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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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Lyn

My kid is not in kindergarten yet - but I have to confess I still don't fully understand all of this insanity. Is it primarily the moms who do all of this? What are the demographics of parental involvement?

Maura Mahoney

Hi! Thanks for referencing my piece from last year on the end-of-year craziness. I do think that the best way to "survive" is to pick and choose - you, and your children, certainly don't have to do everything.

I thought I'd include a link to a different piece I wrote this spring on the same topic: http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Blogs/Minivan-Diaries/Web-2012/May-Daze/

Anyway, good luck - and enjoy your summer!

Jamie

I find that the end of the school year includes a few more events than I can possible find time for (the 15 minute music performance being one of them), but I also appreciate the community that has formed around my son's kindergarten class. (For my other son's preschool, not so much). I find the internal pressure relentless about the number of things I would like to do but can't - field trips, volunteer opportunities, committees that meet during the day or afternoon. While the pace is slightly more at the end of the year, I think it is fairly relentless year round, especially with sports thrown in. I would estimate at least 1/2 of my eldest's classmates moms do not work, so they are constantly available for playdates, etc. I envy them that but wouldn't quit work. Unless, that is, that I finally win the lotto.

Stacy

@Lynn, yes it is primarily the moms although there are some variations. There is a posse of second grade moms that do almost everything at the school and, in fact, appear to live in the PTA office. They haven't seemed all that receptive to dads' participation. By contrast, more than a few dads volunteered to help out at my son's kindergarten Valentine's Day party. I think with more flexible work schedules and the ability to telework, more working parents are able to be involved. @Maura, loved your piece from this year, which I originally read in the Bethesda magazine. You do have to be careful what you volunteer to do! @Jamie, yes it would be nice to have more time to volunteer, do playdates, etc. but I don't envy the moms who spend the bulk of their time volunteering at the school and doing playdates. And yes, the pace is relentless year round but the last few weeks of school for us seem to go beyond that!

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