To PTA Moms From A Working Mom Who Can’t Always Be There: Thank You

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pta mom working mom

Dear PTA mom,

You know you who are. You’re the one at Meet the Teacher decked out in school colors selling $2 car magnets and $10 memberships with a smile.

You’re the one dressed as Cat In The Hat dancing down the hall during the Read-A-Thon kickoff.

You’re the one with the homemade cupcakes, the Thanksgiving party napkins that coordinate perfectly with the paper plates, the one at the top of the teacher’s speed dial list.

You’re the one brushing kids’ hair before their school picture gets snapped and etched into their permanent history.


You’re the PERFECT one.

You’re the one brushing MY child’s hair.  

I’m the one who’s lucky to make it to one field trip a year, the one who plans to buy store-bought treats for the holiday party … and then totally forgets.

I’m the one who just can’t commit to saying “YES, I’ve got this” (because to do so would be a painful lie to myself, to you and to every child I’d be letting down).

We’ve been eyeing each other, you and I, for years now, sizing each other up. Trying publicly not to take sides, but perhaps doing so privately in the quiet comfort of our own thoughts.

You know that we working moms just can’t pull off the magic you do.

And we know that you know.

We try to convince ourselves that it’s just not important. We buy into the hype that you’re just a cliquey group of moms trying to make yourselves feel important because you don’t work outside the home.

But that’s a lie. And we know it.


But what you don’t realize is just how grateful we are that you’re around.

The countless hours that you put in decorating doors, organizing school dances, running school pantries, and fundraising ARE important. (God knows, you'd rather be spending time doing ANYTHING else besides hawking key chains and coffee mugs and begging businesses for raffle items.)

You do it because you care — not just about your children but about mine too.

You’re changing lives. MY KIDS’ LIVES. You’re enriching their educational experience in ways I probably don’t even realize.

You’re doing what we working moms wish we could do.

But instead of feeling jealous or somehow lacking what I feel is GRATEFUL.

You are part of my village, you know, the one we’re told to lean on.

So when I buy your $2 car magnet or send in cash for the class party instead of cookies — or just nod and smile at you in that silly Cat In The Hat costume — please know that that’s my way of saying THANK YOU.

And please keep sending me emails asking for help. I promise I’ll do all I can (and maybe even a little bit more because you’re there believing in me too).


A working mom


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