Musings: I am the parent that runs a mile when my child's school asks for volunteers 1 year ago

Musings: I am the parent that runs a mile when my child's school asks for volunteers

You know the way Katniss volunteered in The Hunger Games? Yeah... I'm like the anti-Katniss

My aunt sent her children to the same school that my son now attends and she was involved in everything.

She did the bake sales, she dressed up as an elf every Christmas and went along to every parenting committee trip there was.

I, on the other hand, do not do any of these things.

I think in the last few years that my son has been attending school, I've gone along to one field trip that was organised for the mums and I felt uncomfortable the entire time.

Many of the other mums knew each other and sort of branched off into groups, but to be honest even if they had approached me I'm absolutely rubbish at small talk. My shyness often makes me avoid situations where I have to chit-chat, but I thought on this occasion I would put my best mum foot forward and try.

I tried. It was awkward. I decided not to go to another one.

I'm not blaming the other mums, it's not on them, it's on me being an absolute nervous wreck. I know myself I'm not good when I'm thrown into situations where I have to try to be a social butterfly, so when volunteers are required I tend to duck down in the crowd.


Another part of my lack of school spirit is that I am in no way, shape or form a Pinterest mum.

I am, in fact, the exact opposite and often refer to myself as a hot mess mum. I always have the best intentions, but they just never really seem to pan out.

A couple of years ago there was a bake sale in my son's school and I decided that I was definitely going to get involved. I went to the supermarket and stocked up on every kind of baking supply I could find. Baking powder, glace cherries, icing sugar — the works. This was on the weekend though...

Come the week of the bake sale I was exhausted every day after work and couldn't bring myself to attempt any sort of Mary Berry action. My son did, however, bring homemade baked goods to the sale... Just not mine.

My job was holding a bake sale the day before my son's school had theirs, so I bought lots of cakes at work and brought them home with me.

Terrible, I know, but a mum's got to do what a mum's got to do.1

It's not just me though, I come from a long line of non-PTA mums as neither my mother or my grandmother were big on school volunteering.

We've all volunteered for different charitable causes and there have been many a Christmas time that I've stood on Grafton street shaking buckets or taking part in sponsored runs.

I think it's more the social side of the school events that makes me want to run a mile. Giving to a good cause I can do, holding a conversation with a stranger without internally freaking out I can not do.

I'll never be the parenting committee MVP, but I'm so ok with that.