I’m the mom of a third-grader (almost fourth) and a sixth-grader (almost seventh). I have made it another year simply being the Plates-and-Cups Mom.
I think I should actually state it thusly: I am THE Plates-and-Cups Mom. This is a conscious choice.
GASP! Can one do this? You bet your sweet Pinterest I can.
I am blessed they are both boys and have never, ever asked me to make their class fancy crafts, Frozen-themed anything, cupcakes with faces or (dear Lord forbid) to be their room mom. #neverevereverever
In all truth, this choice of mine has been in the best interest of all humans at their elementary school. Let me please explain…
Plates-and-Cups moms do not sign the lines that say “Room Mom/Crafts/Games/Treats.” (I once did stray into the “Drinks” slot, but we will keep that between us, shall we?) I actually got ousted from the plates and cups line one year and did find a way to still weasel my way into the napkin area, so ha ha! You better be at Fee Pay Day or Back To School Night early to accomplish this. It’s a game plan, people.
I’m not lazy. Far from it. I am a Type A do-er, and I have good ideas, but I know where my giftings cease. I am a working mom who does not like to make things. Lord’s a’mercy, I detest crafts. I am good at buying plates and cups, in the appropriate amounts, and delivering them on time. I am a rock in this area. Give me a thing to get and a deadline and I am your girl!
In past events, and when allowed by my boys, I have preferred to offer my presence.
I sang full-out Funky Mama-style for both of my sons’ kindergarten and first grade class parties.
I remember one Halloween class party where I showed up in a full Mrs. Incredibles costume (black boots, masks and all—it was kickin’) and had to ad-lib through a 30-minute winging-it session for the 2nd grade party because the room mom/party leader/entertainer failed to show and no activities were happening. I remember my son loving it and loving that I was there. (Of course, by sixth grade, I am banned from parties* and so is my beloved costume —“no capes.” )
*I will say this year I was also asked to stay away from Field Day by my oldest. He said it as nicely as possible, I assure you, without looking me in the eye. I got your back, kid. I can watch from the mini-van.
My point to all mamas and daddies in charge of various things for your kids’ classes or those who will be soon in charge of such activities: Give yourself some grace. I have made it 7 years so far without being a room mom and my sons still adore me. I don’t feel guilty a bit. I have learned to say “no” when I need to, and “yes” to things that fall within my abilities and time.
I show up for my boys with all of my heart… possibly with some plates and cups in hand… and I’ve learned that’s enough.
As a reporter for KMBC-TV Channel 9 News, Krista Tatschl Eyler earned an Emmy nomination, covering everything from fires to homicides to tornados. After five years of this intense life, she became the ultimate crossover artist – “Funky Mama” – singing for kids in a bold, straightforward, funk/soul style. She is a singer/songwriter and preschool music teacher in the Kansas City area. Funky Mama scored national recognition when she performed at the 2007 White House Easter Egg Roll. When not performing, Funky Mama is a mom to two funky boys and a wife to one funky, handsome man.