some. (I am being generous here.) I yearn for the days of summer chaos when I could not get things finished because I had kids who needed me. (And G-rated movies to see!) I could stop whatever I was doing and just be Mom. My free time was Mom time.

The PTA? They take nothing short of death – your own – as a reason to be out of contact. I am slightly suspicious that they have lo-jacked me in order to keep tabs on my whereabouts with the great possibility of sending out the troops if my location happens to somewhere in the vicinity of a movie theater or mall.

Don’t misread me. The PTA does amazing things for the school. I have just personally lost my mind trying to do too much with two schools. Want to know what I thought would be a good position to take at both schools? I am the VP of Volunteers. You know what that entails, right? I am in charge of keeping track of everyone who wants to do anything at all at any time EVER in the school. And, honey, that is not an easy job. I realized this after entering in about 450 of the 738 names and personal information of volunteers into spreadsheets, and as I received email after email after phone call asking “Where is MY list of volunteers? I must have them right this very second!”

Do you ever do this? Have you overcommitted yourself and then wondered how in the world you got yourself into this or how to manage it all? What tricks do you use to get through it? This volunteering thing is a full time job, and then some.

So, it looks like we have survived two whole weeks of school! When is winter break?


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