Dear Snarky – The Over Gifting Room Mom

dear_snarky_logo-1Dear Snarky,

I’ve had it with the room mom at my son’s school. So far, we’ve been hit up to contribute money for teacher gifts to the tune of over $100. I’ve already paid in for a teacher birthday gift, Christmas present, and wedding anniversary gift certificate (and we still have teacher appreciation and end of year gifts we’re going to have to contribute to). NOW we’re being asked to each pay $30 to buy the teacher a Southwest airlines gift certificate so she can use it to fly to see her first grandchild!!!!

The teacher drives a Range Rover, for crap’s sake, I think she has the money to buy an airline ticket.

How do I say no way and not seem like a jerk?

Signed, Fed Up

Dear Fed Up,

If you go deep into the Dear Snarky archives you’ll see I have answered this question before, but because I get letters like this so often I deem it imperative that I address this issue again. So everyone listen up.

The easiest and most effective thing to do is to just say no with pride in your voice and zero shame. I would also tell the other parents you’re saying no because I can assure you most of the moms and dads are looking for someone to be the first brave soul to throw the word out there and then they will follow. 

This room parent obviously has an agenda like extreme sucking up or she’s in some sort of room mom competition where she wants everyone to know that she’s the queen of room parents everywhere. You don’t have to feed her agenda by participating in her illusions of grandeur.

Also, at the risk of getting a social media beat down from teachers everywhere, I’m inclined to think the teacher needs to shut this down and that she should have shut it down when she got a wedding anniversary gift from her students. I mean, come on, a teacher’s anniversary is a personal event and not one to be celebrated with her room of fourth graders. (And before the angry comments start coming my way I know that, yes, the teacher might have said something to the room parent about excessive gifting and was ignored.)

That said, you have no control over the teacher and room parent, but you do have free will so do every kid and parent in that class a favor and be the first one to say no.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With An Attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or send me a private message on my Snarky in the Suburbs Facebook page.

Dear Snarky – We Have Halloween Hitler For Our Room Mom

Deadear_snarky_logor Snarky,

Halloween class parties are in two weeks and the room mom for my daughter’s 2nd grade class is certifiably insane. She’s on her fourth meeting for a party that is only 45 minutes long and most of that is taken up with a Halloween costume parade! She’s so controlling and anal that we now call her Halloween Hitler.

The final straw was when she did a timeline for the party and wanted us to sign our names that we “agreed to and would follow” her timeline. WTH? I, along with a couple of other moms, refused to sign it and she told us unless we did we couldn’t come to the party.

Do I go to the teacher, the principal, or just have it out with her? I have two older children and have never encountered a mom this crazy before.

Signed, Bewildered

Dear Bewildered,

Oh my, you are going to have an interesting school year with this woman as room mom. I would give the teacher a head’s up about what is going on because the teacher is the boss. It’s her classroom and the room mom “works” for her. This kind of control freak crazy needs to be nipped in the bud and the only one who can do that effectively and with any authority is the teacher.

I suggest sending the teacher an email and asking for five minutes of her time to discuss an issue you prefer to handle in person. Always, remember to never diss another mom to a teacher in an email. It could be shared and that creates a whole other category of drama.

When you do talk to the teacher, about “Halloween Hitler,” keep it unemotional and very matter-of-fact. Also, bring another mom with you as back up, so the teacher can’t blow you off and dismiss your concerns as just a little “personality conflict” with the room mom.

Good Luck!

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With An Attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or private message me on my Snarky Facebook page.