An Open Letter From The Room Mom

by Gigi Ross on April 26, 2012

Room Mom
Dear Parent,

I’m not sure if you know this, but being a room mom is a grueling, sometimes-humiliating, often-thankless and always-mildly-annoying job. I’m writing to share with you some ways in which we might work better together.

Read Your Email

I know I’ve begged you for money. Donations. School supplies. Time. Spools of thread. Cartons of ice cream. Letters from your kid. Envelopes. Gifts for auction baskets. Your left arm. Please don’t ignore my emails just because I’m pandering for crap again. I don’t enjoy pandering, but somebody’s got to do it, and apparently, you’re at the mall shopping for Jimmy Choos, so I know you have time to read my happy-grams.

Empty Your Kids’ School Folder

Sometimes, I will send a flyer home with Very Important Information on Stuff I Need From You. If you have not emptied your kid’s folder since September 3, you’re not likely to see said Very Important Information. Of course, if you haven’t emptied your kid’s folder since September 3, you probably have bigger fish to fry, now, don’t you? Do you even know about your kid whipping out his disco stick in front of the class last week and singing Bad Romance by Lady Gaga?

When I Ask You For Money, Rest Assured I Am Not Going To A Spa

I’m just a mom, I’m not Bernie Madoff. I will not be using your money to indulge in luxury experiences. Are you kidding me? I haven’t gotten dressed or washed my hair since last Tuesday. I’ll be using the money to buy crap for the classroom, so that the helicopter parents in the class don’t yell at me for doing a bad job.

I Am Not Siri.

The job description of Room Mom does NOT include babysitting you to make sure you turn in stuff in the manner and by the date requested. Do not chirp requests at me, like: “How much do I need to give you for the teacher gift, I forgot?” or “When is the letter for my kid due again, I didn’t read your email.” or “Do you accept Paypal?” The answers are always going to be  “just give me some flipping money,” “put down your smartphone and have your kid write a freaking letter to his teacher TONIGHT” and “I don’t.”

Don’t Question What I Buy

If I buy the teacher a Visa gift card, don’t be a jackhole and ask me, “Why didn’t you buy something more personal, like a homemade cookie bouquet like this one I saw on Pinterest?” I’m not even on Pinterest yet because I’m too busy making your life easier. And also? You should kiss my ass for taking the time to buy the teacher a Visa gift card. If you paid attention to something besides your manicure, you’d know that the teacher is gluten-free, vegan, lactose intolerant and also has a lethal peanut allergy. Also, she’d rather pick out what she really wants, thankyouverymuch.

I See You Over There.

I know you said that you couldn’t volunteer for the school carnival due to a “work engagement,” but I see you rolling around with your kid in the Giant Hamster Ball and shoving cotton candy into your mouth while I am on my 925th round of Cake Walk duty. Your Jimmy Choos are adorable, by the way.

In closing, I thank you in advance for your support. Remember, child placement for next year is already happening! I’d sure hate to see your child be placed with a terrible teacher. Second grade is SO critical! Just saying. Smooches!

Your Room Mom


Nicole April 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I was a 3rd grade room mom to my now 13 yr old. WOW. This really hit home for me and I laughed my ass off the whole time! I had a Jimmy Choo lady. Except it was Jordan’s a Dooney and Burke purse. I wanted to slap her when she said she never has time to take off of work because she is sooooo busy, but showed up at numerous events side by side with her entourage of like 5 other people. They would just stand around talking all loudly while the kids did whatever they had to do and me and 2 other parents helped the teacher.

gigi April 26, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I have to speak up for all room moms everywhere :)

Tammy April 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm

UGH! I really hate Cake Walk Duty! Oh how I can relate to this. I just may print this post and stick a copy in the 2nd grade Friday Folders tomorrow! Love it : )

gigi April 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I dare you to do it! :)

Nicole @MTDLBlog April 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm

I adore you.

