Week #49 of 52: "FUN-raiser"
At the beginning of the school year, I made a personal commitment to be more engaged in the communities of both of my children’s school. I didn’t want to be on the sidelines and not at least make an effort to get connected to the parent community (there’s a little mommy guilt there). I didn’t know what the involvement would look like, but I actually found two completely different events to engage in. For my daughter’s school, I volunteered to be a cashier at the book fair. Fun, easy, and something I can do before going to work. For my son’s school, a brief conversation at the kindergarten meet and greet turned into a full on logistics coordination role at their annual fundraiser which brings me to this week’s mommy break, Spring Thaw.
Months of hard work of the committee and a constant reminder for myself of making sure I was keeping the details in order to ensure I was not the single point of failure, culminated in a great event on Saturday. I met a ton of great parents who were super passionate about their kids education and overall financial health of the school. It was very refreshing to see such engaged parents. It was also a great proof point for me that success and longevity of a public school system is not exclusively on the leaders and teachers who run the school, parent involvement is just as important. Living within in a large urban public school system as complex as Chicago Public Schools can be mentally daunting for many parents because it is designed to perpetuate and further exacerbate the notion of the haves and the have nots barriers to high quality schools. If we could replicate that level of parent engagement AND their resources across an entire district there would be no disparities in public education. The event was Havana Nights with casino games, food, and OPEN BAR, and fabulous auction and raffle items. Despite the success of the event, I could not let my hair down completely, since I was on the committee trying to make sure things were going smoothly. It was a mommy break only because I was away from my kids but I did not come home refreshed and rejunvenated. I felt rather relieved that this is one thing checked off my to do list and can free up some mental capacity.
Another experience, that could be masked as a mommy break was my work trip this week to Texas. On the upside I got to see one of my best friends for dinner. On the down side, it was a lot of intense focused time with my co workers. I will be the first person to say that I really do LOVE my day job, but I really need time away from my coworkers to regroup and recharge to give 100% everyday. My silver lining was waking up every day to my own alarm clock (which unfortunately is permanently set to “too early”.