Saturday, October 19, 2013

How My Inability to Say "No" Got Me Landed as Mountainland Headstart Parent Policy Committee Secretary (and the longest blog title ever!)

Headstart is an awesome place. Because it is government funded and free for the families they require a lot of volunteerism from parents to help keep the place running - and because one of their mantras is that parents are their kids first educators. So at orientation I learned of the many parent offices that a parent could get involved in. I am feeling pretty tired a lot and with a baby coming in January I was only planning on showing up to Jo's class to volunteer. But I can not take Rylee. So, as I may have mentioned before, I HATE asking people to babysit (mostly because around here if someone babysits for you the idea is you will pay them back by babysitting for them - I'm awful but I hate babysitting for others) so I haven't as of yet done this.
The first parent meeting for Joseph's preschool (Mountainland Headstart) was only announced the day before it took place. Out of about 100 parents (I actually don't know how many parents there are but this is a guess after calculating all the kids) only 8 showed up, of which I was one. I knew they would be choosing/voting for the Parent Planning Presidency as well as other parent officers that night and I had contemplated being Parent Planning Secretary because they get to make fliers and I enjoy doing that and I kind of liked the idea of getting involved in Joseph's school. I have a great desire to be part of PTA when that time comes and to fill my time with community service. It seems honorable and like a way to give back. But like I said earlier I was feeling overwhelmed at the thought of doing this. So I decided not to volunteer myself for any office....Until I got the meeting and saw 7 other parents besides myself. They were electing 6 positions. Great. I knew I would probably have to volunteer for something. The time came when they were calling for Policy Council Representative (someone who meets with one rep from each Mountainland Headstart facility all over the county and talk about...well, policies, and who to hire and fire, and how to spend the budget, ect. Pretty nice sounding job. and they provide dinners at the meetings and reimburse you for babysitting (no babysitting to repay) so I thought "well, if I am going to volunteer for something, it might as well be that." that and there was an awkward silence as no one raised their hand.... So I did. Little did I know at the time that that meant I would be going to about three meetings a month (Policy Council Meeting, Parent Planning Meeting, and Parent Meeting!)
That was only the first part. A week and half ago I went to the first Policy Committee Council Meeting at which we received training (much of which was over my head!) and we voted for the policy council presidency. I had absolutely NO intention of running. And then when it came to voting for secretary no one, again, volunteered. And then, out of no where, a girl that I hardly knew who was in my ward when we first moved here and then moved out soon after volunteered my name for Secretary (she herself had just been voted Vice Chair) I was shocked! Why me, I don't think we had ever talked before that night. I am 7 months pregnant for crying out loud! "Just bring your baby, they said" (long silence) "Fine, I'll do it." I finally said.
So, what have I gotten myself into!? I guess it isn't too bad..... I have to email the council just before every meeting to get a head count so they can make dinner enough for everyone. Those that don't email me back I have to call (honestly, the biggest draw back for me, I HATE calling people) I also have to take minutes at the meeting (and I realized when I got home from the meeting that our next meeting is on Cody's birthday!! So I am trying to find someone to replace me for that evening) Also, new this year. I am supposed to go to Parent Planning Meetings (as a side note, everyone on the parent planning presidency is Spanish's interesting being on the side of having to be interpreted for... but their enthusiasm for what they are doing is awesome!)where we plan and carry out activities or lessons for the Parent Meetings where parents in our group come to learn something from a survey that was taken before school started. I also have to go to the Parent Meetings and report what happened at the Policy Council. So like I said... three meeting a month!
I can't believe what I got myself into. Me! The girl who has to take like two naps everyday and will be having a baby in January and has melt downs when I feel too overwhelmed (and it doesn't take much to overwhelm me). I feel as though I was pushed into being more involved like I had wished for. I guess wishes do come true. *sarcastic laugh* I try to look on the bright side and think maybe this will prepare me for PTA and other community service to come in the future. And honestly, it is the only time I am around some people who not members of the church - therefore giving me opportunities for Missionary Service... YIKES!