I will admit, it's not a very nice trait. I wish I COULD be more open-minded and understanding. But I tend to judge first and ask questions.....never.
this post from my friend Christine over at Keeper of the Fruit Loops and applauded her for putting up her volunteer pledge. And it got me to thinking. I'm a volunteer. Scratch that, I'm actually an OVER-volunteer-er. It's a thing, I swear. I'm a judgmental over-volunteer-er. I go to meetings and everything! And I usually volunteer to bring snacks.
But when it comes to parents who volunteer for NOTHING, I judge. I judge very harshly. Put it to you this way: 172 kids in the high school band this year. 2 of them are mine. I volunteer as the band booster Vice-President, I volunteer to chaperone trips, I volunteer to work in the concession stand during Friday night football games. I spend one night each summer at band camp and then help out in the kitchen the following morning serving breakfast (remember the Egg Nazi?). You get the idea. I'm involved. And I'm of the mindset that if you have a child involved in an activity, you, too, should be involved. But sadly, those of us with kids in the band see the same parents over and over. We work with the same group of parents every Friday in the concession stand, we see the same parents chaperoning band trips, the same parents volunteer at band camp, the same parents come to the monthly booster meetings. 172 band kids. Less than 50 involved band parents. Hashtag frustrating! (did I do that right?)
Last week I attended the parents meeting for 14's high school volleyball team. The team mom that they've had for a few years had recently taken on a new job and needed to be LESS involved. I totally get that. Working full time and having other kids at home, I TOTALLY get that some parents need to back off a little from volunteering. But that's when I feel that it's the responsibility of other parents to step up. Other parents who aren't ME. 14 turned to me and mouthed "You should be team mom!!!" "You should stop talking!" I mouthed back with a smile. No way. There's no way I can take on another responsibility. Not when there are 25 other sets of parents who are more than capable of taking over as team parent. I signed up to work the volleyball concessions stand, to bring snacks to games and to donate food to the stand to sell. But I have to draw the line at taking on being 'Team Mom'. Let someone else do it.
And that's the problem. More and more people are saying 'Let someone else do it' and less and less people actually ARE. And I don't look at the reason behind this lack of stepping up. I just judge. I'm jaded. I judge the parents who show up to football games with their spouse who think they're doing their part by buying some popcorn and a soda. Hey, Sparky, how about coming in so that one of US can go watch our kids perform in the halftime show?
That's my problem. There may be a very good reason WHY some folks can't volunteer to help out. But I'm so jaded by lazy-ass parents who aren't motivated to lift a finger to help out, that I lump ALL parents who don't help out together into one big cluster of lazy. It's something that I need to work on. Someday, when I see lots of different faces stepping up to the plate, maybe then I won't be so quick to judge. But for now, I will accept that I'm judgin' like Judy and then I'll go bake some brownies for the volleyball team's car wash this weekend (which I will, of course, be working).