Party Moms Gone Mad

My friend, a fellow working mom, received this gem today from her child’s homeroom mother:

Hello Ladies

It’s that time of year again when our schedules are hectic but fun. You are included on this mailing list because you have volunteered and we have accepted that you will help with the Class Holiday Party.

The Holiday Party is Friday, December 21st. We will have a planning meeting on Thursday, November 29th at 9:15A.M. at Panera’s. We need to complete our planning at this meeting so that we meet the minimum 2 week requirement of having everything in writing to Ms. X who will then submit for approval to Mrs. Y. If you are unable to help at the Holiday Party, please reply to this email immediately so that we can move down the list to the other volunteers. We need to have everyone at the planning meeting so in other words, it is mandatory unless you have an unforeseen event (death or illness).

Here’s a snapshot of the November 29th meeting:

  • Introductions of the Holiday Party Team
  • Review list of volunteers for Paper Products for what is needed
  • Review list of volunteers for Drink & Snack and determine what these will be.
  • Determine what Games and Craft will be conducted at the party.
  • Review list of volunteers for Games and Craft to determine who will bring what and what is needed.
  • Review Party Guidelines that need to be followed
  • Determine if we need to collect a Party fee for the year to offset necessary funds to have a “fun” party.

Please reply if I have overlooked anything or if you have a conflict in this schedule.

Thanks and I look forward to seeing you all on Thursday, November 29th at 9:15A.M.  Please mark your calendars!

The unspoken(written) parts here are:

  1. “I’ll send the other Psychotic Party Planning Moms after you if you don’t show up to this meeting.”
  2. “I’ll tell your kids you didn’t love them enough to drag your flu-ridden body to Panera’s so you could be a part of this.”
  3. “Capitalizing ‘Party’ and ‘Paper Products’ makes our work more meaningful. And it makes me feel so much better about myself.”
  4. “I assume you have nothing better to do (like work) than to meet me for coffee at 9:15 and hear me expound upon my ideas for the Best Party Ever…but it’ll be a team effort, I promise. No dictators here!”
  5. “I am frustrated — really, really frustrated — in ways I can’t even begin to recognize.”

17 thoughts on “Party Moms Gone Mad

  1. Chris H. says:

    I’m not a mom and it’s a good thing. My kids would hate me (I say that all the time). Is this party for underprivileged kids who are not going to go home to a mountain of presents, parties galore, feast upon feast at the end of this day for the next week and a half? Didn’t think so. Whatever happened to “You bring 2 dozen cookies and I’ll bring juice and we’ll call it a party?” Sheesh. And they wonder how the Millennial generation got that way…

  2. cynthiacloskey says:

    Awesome. I’ve imagined that this is what life is like On The Other Side (that is, for the modern mom), but to have this evidence is fascinating.

    Does she expect that working moms will take time off work to attend?

    I don’t think I know any people like this. Suddenly, I feel truly blessed.

  3. Beta Mom: please don’t be afraid, but be glad you live a few states away. (But imagine what they’d say if you or I brought our lame cookies to the party?!)

    Chris and Cindy: I assure you that most moms are not like this, a little dysfunctional and sleep-deprived perhaps, but not off their rockers, so to speak.

    Madame: Yeah, I was puzzled by the bureaucracy and over-formalized approval process here, but I think it’s evidence that the pendulum has swung from free-for-all parties to the buttoned-up-until-you-choke version. My personal fav is the “you have volunteered and we have accepted that you will help” part. Did the application include having to write a personal essay?

    A few other notes:

    My friend politely declined her duties as a Party Mom b/c she already had committed to planning a less obsessive kind of party for her other child. However, she did take the time to respond to the above email and say she most certainly could not make the mandatory meeting because of other commitments AND the fact that she works and could not willy-nilly call off to go meet for coffee. (I suspect she was more eloquent than that.)

    I would’ve declined because Party Crazy failed to include punctuation in some of her bullet points. For shame!

    Finally, I hope my readers know I honestly could care less if moms work, stay at home, whatever. In fact, I’m not sure of the mom who wrote the email’s story. But it is so irritating when people are presumptuous about other people’s schedules and time commitments, whatever they may be. Aargh.

    PS.This is the exact same topic I wrote my essay about in the Chicken Soup book.

  4. WTF? How old are these kids and how many are attending? We don’t even do this much planning for our company’s holiday party in which 150 adults are involved! Party Crazy? I’d say Party Ridiculous.

  5. I was going to suggest (but you beat me to it) that you bring beta mom’s Snickerdoodoos to the event. That’ll teach ’em.

    “Please reply if I have overlooked anything” is the one that jumps out at me. You can tell it was typed with a clenched jaw, as if to say, “Just you DARE imply that I’ve overlooked anything.”

    I think you should reply that she has overlooked something.

  6. Lulu: Third grade. This is all for 8/9 year-olds. WTF is right.

    Curt: I will be sure now to ask for your help in everything I do.

    Jeff: Hey, great minds think alike! I loved your Snickerdoodoos comment on Beta Mom’s post (and I love the non-poop version of Snickerdoodles almost as much as I love chocolate). I’m not sure I’m brave enough to challenge this mom because, frankly, she seems like the type who might try to run me off the road with her [choose: Honda Pilot, Toyota/Honda minivan, bombastic SUV/Hummer H4]. It was funny talking to my friend who received the email; I think she would’ve decked the woman if they had reviewed the email in person.

