Why helping at your child’s school will benefit you.

So I was a homebody before my children started school. I had barely any friends and I was fine with that. After I left high school I was a real crappy friend myself and didn’t keep in touch with anyone. Plus I had my reasons with some people.

So when my eldest started school I pushed myself out of my comfort level and forced myself to socialize.

Than before I knew it, I had my other kids in playgroup. Than I was in the P&C. As years progressed and all my kids in school now, I help in tuck shop, I volunteer my days doing cake stalls, bbqs and other fundraisers.

I made new friends, and every year I meet a bunch more. Every now and then we go out on Friday or Saturday nights at a tavern or hotel, or just have a quiet afternoon having coffees and chatting before school pick up or meet at ones house and the kids play together.

Most days are awesome. We laugh as we tell stupid stories of ourselves or husbands. We babble on about our kids. We have music playing as we sing and dance while making school lunches for tuck shop. Our atmosphere can be so infectious that a staff member or too will join us on the travels from one room to another. Or we get called in to the hall and have adult vs kids netball match or listen to their school captain nomination speeches. We even get kids at the back door of tuckshop at playtime asking if we can join them in basketball.

We know nearly every name of each child as they greet us, make cards for us, and thank us is whatever we do.

And some days my time with them doesn’t end once school does. I would get home than spend the next four hours on the phone chatting and gossiping about stuff we couldn’t say earlier. We would slightly neglect our kids or housework, only half listening to our children screaming for attention so they can ask some random question and letting your dinner over cook as you realize the time of night and you need to bathe your kids as you quickly hang washing but the whole time talking about such and such is seeing so and so and blah blah was saying this and that today.

Volounteering my time at my children’s school has helped me in so many ways. I’ve become a looser parent, I’m more relaxed. I have an awesome network of parents that I’m grateful are my friends that I can lean on and ask questions and advice.

I know most of the teachers and other staff at the school and understand the ins and outs. I have great conversations and know where my children are in their education. I get tipped off when they are getting awards and get results back early from their tests and report cards.

Plus being in the P&C has many perks besides having new friends. I get notes and fundraiser forms earlier than most parents so I can help more and have more time to do so.

You also get to know other kids. The beautiful kids. They are smart and intelligent and just awesome because over time as you get to know these other children, you become proud of them when they achieve something and disappointed when they misbehave. I always had a joke around with some seniors last year and already miss them. But I also know they are doing great in high school and I am proud of them for trying their hardest.

Joining my children’s school community was the best choice I’ve made. I’ve become less awkward socially, more forward. Less judgmental and more compassionate. I have awesome new friends that whenever we are together we have a great time. I’ve got some pretty good friends that are also teachers and teacher aides at the school, and even for a small community, it feels like a huge family.

The school maybe small, but their hearts ain’t. The staff are wonderful.

I use to help with reading as well and helping teachers to get these little bundles to learn to read is amazing. The way their faces light up when you walk in the classrooms! (The kids too)

Plus you get to keep an eye on your child. Learn his friends, his habits, his behavior. After all, school child is completely different to home child.

So I highly recommend to get out there. Have a go. My friends from my kids school range from 27 to 55. We love volunteering, even if its once a week. I love going, saying hello to everyone, applaud students on parade, have a chat with the girls.

Get out there and have a try! It will be some ride! 

A letter to my husband.

Dear husband,

This year will mark 12 years. But we only lived together for 11.

That first year you were a single full time father. You brought kids into this relationship and I provided new ones as the years went past.

But now our youngest is at school and your not at work today.

No, I don’t want to cuddle in bed all day watching movies.

No I don’t want to ask what do you want to do today and you reply an hour before school pick up.

I seem to forget sometimes you were a single parent for a while. Nearly four years before I came along.

So when you have the day off, I don’t want you to fold half a basket of clothes to look busy, then leave the folded clothes on the floor and couch.

I want you to make them breakfast. It takes me 20 minutes to drink my coffee and wake up and function from my horrible lack of sleep. That’s why I am out of bed at 6am.

While I am in the shower shaving my legs because its too hot for long pants, please feel free to help zip up zippers and tie shoes.

While I make their sandwiches and fill their lunch boxes, please help me by doing the dishes.

While I brush and do our daughters hair up nice and tight and braided and off their shoulders to help prevent catching headlice, there are three Barbie’s, a dressing gown, 4 cushions and a blanket plus those folded clothes that need to be picked up and wool everywhere because I had to teach our son how to knit before this afternoon.

But you seem to be out of routine, you seem to have forgotten how hectic a school morning is. Please don’t lay on the bed playing poker on your phone telling the children to clean their rooms when one is screaming with no socks and shoes on and her hair half undone from it getting caught in her dress zipper. Another sulking on the couch trying to tighten the Velcro on her shoes and the third well, he jumps out of bed and he is ready for school.

Now husband, I know you hurt yourself and the pain will subside. Only one more hour than you can see the doctor about it, but please don’t lay in bed barking orders when I’ve been doing this for 10 years with a pain threshold slowly moving up to a permenant 7 out of 10.

Now I have to find my other shoe before I have to leave for work and take the kids to school, so please just remember, its not hard to help. So please walk in my shoes on the days I can’t do housework and had the opportunity. On the days where we just have to do it, despite the pain.