09/05/2013 10:41 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Just Say No to the PTA -- An Open Letter to Myself

Dear Self,

The kids go back to school next week, and let's face it, that means you do, too. But it doesn't have to mean that. It could mean freedom and relaxation this year instead of endless PTA projects and class mom responsibilities that never seem to end.

Self, let's do things differently this year.

Let's not do what you do every year. Self, do you remember last year? You attended that first day of school meeting for all of the parents, and when the representatives from the PTA stood-up in front of the crowd and explained how imperative parent involvement was... you said yes to everything. And when you over-commit, I over-commit. And this year, I'm not doing it.
I'm reminding you what you promised you would remember to do this year:
Just Say No to the PTA.
We can't take another year of school-wide volunteer coordinating, party planning, fundraising over-drive and over-kill.
I will not sit by while you willingly sign-up for another year of agonizing over how to get the remaining three families to contribute their class dues. Or watch you worry about how to most effectively balance the dietary needs of the lactose-intolerant classmates with those suffering from acute tree nut allergies. And don't forget the needs of the mom who called you before each and every party to remind you which foods or child particularly liked, or even more importantly, disliked.
I will not suffer through another poorly-planned class party that resulted in the misstep of giving twenty-four 3-year-olds noise makers as part of a pretend New Year's Eve party celebration. Nor will I endure the phone calls from other parents who wanted to know what the hell we (you, really) were thinking serving preschoolers mocktails at 10 a.m..
And most of all, I will not be here to whisper encouragingly 'You can do it!" as you wonder if you can muster the strength to pick up the phone and beg yet another parent to chaperone the class camping trip.
This year, I'll be relaxing on the couch watching "Dexter" and "Modern Family." I'll be taking leisurely baths while reading the latest issue of Us Weekly The New Yorker.
This year, I hope you'll join me -- and not the PTA.

This post was originally published on last year. One year later and I still need to hear the pep talk again. Do you also need to be restrained when it comes to volunteering?