  7. A couple gallons of Hi-C, a pack of 8-oz Dixie Cups, a few dozen cookies, candy canes for all, the school janitor dressed up like Santa, and a cd of non-religion-specific holiday tunes, and you got yourself all the holiday party any third-grader needs, jack.

  8. Bob: I completely agree. I’m not sure schools are allowed to hand out “treats” anymore due to new healthy food standards. Possibly we could pass out sunflower seeds and pretend its reindeer food?

    Curt: I’ve been warned.

  9. Oh Man!!!! This is insane! It was bad in the 80s, but I think it’s getting worse. I thought all of the latest articles were about how no one can do everything. My Mom was the only working Mom when I was growing up. Not because she had to, but because she wanted to and she NEVER participated in anything. She often told me that if she had it to do over again, she never would have married or had children. “I don’t have a maternal bone in my body”, she would say.Probably why, being the rebel I am, I was the only Mom that didn’t work outside the home.

    My boys are 21 and 24. They live far away and go to college and work. I can’t believe I made it. Funny thing is, I miss ’em like crazy. I did miss most of these school parties when they were young, because I was the only stay at home Mom. I raised 90 % of the children in my town, so I could be home to raise my own kids. I was the only Mom on everyone’s emergency card and I baked, so I did contribute to the parties in my way. Plus I made the food for the teacher appreciation luncheons. I liked it. Probably why I had a cookie business when I first was divorced in 2001 and am now a Personal Chef and do small catering jobs.
    In fact, when I was stil married and the kids were younger, I gave at least one neighborhood party almost every month with kids running in and out of the house and parents drinking and dancing and talking and eating. After my husband moved out it all kind of ended. Sometimes when you get divorced people think it’s contagious.
    At the beginning of my childcare foray, it was my 6 week old baby who started it. I went back to work for 2 weeks. I was a Children’s Library Clerk. They call them Technicians now. I couldn’t find a babysitter for 18 hours a week and no one in the family would do it. My husband came home to find me crying my eyes out at 11:00 P.M. He took one look at me and said, “Alright!!!!! Quit!!!!!!” So, I did. Within 1 week I had 6 infants (including my own) under 6 weeks old. All part time and kinda at different times. The first one came at 7 A.M. and the last one went home 2 hours after my husband got home. That actually worked out great. The last baby liked men and loud rock music. His Dad was the Lead Guitar for the Eddie Money Band. I met his Mom at Mommy and me class and we became great friends. She was a nurse on swing shift, which meant she dropped Chrisopher off at around 3 and picked him up around 1 A.M. When my husband got home my baby was sleeping, but Christopher was screaming. The minute Don, my ex husband took him from me, he stopped crying and settled in. They turned on the music, I hated it, but I was grateful,they settled into the couch. I got Don a beer and Christopher a bottle, and within 30 minutes they were both asleep. C’s Mom would waltz in in the early morning hours to the boys snoozin’. She told me not to feel bad. Christopher and his Dad did that, too. Later, it was toddlers and Mom’s who would call me on Friday nights, begging me to bathe and feed their kids, so they could hit the bar, like I had no life. Because, you know, Hell, I had no job??????? I was home all day. By then I had my second son. Then the Moms or Dads would crawl to my door on Monday morning, kids still in PJs with a bag of donut holes and never failed to say, “I don’t know how you do this 5 days a week.” After that it was before and afer school childcare. I know, especially for my generation, I’m weird, But I so much would rather do that than any job I’ve ever had. My Mom used to say that I should have been born in 1935 and she should have been born in 1958. She told me many times that she seriously had no idea where I came from. She couldn’t wait to get back to work when my brother was in kindergarten. She’s wrong, though. I’m too outspoken, opinionated, etc. to be a 1960s Mom and she’s too introverted and mealy mouthed to be a 1980s Mom.
    This whole party thing, though, really blows me away. In this day and age there’s gotta be a better way to have fun and not get to the point where you just might jump on a knife. Dontcha think?
    Sorry…..Like I said…Outspoken…..opinionated. I also act and sing in Community Theatre. Well, have fun. Who knows in 10 years, maybe I’ll be a Grandma……it better be 10 years! Who am I to talk…I had my first at 25.

  10. Lisa: Your second line sums it up: this IS insane. And I would say that you taking on a neighborhood of children, in addition to caring for your own, was definitely work! But it sounds like you really enjoyed being able to be at home, and that is what matters most. I myself have worked the whole time since my kids were born, and, for the most part, that’s what’s worked best for me. We’re all different and that’s what makes the world go ’round. It’s just silly when people start presuming one way is better than the other. So not necessary and as they say “we are our own worst enemy” sometimes.

  11. Susan,
    I totally agree. Hopefully we can all figure out how to make what we really want work. I figured out a way to be home because that’s what I like. I Still do, but I have to pay my mortgage alone these days. I can’t work for other people, so I’ve always found ways to be home a lot and still pay the mortgage. If we were all into the same thing then only that one thing would get done, whatever that one thing may be. We all need to appreciate our differences as well as the things we have in common. I still think this room mom needs valium or lots of drinks…just my opinion.

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