As a teacher, I would like to say that I don’t want a cookie basket because I don’t want to eat a whole cookie basket – not healthy. The Visa giftcard – I could totally buy things for my classroom with that AND Starbucks AND a bottle of wine…because you and your kids probably drive me to drink a bit. Well…not YOU Gigi…but that Mom with the Jimmy Choo’s…SHE would probably drive me to drink and I might want to use the Visa giftcard to purchase some wine. But I’ll buy extra pencils for the classroom too because that’s how I roll.

gigi April 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I personally wanted to give my daughter’s teacher a case of wine this year, but others thought that might be frowned upon :) doh!

Nicole @MTDLBlog April 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Ok…so in hindsight…the coffee and wine is probably not much healthier than the cookie basket…but I would probably enjoy it more.

Goa trip April 27, 2012 at 12:15 am

Thanks for sharing this info and it’s all depend on your nature how you are treat with your children in home even while they are doing something wrong.

Barbara April 27, 2012 at 4:16 am

As a fellow home room mom I can say you definitely nailed it. Great post!

Absence of alternatives April 27, 2012 at 6:38 am

I feel that I have been cheated. where are my damn Jimmy Choos!!!! In all seriousness though, I do feel guilty for not being there in person. So I’m always the first one to donate money and goods. Be honest with me: would you rather have people on the ground or money? Sometimes when I went to volunteer, I either felt like an idiot because there were 6 other moms there or an outsider because I don’t know anybody. And yes I know I have myself to blame for not knowing anybody…

kludgymom April 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I am actually not the room mom this year because of my full-time job and I’m not always there in person…so I’m like you, I do my best to donate every last thing that the room mom needs when I can. When I was room momming, I actually preferred money for most things because there always seemed to be enough volunteers, but never enough money to really do nice stuff for the teacher. :)

nicole April 27, 2012 at 7:13 am

Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for the room moms. I’ve never been one because I still have small kids at home that are pretty challenging when we are at school. But I do send in the money and craft supplies and so on and read the emails and notes home (at least most of the time. I’ll admit my kindergartener is not the best at actually getting the papers to the folder to home). Thanks for being a room mom! I hope to do be able to help more when my two youngest are finally in school.

Lea Ann April 27, 2012 at 7:14 am

How about a new TLC Show “True Tales of the Room Mom” and expose all those Jimmy Choo-ers? And although I eschew pretty much all reality television, that, I would watch.

kludgymom April 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm

TheKitchenWitch April 27, 2012 at 9:18 am

Guilty of almost all of those offenses. Forgive me?

“I don’t have time to volunteer but I’ll shoot you a check” Mom

kludgymom April 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Dear Mom,

Checks are awesome. Money talks, baby, and it forgives all sins.

The Room Mom

Deirdre @ Ladies Holiday April 27, 2012 at 9:20 am

Funny yet so dead on…slip this into the next folder to go home 😉

Mary April 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

Can’t even begin to tell you how right on this post is. And how many people I’d love to send it to. Thanks for venting for me, with me and just getting it out.

kludgymom April 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm

:) I write on behalf of all of us! I’m actually a retired room mom this year, and seeing the one in my daughter’s class get very little support!

Valerie April 28, 2012 at 9:40 am

A wise women once told me never to take on any job that ends in mom Room-mom, team-mom, etc. all involve parenting a bunch of parents. No win job. I am totally that person that doesn’t empty my kids folder or read my email completely. I will donate my time, but if you want my attention you have to write what you want in the header….I don’t have time to read past that.

Ethel April 29, 2012 at 10:23 am

I can relate to being a room mom. I’ve been doing this role for all my 6 kids. Good thing they don’t have the same schedule and the age gaps are huge so I was able to manage. How many years have you been a room mom?


tracy@sellabitmum April 29, 2012 at 11:33 am

OMG do our kids attend the same school because it’s like you were talking to directly to me…aren’t my new shoes AMAZING! Nordstroms! 😉

Love this. xo

Alissa May 4, 2012 at 7:32 am

AMEN! (That is all.)

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