Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Mommy Wars: Field Trips

Just when you thought the Mommy Wars were dead...

Same as I did last year for Middle, I am chaperoning this year's kindergarten field trip to the zoo with Baby.  

As a full-time working (out of the home) mother, this is my "thing" - being able to accompany my child and his classmates on an outing.  I am simply not able to volunteer in the classroom every week, or heck, even every month.  Between sick days, vacation days, random appointments, etc., I just don't have the availability.  So I made sure that I let Baby's teacher know way ahead of time that I wanted to be a chaperone.  And nevermind the guilt I feel that this is the only field trip I'm doing.  I do have two other sons as well who are also going on field trips this month.  Ugh.

For the record:  I am thankful for (and envious of!) the stay-at-home or work-at-home parents who are dedicated volunteers in my child's classroom. 

Anyway, it was brought to my attention this week that the parents who are regular volunteers in the classroom are not taken into consideration as chaperones for the class field trips. 

Which?  I guess sorta makes sense?

That perhaps the field trip spots are reserved for parents like me?  Parents who are unable to participate on a regular basis?

But to someone who consistently dedicates their time and energy, this is kind of a slap in the face, no? 

It was basically stated to me (by a classroom volunteer) in this manner:  "We do all the classroom drudgery and make the kids work, and then you get to come in and have FUN with them, while we aren't even CONSIDERED."

Which?  Perhaps my definition of "fun" is a bit different because really?  Riding in a bumpy tin can bus with hundreds of shrieking kindergarteners for 30 minutes to get to a stinky zoo and to have to lug a heavy backpack filled with bagged lunches while sweating and chasing 5 and 6 year olds around isn't necessarily my idea of FUN, lady.

But it is the one thing I can commit to at the end of the school year.  So there's that.

I'm not sure what the right answer is.  I just know that I resent being resented for something that isn't my choice.


Julie {Angry Julie Monday} said...

Oh geez...story of my life. I've been pulling all day events on Mondays...get up early, take kid to school, volunteer in class, then work from 1130am-10pm...I wish the wars could be over so that I can regain a normal life and not try to play supermom. I keep telling my husband, do not let me volunteer in first grade in the classroom!!!

Kristen said...

I am a teacher and usually pick chaperones that are not able to come into class on a regular basis. I don't consider their time in class painful. Kids just like to see their parents. So involving as many as possible makes sense.

amanda said...

that's really the rule??

total truth? when i was a teacher in my past life - i rigged the drawings every time to pick the parents that i liked!!

yes i just said that out loud. and i am not ashamed. field trips are a pain in the ass and a major stress (and kinda fun too) so i always wanted to make sure i had parents that were coming along that were going to help - not the ones i had to babysit :) or who would just talk on their cell phone the whole darn time.

but for the record - you shouldn't be made to feel bad by the other mom. she needs to get over it!

ps - have fun :)

Charlene (@CharChronicles) said...

I wouldn't want her to volunteer in the classroom with that attitude. No one is making her volunteer, but maybe she does need to go on the field trip to see that it isn't all fun. All in all, I'm sick of the stay-at-home v. Working-mom wars. We should all be supporting each other with no mom guilt.

Rebecca said...

I haven't run into this as the Crazies are only in preschool, but that is a weird rule, in my opinion. Glad you get to go, but school buses suck!

Maureen said...

My sister's kids' school has a lottery because so many want to be chaperones. I think it makes sense to reserve those jobs for the parents who aren't able to commit to classroom work. And I'm with you, not exactly sure being the chaperone is all that fun!

The Coupon Goddess said...

Ok, I'm going to admit that I hate chaperoning field trips, seriously. I go on one every year for each child out of obligation, but when I get home I toss back a glass of wine and thank God that I'm not a teacher. I wouldn't feel bad if I were you. Your heart is in the right place. To hell with what she thinks.

Leigh Powell Hines said...

Found your blog through Shell today.

Great writing. My son just started kindergarten two days ago. He's my oldest.

I am a stay-at-home mom, and I was overwhelmed at the volunteer opportunities thrown at me in the classroom for a weekly commitment. I have a two year old, too. I was looking forward to some downtime finally with one child in tow. I want to volunteer, and even though I stay-home, I don't think I can do it weekly.



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