Dear Ms. Meniscus,

I’m the parent who’s a sap. I’m the one who bakes, travels, monitors, and sells for my daughter’s sixth grade. We live in a small town in North Dakota and I’ve been labeled as the person who “loves” to do this kind of stuff when actually I hate it. And, yes, I have RA. It’s in remission thanks to some great injections, so I can’t honestly tell people I’m not feeling well. I just hate the work and she has two brothers behind her so my life is looking pretty grim for the foreseeable future.

It’s like being in detention.

Dear Being in Detention,

You seem like a frustrated “Super Mom” that has way too much on her plate. I can imagine that volunteering for these school functions started from a genuine desire to help out, but has spiraled out of control as more and more responsibilities piled up. Unfortunately, sometimes the superb job that you did at organizing last year’s bake sale makes you shoe-in for to coordinate this year’s. Ultimately, you could also be a top pick to head up even more tasks and functions.

Perhaps you’re overwhelmed from all the work that you are volunteering for, and maybe you truly do need to just get away from it all. You need an exit strategy in order to cut back on some, or all of your hectic “Super Mom” responsibilities.

I would recommend scaling back your involvement by encouraging other mothers, fathers to take a more active role in school. Give them some encouragement and perhaps they might start showing some interest in taking ownership of some programs themselves.

Learn to say, “No.” It’s simple, but sometimes, people don’t know how to use this very basic word to their advantage.

Just because your RA has gone into remission doesn’t mean that it’s cured. You still need to take some time to take care of yourself in order to stay at the top of your game.

I can tell you love your family, otherwise you would never have gotten involved. But you need to make it known that you also need to spend time with them, and that time takes priority over school functions.


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