My son started Kindergarten this year, which was a hard adjustment for me getting used to my baby going to school. During school sign ups I signed up for the PTA (Parent Teacher Association), classroom volunteer, and Room Mother. I have mixed feeling about public school in the state I live in and we are not known for having the best education, so I decided I wanted to be as involved at the school as I could so I could better understand the needs of our children at school.
Well I was chosen to be Room Mother for my son’s Kindergarten class, which I am very excited about. Although after meeting with my son’s teacher I had no idea what I had really gotten myself into. I thought the Room moms where in charge of planning all the fun activities like Halloween parties. Nope, there is more you have to coordinate parent volunteers to come in and help with reading groups and other educational activities as well as working with the kids. You are basically a teacher’s aide with no pay. Not that it’s a bad thing don’t get me wrong, and I have actually been enjoying helping out in the classroom.
I have also been learning about the mom clicks that exist in the school, it’s almost as if I’m back in High School again. It’s almost amusing to watch at times that even as adults this dynamic of clicks still exists.
I’m sure its different state to state but as you know I am from Utah and most people are LDS here, and the first question most people ask you who are from Utah is “What ward are you in?” or “Where did you serve your mission?”. I’m sure some of you are googling what I am even talking about right now, but growing up here my entire life it’s a question I have grown tired of and wonder if people from Utah know how to start a conversation any other way when they first meet you.
My point to that long explanation is that here there is a click dynamic based on religion, all the Mom volunteers all know each other well and it’s not due to their children going to the same school. It’s because they all go to the same church (ward). They very much stick to their click and so far from what I have experience barely speak to you. I definitely feel like the odd man out at the volunteer meetings and planning sessions.
Not that I care to be in the “It” crowd, but as an adult I would hope there is more to life than only being able to speak to the people who go to the same church as you or being able to have a conversation that involves something other than what has been going on at church.
Then there is the “uncool” mom crowd (this does not literally mean we are not cool or great moms we just don’t fit the “It” crowd stereotype here), which is where I fit at this time we are the ones who do not go to church and get the judgmental looks. I especially love after they ask me what ward we are in and I tell them “We are not LDS”. That pretty much ends the conversation with that mom, they only again talk to you if they have to in regards to something about the school for the meeting.
So far I have felt like a third wheel at most meeting and the events I have volunteered at, but I am outgoing so I pretty much just put myself out there and I am not afraid to ask questions. I am there for the kids not to be part of a click or there for social hour so it’s not a big deal.
I just hope that as I begin to learn these school mom dynamics that this will change throughout the year. I am all for the positive women movements that are being pushed for and for us to stop judging and shaming each other, and the need to put a stop to the clicks that are still going on in our adult lives.
I am not really sure how to affect it in the school mom dynamic other than I am friendly to everyone and do not judge them for doing what they do and believing what they believe. So I guess that is a start right?