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Is Being Involved in the P and C really scary?

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Is being involved in the P and C really scary? In one word – Yes. Is it worth getting involved in the P and C?  In one word – Yes

I remember the first time I walked into a P and C meeting.  I was too scared to say anything in case I said something wrong or politically incorrect.   Let me explain why it is easy to be intimidated. The P and C consist of several distinct personality types.  See if you can recongise any of these types:

 The Over Achiever

This mum has usually had a very stressful and important career prior to having kids.  She is used to running the show, delegating and preparing spreadsheets and minutes. She forgets that the people she is working with are not actually employees but other mums.  She loves to email you at 11.00 at night and then call you first thing in the morning asking if they have read her email.  Recognition, glory and recapturing that sense of being in charge is why she works so hard on the P and C. Some people say that she keeps having more children so she can be involved in the school for a long period of time. They have every piece of equipment to be organised (including an A4 and A3 laminator). Disclosure note – I may at one stage been one of these mums.

Leave It With Me Mum

The mum who puts her hand up for everything. She is at every event, her name appears in every newsletter and she is the first point of contact for everything. This mum basically lives at the school. She is best friends with everyone.   She loves the notoriety. However she complains consistently about how much work she puts into the school and how her husband has begged her to slow down.

Volunteer Mum

The mum who you can always rely on. She is not in it for the glory. She will always be the first to give you assistance.  When you send out a note requesting volunteers, she is always the first to reply and never complains.

I’ll Do It Mum

A person who says they will do something, but then never gets around to doing it.  However they think they should be applauded for being involved.

The Glamazon

Always beautifully dressed.  She does not sweat she glows.  Her house is stunning and nibbles are always beautifully prepared (no tim tams and instant coffee here).   This can go two ways. Either the Glamazon is one of the nicest people you will ever meet or she will eat you for breakfast.

The P and C Dad

The lone guy who turns up at the meeting, does not say much and would never be involved in planning a fundraiser.

These types of mums really show their true colours when it comes to organizing a school fundraiser or event. The committee meetings are excruciating. They take hours and achieve very little. They go off track and discuss irrelevant details like the best paper to print the thank you certificates on.

Now I admit that all the above sounds terrifying, however being involved in the P and C can be a really rewarding experience.  You just need to know the type of people involved and never ever take anything personally.

My daughter attended a school where we really did not know many people.  Some of the people I met through the P and C are now my best friends. I would not have met these people if I had not been involved (as you tend to really only meet the people in your child’s year).    The truth of the matter is that there are in fact more Volunteering Mums at school than the other categories.   All you need to do is bond with people who are like you and you will have a great experience.

Being active on the P and C means you really learn about the school and you are informed. You are kept up to date on what is happening and the events that are happening (nothing worse than sending your child to school in full school uniform when it is mufti day). There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your child run over and cuddle you and say thanks when you are at school helping with cupcake day or snag sizzle day.   So my advice is get involved.

Do any of these personality traits seem familiar?  Do you have another category?

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Accepting Your Child’s Individuality

My Child is an individual.  She dances to the beat of her own drum.  I sometimes ask myself why is my child the odd one out?  But other times I applaud her individuality.  It is not something you can teach a child.   It is important as a parent to appreciate your child for who they are.  To help their child with their uniqueness is a step towards self-esteem.   However it takes time to come to this realization.  This is my journey in accepting my daughter’s individuality.

When I was growing up my mother was excellent at involving us in all activities but we never seem to do anything musical or dance related.  I really wanted my daughter to embrace ballet and dance and to meet other little girls.   We enrolled in the local Dance Academy and started doing Tiny Tots ballet.  The big end of year concert approached.  All of the Tiny Tots Ballerinas were doing Under the Sea from the little Mermaid.  They were all dressed as tiny adorable little Mermaids in a tutu, except for one, my daughter.  She did not want to be a mermaid she want to be a crab.  Her costume was a bright orange (Guantanamo Bay Orange) jumpsuit with a big lump on the back.  I was devastated.  Finally it was the night of the big dance concert and the MC announced that in the 18 years that Miss Rebecca had produced Dance Concerts, she had never seen a tiny tot who wanted to be a crab.  The concert started.  There were 40 mermaids on stage and one crab.  Guess which tiny tot stole the show – the crab!!  My daughter knew what she was doing.   



Over the years we have seen countless other examples of her individuality

  • Her first Book Week – everyone was a fairy and she was Pete the Sheep.
  • Her last Book Week  – she wanted a Harry Potter costume.  Did she want to be Hermione, Harry or even Ron?  No she wanted to be Dumbledore (do you know how hard it is to find Dumbledore costumes).
  • Concert Band – All the girls played the flute and she played the Saxophone (note there is a good reason to play the flute a Saxophone is really heavy for a year three child).
  • Sport – the only girl in the AFL team.
  • Reading – She did not read Fairy Books.  It was books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid or other adventure based books.
  • Christmas Presents – She did not ask for dolls.  Her Christmas wish list was Lego or remote control cars.
  • Year Six Graduation Party – All the girls turned up in party dresses.  She she wore shorts.

 dumbledore        St Michaels Auskick 004.jpg

When she was about ten I stopped trying to force her to conform.  I realized that I was trying to live vicariously through my child and to get her to do things I used to do and what the others were doing.  The problem was really with me and there was no problem with her decisions.   In fact I think I should have done more to let her know she was a trendsetter.  Instead I worried that when she went to High School she would be alienated for being different.

Now, I am happy that I do not have a “me too” child?  I never hear from my daughter the words “Everyone Else Is doing it”.   I love the fact that she is an individual. 

Is your child an individual?  What traits do they have?

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