Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Finally free

For two years, I was the President of one of the MOMS Club chapters here in town. At first, it was fun! It was a great way to be involved with my kids' social schedule and connect with other moms in our city. I really loved it, but it didn't last long.

Being in an organization of 50+ women, there is bound to be some drama. In each of the three years that I served on our board, there was some kind of nonsense to deal with. Moms having power trips and becoming playgroup nazi's, moms throwing tantrums because we needed to re-organize playgroups and they were no longer in the same group as their best friends (god forbid they try and make other friends), moms who felt like they needed to email International board members to complain about our chapter, and moms who would complain about anything at the drop of a hat. It got old and tiresome. It drained on me as a person and on my family. I began to dread board meetings and decisions that needed to be made because there was certainly somebody who was going to bitch about something and nobody gave a shit about the effort I put into our chapter.

The straw that broke the camels back for me was during the organization and planning of our annual charitable fundraiser. This year was the biggest, most involved and most successful fundraiser our chapter had ever done. It was a children's fashion show and silent auction to raise money for a non-profit in our city that helped single parents become financially independent and free from government assistance. There were tickets to be sold, items we needed for donation and more work than I ever imagined. It was so successful mostly in part of our Admin VP who put her head down and trudged through the challenges, overcoming obstacles and powering through the drama. She was amazing and it wouldn't have happened without her leadership.

I mentally gave up after people started complaining about it.

What got to me the most was when people were complaining about how they were asked to help sell tickets and promote the event, by a member who is known for her blunt and curt personality. Because they were not asked as they felt entitled, people began to boycott and protest the fundraiser. I wanted to knock some heads together, hoping it would spark some common sense.

"Here you are, bringing your Starbucks coffee to playgroup every week, being a stay-at-home mom, living in a $300,000 home, driving two cars and taking family vacations and you're going to punish single parents and children in our community, WHO HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THEY ARE GOING TO SLEEP THE NEXT NIGHT, just because you don't like how you were asked to help sell tickets????"

I actually said this to people. I wanted to scream at them. I did scold one person pretty harshly. It was the most petty, ridiculous, selfish complaint I'd ever heard from a grown woman.

And I gave up. That was it for me. I was done.

I did a half-assed job for the next few months until my term ended on July 1st. It's been a month since I haven't had to field complaints or go to board meetings to make decisions that people didn't care about. It's been a month of freedom! So much less stress, so much more time to focus on things that are positive in our life. It's been eye-opening, to say the least.

We're still members of the chapter, but I'm not going to hold another position in any organizational aspect. This chapter in our life is closing and I feel like I'm finally free.


workout mommy said...

oh, I feel your pain. I served on my MOMS club board last year and it was awful. Never again!!! People are just unbelievable sometimes!

Glad that you are finally free! :)

Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad. It's safe to say that almost everyone feels that way at the end of their terms, no matter what positions they held. I just finished my 3rd and last term myself and I'm actually considering leaving the club. It's hard because I still feel that I owe so much to the club. I was suffering from ppd and being a member helped that on so many different levels, I have so many friends now that I would have never found, and my children have practically grown up with all these good little buddies. But, the few women in the club who have to be small, petty and just plain mean,,,have totally ruined it for me. And that is just sad. I just don't understand why they have to be that way.

Kristin said...

OMG, Anonymous.

I feel the exact same way, in every single word you wrote.

Thank you so much for your comment.