a young girls reads an inspiring school bulletin board

Are All PTA Moms Jerks?


Christine Coughlin


Curious Living, Motherhood

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I have a secret. Not a well-kept secret but something I usually keep to myself. I’m a PTA mom, and it’s something I dreamt of becoming long before I had kids.  

I once told an ex-boyfriend that I couldn’t make a sexy video with him because it might ruin my chance to be PTA president.

Seriously, I said that. I think I was 25, which makes it even more ridiculous. The point is I knew without a doubt I’d be on the PTA.

Imagine my surprise years later when my daughter started kindergarten, and I happily took my seat at the PTA meetings. It didn’t take long to realize the general consensus in the “mom world” was that PTA moms are a giant pain in the ass and ones to be avoided. Even close friends whom I respected were buying into the PTA mom stereotype.  

I’ve seen the movies. I get it. Overbearing moms who control the fate of everyone’s kids and make other parents feel like shit for not helping out but come on… Isn’t that just drama for the sake of drama? Apparently not.

Why being a PTA mom works for me.

Education is Everything

Volunteering in the school shows my kids that their education is a priority, one that I will invest my time in.

Social Connections

We moved to a new community when pregnant with my third kiddo. As a pregnant stay-at-home mom with a two-year-old, my social calendar consisted of grocery shopping, playgroups and nap times. Basically, I was bored out of my mind and desperate for adult connections. Helping at the school was often my social event of the week.

Influence Your Kids School Environment

After seeing an inspirational bulletin board on Facebook, my friend Sarah and I decided to offer our slightly compulsive crafty brains to help beautify the school and inject some inspirational messages we wanted our kids to be exposed to. We approached the staff, and they were more than happy to take “decorate bulletin board” off their to-do lists.

For another inspirational bulletin board idea click here.

A school bulletin board, that says "meet the person responsible for your..." attitude, choices, effort, words, actions. A mirror hangs over each word.
DIY Inspirational School Bulletin Board: Created by Sarah Houchen & Christine Coughlin

Hero Status 

My kids light up when they see me in the halls. Their friends love seeing me in the school. They all say “Hi” I get all the high beam smiles. It’s very likely that soon my kids will be embarrassed to have me around, but that isn’t today, so I’m milking it while I can. 

Be a Fly on the Wall

I pick jobs that get me into the classes rooms. This allows me to scope out the teachers and get a good feel for what the kids are experiencing during the day. 

Build Confidence in Younger Kids

My younger kids come along when I’m volunteering at the school. They benefit from wandering the halls as toddlers, getting to know some of the staff and understanding the lay of the land. Then when they start school, the transition isn’t as scary.

Get My Voice Heard. 

I’ve built relationships with the others at the table by showing up regularly. I get to vote on the issues, say how the money gets spent and when problems arise with my kids, we aren’t starting at square one in our relationship.

Utilize Career Skills

I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for eight years. Volunteering allows me to use my past-life business skills. It’s forced me to get back on my computer for more than looking at photos of my kids. I’ve designed posters, run social media pages, helped with event planning, created spreadsheets, bulletin boards and worked on my collaborative and networking skills. 

No More Hiding

It’s time for me to stop worrying about being a PTA mom stereotype and start wearing my PTA shirt proudly! 

A giant heartfelt thank you to all the Moms, Dads, Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunties, Guardians and anyone else who devotes their time away from their jobs, families and favourite tv shows. Without your efforts, our kids would miss out on some amazing opportunities.

Have you had a negative or positive experience with your school’s PTA?


Originally posted to Instagram on September 27, 2019.

  1. Jade says:

    Omg I’m so glad I’m not the only person who secretly wants to be a PTA mom (just not like the movies). This gets me even more excited. Have to wait for my little guy to grow up some more first though!

  2. Christine Coughlin says:

    The school will be lucky to have you, Jade. Our PTA constantly struggles to find enough help. I wish more people felt the way you do.

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