Working Parent Parenting & Child Care by Stage Child Development Education Family Health Family Life In the News

One More Reason to Be Stressed…as If We Need Another

Illustration by Chris Gash for The Boston Globe

For the first couple of years of my son’s public school experience, I flew under the radar screen. Not only did I have my son’s bumpy transition to keep me busy, I was also mom to a newly adopted little boy and a developmentally disabled daughter. And I have a demanding career, too. So I figured I was off the hook. But then the president of the PTO moved into the house next door. And guess what? She owns her own successful international business. She has two kids and a bazillion other responsibilities, too. If she could be president, couldn’t I at least attend a meeting?

So I went to the first PTO meeting this year and signed up to be on a newly forming committee. At our first get-together, responsibilities were assigned. I was asked to help with a bunch of research that includes making calls to local agencies with whom our committee might partner. I promptly started breaking out in hives. At that point I shared with the group that I couldn’t do that…I told them I had three kids and a busy job. What they didn’t ask, but had every right to, is “then why are you here?” Apparently I’m not the only one who is stressed out over volunteering, as this article makes quite clear.

Any ideas about how to make volunteering work without upsetting an apple cart that’s already teetering?

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