Class Mom Aspirations.

by Wendy Sachs



Last year when my son Jonah asked me to be the class mom, I responded “but I’m your mom sweetie,” I don’t need to be the class mom. He was temporarily disappointed, but didn’t push the point. This year Jonah was adamant. “Mommy,” he announced at the end of August, “you will be the class mom this year…you MUST.”


Having your mom as Class Mom when you’re in third grade seems to carry elite status. It’s like being a hall monitor or on safety patrol, but better because your mom is ALWAYS in the classroom for the smorgasbord of events – events that often involve food.


So midway through last year, Jonah began plotting my move to become his Class Mom – the quintessential Queen Mama School Bee. Maybe he was motivated by first choice cupcakes at the end-of-the-month collective birthday parties or maybe he simply wanted to bask in the glow of my in-class presence, who knows. But the pressure was on and I didn’t want to let him down.


So I promised that this year to volunteer as class martyr and throw myself into the minutiae of mind numbing responsibilities like collecting Scholastic book order forms. I am not knocking the importance of the administrative efforts that must happen to make a classroom run smoothly, I just have no interest in doing them. And while I swear I am at the school for pretty much everything – or certainly everything that warrants an in-person visit, the class mom literally is there for EVERYTHING. Things frankly, I’ve chosen to avoid.


So believing that Jonah would feel more pride in my being his Class Mom than if I were to say win a Nobel Prize for eradicating the Swine Flu, I decided to suck it up and sign up. After all, how much longer will my son actually want to see me in his classroom?


What I didn’t realize was that this Class Mom thing had become super competitive. In past years at Back-To-School night a paper was passed around seeking volunteers. I would always push the paper to other desks mumbling softly so the other moms could hear and not think that I was shirking my duties something like, “I really wish I could, but I work full time.”


Oh goodness...the Class Mom thing. I volunteered to be Class Mom when my son was in preschool. It was a nightmare. I did everything. When the other parents didn't pony up what was needed for the gifts, etc., guess who reached into her own wallet again and again? My personal favorite experience was the end of school party (organized and excuted solely by moi). This one mother (stay at home mom with 2 kids in school and 1 baby at home), criticized me behind my back - yet never gave a dime to anything or her time. I don't know what was worse - being criticized behind my back or finding out about it. Anyway...the end of school party rolls around and Ms. Complainer - who gave nothing (no snack, no $$, no time) - showed up with ALL of her kids. I didn't think I was ever going to hold it together. Now my son is in kindergarten. I will never be Class Mom again - I don't care how much he begs.