Question: Am I too involved?

This question might be better for Dear Abby, but my husband and I have actually been getting into fights about my spending so much time on PTO duties. Do you hear about this often? Any ideas?

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Advice from PTO Today

Elly writes:

Elly won’t pretend to be Abby or Dr. Phil, but she can tell you that it’s not uncommon at all for volunteer work to cause personal stress. Nearly every parent group officer Elly meets has an uncommon passion for her work. On the one hand, that passion leads to great results for kids and for your schools. But that same passion can lead to overwork and deeply personal disagreements—and, apparently, even marital discord.

The most common flare-up Elly sees comes when two passionately involved leaders disagree over the direction of their group. Strong feelings can lead to strong words. Elly has seen long-time friendships ended over PTO dust-ups. That’s too bad.

If you sense your PTO work too frequently causing you personal troubles, whether with friends or your spouse or even with your children, perhaps it’s time to take a step back. As valuable as your school work is, no one wants to see your personal well-being take a back seat to your volunteering. It’s OK to say, “I need help.” It’s OK to take a step back from a leadership position to a helper role or even to take a complete break, if that’s what you need.

Community Advice

PRS VP writes:
I was in the same boat last year. We compromised, and agreed that I would try to get as much done as I could during the day when the kids are in school, and only work at night if it's ABSOLUTELY necessary, or if I have to go to school for something. No more late nights tinkering with fliers and coordinating volunteers!

Community Advice

Fundesign2 writes:
It's always difficult to juggle all of the responsibilities we have as spouses, parents, friends, volunteers, and the like. I would just say two things. Family ALWAYS comes first and Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. Often times devoted volunteers get what I call the "I'll do it myself" syndrome. That stems from wanting to make sure it's done properly and in a timely manner. It also stems from not quite trusting your team of parents. The remedy: Start with delegating smaller more simple tasks that don't take much explanation and as your TEAM comes through with flying colors you will feel more comfortable delegating the larger more complicated tasks. But again, you would be surprised on HOW well the parents step up to the responsibility and performance level you would expect. Actually they will surpass your expectations! Good luck with this advice, hopefully it helps.

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