How Not To Be Class Mom

by Marinka on September 20, 2010

If you’d like to get out of being a class mom, read this and learn. Not from me, of course, because I have no idea what I’m doing and as a result I’m in my second year of Class Momhood. But from a fellow mom.

So, I’m standing waiting to pick up my kid from school, minding my own business and this woman I know comes by and says, “Listen, could you be class mom for Young Ladrinka’s class? We’re having a hard time finding someone.” And instead of saying, “Why are you talking to me? Step back! STEP BACK!” I go mumble something along the lines of “Well, I’d really rather not, but if you’re really having a hard time finding someone, I supposed I could, yes, yes, I will!”

Because I am an idiot.

But then I decide, “Hey! I don’t have to do this alone! I’ll recruit someone else and then dump the whole thing in her lap, while I sit back and eat bon bons!” So I email the mom who I suspect is super ripe for the picking, because she’s always been very nice to me and has never been class mom, so I figured that she’d jump on the opportunity.

Here’s her response:

That’s so great that you’re class mom this year. Thanks for thinking of me, I feel kind of embarrassed but it’s really something that I would dread doing and
I also would be pretty crappy at it. I would hate to say yes and then fall dreadfully short of my duties. Can I help you recruit someone? I’m hoping there
is someone else who really likes this kind of thing, but if you/we strike out, then maybe I would just buck up and try to swing it. Also I am happy to
organize the class gift or help in any way I can without having an official title.

I think her letter is so perfect that I’m going to print it out and carry it with me next year, so if anyone asks me to become class mom, I’ll have a ready response. Because although she says no very clearly, she does it in a way that is completely self-effacing and sort of endearing.

As a matter of fact, it makes me want to get her bon bons.

One year ago ...

0saves
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

hokgardner
Twitter:
September 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Damn. This is two weeks too late for me. I’ve been roped into being class mom for my second daughter. But at least it gets me out of being class mom for any of my other kids.

Reply

Issa
Twitter:
September 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I need to teach you the fake phone call look. I have perfected it. The, I am on a very important phone call and absolutely can not stop and talk to you right now, look. Then? You give a slight wave and keep on walking.

Reply

Pauline
Twitter:
September 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I really needed this Marinka, like FOUR WEEKS AGO WHEN SCHOOL STARTED.

Not only am I a first grade room parent but I am also the HEAD OF THE 1ST GRADE ROOM PARENTS. Which means I am the head room-mom of room-moms, or something like. It just means that I am drowning in paper work, emails and voice mail messages.

Reply

christy September 20, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Brilliant! My daughter is attending her very first ‘school’ – one morning, once a week. She’s two! And guess who’s room mom? Moi, of course. 🙂 Shouldn’t be too bad – only ten kids total!

Reply

Nicole
Twitter:
September 20, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I gave your answer last year, nobody asked me back, so that’s another option, that half-assed room mom approach. I love the email, saving it for a rainy day/mom recruiter.

Reply

Marinka September 21, 2010 at 9:00 am

believe me, I “did my best” last year. Didn’t work.

Reply

ladyday September 20, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Awwwww I miss the days of being HR Mom! I did it for both my girls for as long as I could. And this is how stupid *I* was……I did it for Hebrew school too!

Reply

Cherilyn September 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Now there’s a mom who has really figured out the system. Not only can she gracefully get out of stuff, she offers up names to do the stuff she wants to get out of. I hope you took her up on her offer of some other poor unsuspecting soul’s name.

Reply

alexandra
Twitter:
September 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Absolutely poetic.

I’m laminating it, too.

Reply

Stimey
Twitter:
September 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Your big mistake was making eye contact in the first place.

Reply

Blogging Goddess September 20, 2010 at 8:43 pm

This is why I only do carpool. Can’t be nabbed to do tasks at school.

Reply

Vicki
Twitter:
September 20, 2010 at 8:46 pm

What’s a class mom? It sounds very Goering-esque.

Reply

Rima
Twitter:
September 20, 2010 at 8:54 pm

You could laminate them and sell them on Etsy. Millionairinka!

Reply

Becca Salmon
Twitter:
September 20, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Oh, if only you had posted this before 6:30 then I wouldn’t be the PTO Secretary. Good luck this year!

Reply

Laura September 20, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I need to copy this and have it with me EVERYWHERE I go…and I wish I had had it with me when I said I would work at the worm booth at the state fair next Saturday.
No, I’m not kidding.

