School Holiday Parties – Yep, There’s A Pecking Order

Ahh, December 22 I’vscreen-shot-2016-12-14-at-9-09-48-ame been waiting for you to arrive. Today marks the official beginning of winter break. School is out and let the no homework or waking up early for 14 delicious days celebration begin.

Today is also what some parents call the recovery day as in recovering from yesterday’s school holiday party they had to either assist with, contribute to and/or eyewitness.

Now with children no longer in elementary school I’ve been out of the school party trenches for a couple of years, but I’ve still got the emotional scars. Yes you read that right – emotional scars – because there’s nothing like an elementary school party to alert you to how you fall in the parent pecking order.

For instance, if you’re asked to bring napkins to the second grade winter party then you know that’s code for the homeroom parent and the party subcommittee all think you’re a loser. Napkins signal that you’re third string and riding the bench in the over involved parent Olympics.

If you’re assigned napkins it’s like getting a note that says, “Don’t worry we know you’ll probably forget to buy them and if you do then you’ll probably forget to put them in your kid’s backpack which is why we’ve asked three other moms just like you to bring napkins in hopes that one of you actually do it. Oh and P.S. would it kill you to get ones with a holiday theme?”


I’d hate to see what would happen if you bought a roll of Bounty paper towels and tried to pass them off as napkins. Okay, I might know exactly what would happen. In my “friend’s” defense the paper towels did have reindeer on them. And did I mention they were the super absorbent variety. Hello, seven-year-olds spill things. I call that multi tasking – napkins that are also the quicker picker-upper.

In the spirit of educational research I’ve created a handy guide of the seven types of party parents you might experience at a suburban elementary school. Consider it my holiday gift to you.

The Wagoneer – This mom can be seen parading down the school hallways with a Town and County red wagon crammed with party supplies all neatly packed in labeled bins from the Container Store. And because this mom takes her duties seriously she’ll have monogrammed her name on the wagon lest anyone dare to forget that she’s the one that contributed a majority of the party goodies.

The OCD – You can’t spell fun without OCD. Oh wait, you can because there’s nothing like a 40-year-old control freak to kill the fun buzz. Cookie platters have to be symmetrically placed on the table. The crayons for the art project all have to be organized according to the Pantone color wheel and God help you if you bring Bounty paper towels.

The Pinterest Passionista– If you want to see a crafty mom cry just watch as 26 kindergartens go rogue on a multi level mini marshmallow recreation of the North Pole and turn it into a snowman “poop” fight

The Look at Me – We all get it you’re the life of every party. But maybe just this once you could simmer down and let some third graders enjoy the spotlight.

The Educational Whiner– This parent is gripping about how the party should have some sort of “learning component” while not so casually mentioning their kid’s acceptance into the gifted and talented program and Duke TIP.

The Suck Up – A laser has nothing on this parent’s ability to zone in on the teacher and begin operation “How Can I Make You Like My Kid the Best.”

The Feeling Like I’m Back Getting Shade From the Cool Kids in Junior High Parent – Alright, this could just be me, but I doubt it. Please someone tell me I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way.

8 thoughts on “School Holiday Parties – Yep, There’s A Pecking Order

  1. Jeanine says:

    My kids are early thirties. I solved the problem by changing my attitude: If other moms wanted to do everything LET THEM! Less hassle for me

  2. Hard Working Room Mom and Proud of It says:

    I’ve been a room mom for 6 years and I’m sick of blogs like this making fun of moms who put in many hours so your kids can have an enriched school experience. How about some of you “napkin moms” stepping up and contributing? Oh wait, you won’t because you’d rather sit on your fat asses in your p.j’s at 2 p.m. and make rude comments because that’s easy and volunteering at your kid’s school is hard. You wouldn’t want to do anything hard would you?

    • Jenna says:

      Room Mom: I wanted to be a room mom, lady. But since I was a young, single mom who didn’t fit in with the PTA married soccer mom crowd, I was ignored and left out despite several attempts to volunteer. It was like junior high and Junior League combined. Remember Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich? Before the fancy new job as a environmentalist? Well, that’s me. And news flash PTA ladies – I’m not after your fat, balding husbands. I just want to take care of my kid and go home to my loving, wonderful and sexy fiancé. I’m not trying to break up your “perfect” marriage just because I smile and say hello!

  3. Lower than the napkin Mom says:

    Room Mom- So glad you replied! I am very thankful for room Moms! What I am not thankful for is the attitude you just threw out there. That’s what makes it hard for us fat asses. About that…I get up at 4AM to work out and do homework get two kids up and out the door and head to work for a 10 hour day or to the airport to travel for the first half of my week to work 12 hour days. Every year I send a thank you note and cash to the room parent. In 10 years of doing that, I have NEVER gotten a thank you. One Mom even said to me, “you work (smh)”. From the PTO meetings at 10AM to the eye rolls when I am in the classroom (I teach JA every year), I have not been welcomed, so please don’t take it personally. These blogs are our way of laughing at the uncomfortable situations! This is so true and so funny. I am one down from the napkin Mom, for sure!

  4. Lisa says:

    Ooohh! Someone recognized themselves. The blog is fantastic & calls out the ridiculous nature of some aspects of modern life. The author is not denigrating hard working moms (Is there any other kind?), but skewering self aggrandizing “look at me” types. Hint. Don’t be one.

  5. SAHM XFatty says:

    I’m a parent with 4 kids in school. A Junior, 2 5th grade boys and a 3rd grade daughter. I don’t volunteer at school. Ever. Because I’m the type with a chronic illness who as we speak had surgery yesterday onto have some weird lumps removed from ovaries. ROOM MOM I send in whatever y’all ask for, for every party. For every kid. I hear your snickers when I show up and guess what… I don’t care. I haven’t cared since I busted my ass while my oldest was in Kindergarten with newborn twins to be ‘that mom’ Gwendolyn James. Nope. Keep your little clique. I’ll stay home, enjoy MY kids without all the judging. And to arseholes who told my 8 year old I’m on drugs because of a serious illness and a huge weight loss off 100 Plus lbs. I hope you never cry from the moment they leave until home because of the guilt I feel. The funny thing is I get projects to help the teachers sent home alot. I just refuse to deal with the Moms. Long rant. We do appreciate you Room Mom, we need ladies like you. But my Mammy always you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. PEACE- EX-FATTY

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