Observations from a silent PTA mom

This week, I’ve been thinking about parent teacher associations. As the school year is coming to a close, there is no doubt a lot of fundraising going on. And as you may have guessed, my daughter’s PTA is in full action mode. Somehow I got included in an email chain that began in March (perhaps earlier) about the big fundraiser happening in May, which by now has already happened, and which sadly I took no part of but somehow can’t manage to remove myself from the email list.

I may be the biggest fraud in terms of an “involved parent” because I’ve been playing such a nondescript, silent role. Hovering in the background, I’ve read all the emails that have came through the email list, and it wasn’t until this week that I started to notice something–almost all of the respondents were women.

Now, I could be making a generalization here but I’m pretty certain that the majority of the parents involved are moms. There are perhaps two dads (and I’m deducing from the fact that their profile picture and their name is male-oriented) involved as far as I can see. I wondered to myself–where are all the dads??

I asked my husband this question this morning and he said that maybe the dads are there reading the emails but not actually responding. After all, neither one of us have ever been to a PTA meeting before so how would we know? Good point made, hubby.

Still, even if the dads are just silently participating but not participating then there’s something to be said about gender differences in parenting. Women have long taken on the nurturing role in society, thus being involved in parent teacher associations could be a sign of care and nurturing. Wanting to raise money for the school is the modern parents (or mom’s) way of showing that they care. But does that mean that men (dads) don’t care? Not at all.

It still baffles me though. I wondered to myself if perhaps those dads are just like me–working parents, people who work full time, 40 hours a week, and also embark on other hobbies so perhaps being involved in a PTA isn’t exactly high on our priority list. If that is you, then I don’t think that makes you a bad parent at all. I think it just makes you a normal parent. My husband told me that a lot of moms there are stay-at-home moms, so I wonder if that is really the main reason why.

Another thing I wondered–was there any Asian parents involved? After all, my daughter’s school has a pretty large Asian student body so you would think that more Asian parents would be involved, right? The answer remains unknown.

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