When I was a mum to babies and toddlers I had this idea that once they went to school I would have ALL this time on my hands. From 9am until 3pm they would be tucked up at school learning and I would be free to do something un-kid related. I never even contemplated after-hours school events.
I've since realised that was a complete dream. You see school and preschool these days has become a timetabled jumble of meetings, social events, days, etc, etc.
Back when I was a kid, my parents were asked to come to school just a handful of times a year - Easter Hat Parade, Education Week and Speech Day (possibly a Carols night thrown in there). There may have been a school fete once a year too. My mum did a couple of extra things like helping a struggling boy with reading and working in the canteen.
So far for Lil-lil in her first term of school the parents have been asked to attend:
- a welcome morning tea,
- a welcome BBQ on a Friday night,
- a Sunday class picnic,
- an information night,
- a home reading workshop,
- a social drinks night at a local pub,
- Grandparents Day.
This is just term 1, people. There is a plethora of events filling the calendar for the rest of the year.
Tie that in with the events for term 1 at Goosey's preschool:
- Welcome night
- Committee meeting
- Harmony Day afternoon tea
- Working Bee
- Yard Sale
- Bandage Bear morning tea
- Farewell afternoon tea for a leaving teacher.
That's more than one school event every week for the first term. This doesn't take into account that parents are asked to come to Lil-lil's class three times a week to help with reading and maths games, plus come to help with excursions. Or even being a member of the P&C or other committees. It certainly doesn't factor in the never-ending stream of birthday party invites. It's lucky that I have a fairly poor social life at present, cause how else would you fit all this in?
Now, I'm not complaining. I'm enjoying being a part of their schooling life, but man, it does seem to be a LOT. Here I was thinking with so many parents working these days that the pressure would be off, but it has definitely increased since I was school. The whole school community thing is so much more than 9-3 and that's surprised me.
I'm not a joiner. I'm not the person who puts their hand up to be on the committee. I don't even really enjoy making small talk with the mums while we wait for the kids to come out. In spite of my non-joining qualities I'm really trying to be enthusiastic about all this and get excited for the kids.
What happens at your school? Is this just the way it is nowadays?