Reply

me September 20, 2010 at 10:19 pm

She’s good. I normally come up with brilliant responses like that two days after the conversation.

Reply

Nadine September 20, 2010 at 11:02 pm

I’m having a hard time getting my head wrapped around working the ‘worm booth’ at the fair. What exactly does one do at a worm booth? Never mind, I’m not certain I really want to know. Although you are too late for most of the duties I’ve already been roped into, you are just in time for the fundraising committee meetings that are slated for next week: now, I have my response. Thank you. [I may need to send both you and your friend bon bons]

Reply

the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
September 20, 2010 at 11:39 pm

oh yes. That mom is brilliant. But you gave her an out with the email. You should have asked her in person. So hard to say no face to face.

Reply

Jill
Twitter:
September 20, 2010 at 11:50 pm

This is the first year I am NOT room mom. And boy does it feel great. In fact, I plan on being the total slacker mom this year…. the one who waits until the VERY last second to do just about anything for the class. I want to see how it feels.

Reply

Heather (qtberryhead) September 21, 2010 at 12:47 am

I always refused. Even though I spent hours each week in my kids classrooms, the thought of having to plan parties and call people for crap was enough to make me jump off the school roof.

Reply

Catherine
Twitter:
September 21, 2010 at 6:42 am

Ack! Brilliant, and about 2 days late for me. Damn! I’m stuck for this year, anyway.

Reply

A Mom on Spin September 21, 2010 at 7:43 am

Just change, “I am happy to organize the class gift” to “I am happy to RECEIVE the class gift” and you’re all set. . .

Reply

From Belgium September 21, 2010 at 8:15 am

I am translating that into Dutch and printing it to save it for when the girls are going to school.

Reply

class factotum September 21, 2010 at 9:24 am

Yes, that’s the way to do it. In the South, it goes like this:

“You are SO SWEET to think of me! Thank you so much! I wish I could!”

That’s it. If you are on the receiving end of this statement, you don’t realize until you have hung up the phone that you have just been told to get lost.

Reply

Heather, Queen of Shake Shake September 21, 2010 at 10:02 am

I HAPPILY signed up to be Payton’s room mom this year. I’m pretty sure it’s the first sign of some degenerate brain disorder. Or maybe I’m just a degenerate overall. Who knows.

Reply

magpie September 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

I’m totally clipping that. Totally.

Reply

I'm Nate's Mom September 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I was once asked to run the concession for Little League. My response was (1) I don’t like to smell like food and (2) I really don’t like people. They’ve never asked me again.

Perhaps something along the lines of, “I really can’t stand other people’s children,” would work for you?

Reply

annie September 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I’m going to make laminated business cards with that on it then if I see them coming my way wearing the I-have-a-favor-face, I can just hand it to them and walk away. I love the whole “I’d love to help but I don’t want to let anyone down” approach!!

Reply

Peajaye
Twitter:
September 21, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Well, I guess we know where the grist of this year’s blogs will come from, Class Momrinka.

Reply

frogmama September 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Yah, I kind of love her.

Reply

Loukia September 21, 2010 at 4:17 pm

That is awesome, and had me smiling the entire time I was reading it. I’m in fact going to print it out and carry it with me too, as I can never say no to any school activities. Brilliant.

Reply

Scary Mommy
Twitter:
September 22, 2010 at 6:13 am

That’s genius. I am totally saving that response in case I ever get asked. Which I won’t because they all hate me. But, still.

Reply

dusty earth mother September 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

This woman is gifted beyond compare. I should have had this around when someone asked me to be a Girl Scout Leader. Because Class Mom is tough, but Girl Scout Leader? Being a Congresswoman would require less work.

Reply

Phoenix Rising
Twitter:
September 22, 2010 at 11:20 am

Already printed out letter. Been practicing it for hours. Must commit to memory.

Reply

Elaine September 22, 2010 at 11:56 am

I’m in the clear this year since I still have a baby and people are totally down with that excuse. But next year, I’ll need this.

Reply

Bitchin Amy
Twitter:
September 22, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Huh. Nobody ever asks me! I must exude some kind of vibe that lets people know I am way too self-centered to devote my time to the kids. Jerks, who do they think they are?!

Reply

Kate Shields
Twitter:
October 12, 2010 at 10:51 pm

GENIUS. I’m willing to pay her for her intellectual property.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: