An Uncomplicated Life Blog: That Time I Went To My First PTA Meeting

Thursday, February 15, 2018

That Time I Went To My First PTA Meeting

I've avoided PTA meetings because of the stereotypes. Here's what happened when I got over it and actually attended my first meeting.


Ahhhh, parent-teacher associations. PTAs. My neighborhood has an early childhood PTA for people with preschool age (or younger) children. There's meetings and events - ways for (mostly moms) to get to know one another, plan social events, play dates, get to know their future elementary schools, etc. I've been a part of the Facebook group for it for ages, but never attended one of their meetings or events. I had this idea in my mind of what these moms would be like and I wasn't sure I wanted to be one of them. But a meeting was planned at a restaurant I happen to really like and the topic the guest speaker was talking about intrigued me... So I got over my preconceptions of who these people were, rounded up a few friends, and went. This is all about that time I went to my first PTA meeting!


First, let's chat more about what I thought the stereotypical PTA mom was like: I envisioned her as a stay at home mom who's overly-involved with her children. She wants to have an input on EVERYTHING that her child would even potentially touch. She's probably a helicopter mom at the park. You know, those moms who trail their kid around and talk to them constantly, never letting their child discover anything for themselves? Yeah, her. I thought the PTA would be full of women like her, dragging on and on about their child's achievements and what activities they're in and what languages they speak and what gifted programs they want to enroll them in by the age of 5. Ughh, makes my skin crawl just writing about people like "her"! I thought the typical PTA mom was a woman overly wrapped up in her kids lives and therefore had no hobbies of her own.

You know, not that I'm judgmental or anything. No prejudice here!

When I saw what the February meeting was about, I was interested. It was about how to talk to your young kids about sex and "where babies come from." Nothing like a good sex chat to pull me out of the PTA shadows, right?! I grew up in a home where we talked about it from the very beginning. My mom worked in fertility and reproduction, and we weren't a religious household. I knew all the names of all the body parts before kindergarten and I have zero qualms about teaching my own kids about these things. But I was very curious how others approach this topic - especially now that we live in the Bible Belt. I really wanted to see what recommendations this speaker had and how the women reacted to it.

Then I saw it was at a trendy new restaurant that just opened up in our neighborhood. I immediately texted some of my other mom friends in our neighborhood and said, "hey, wanna go with me?! Let's plan a night out and see what this is all about!" 

We got there right on time and the meeting was already packed. They had a buffet of yummy food laid out for us and a cash bar. My friend and I grabbed a glass of wine and started to chat with some of the other moms we loosely knew from the Facebook group or from the neighborhood. Everyone was super friendly! Nobody talked about their kids! The wine and the laughs were flowing! I thought, huh. This isn't at all what I expected. I saw a mom who I always see at preschool drop off - our kids are in the same room - and it turns out she's the owner of the restaurant! We joked about how we're always the first moms to drop our kids off in the morning and the last ones to pick them up in the afternoons because we're busy busting our butts off working and milk every minute of the 5 hour school day. She was a blast, and I now have a friend at my kids' school.

The speaker started about an hour in after some typical meeting business was done. I was already on my second glass of wine and thought, alrighty! This is when it's going to get good. THIS is when my eyes are going to start to roll at how and what we should say to our kids about sex! THIS is when the real PTA mom is going to show up and my opinion of this group is going to be validated.

Boy, was I wrong.

Now, her message was more religious than anything I'd ever hear in Minneapolis, but she also had different ways to say things that weren't religious. She did a great job covering all the bases of how to word things for young kids, from the Bible Belt to the more liberal minded folks. And all her main points were spot on: Decide WHAT your message is, and what tone you want to deliver it in; use atomically correct words and describe sex as a scientific process that creates life; teach that sex involves respect; and most importantly, know that your kid is going to learn about it no matter what. So they can learn about it from you, with your message and your tone or they can learn about it from their friends or the media. If you don't talk about it, they're learning about it from friends and the media. If you do talk about it, and talk about it early, they're learning about sex from you and you're establishing yourself as the expert and the person to go to with questions.

Interesting stuff for a PTA meeting, no?! I sure thought so. We had a lot of laughs, a lot of wine (please tell me y'all caught my Instagram Stories from the morning after!) and perhaps the biggest surprise of them all? Not one person talked about her kids. It was all about hanging out and laughing with other moms. It was a night out for us - the last thing we wanted to do was "kid talk." It turns out, most of these women are just like me. They love their kids and want to learn ways to teach them and give them the best life possible, but when they're away from them, they want a break! They want to talk and laugh and enjoy a night out.


As I was looking up PTA meeting images to add to this post, I saw sample fliers. All of the samples had meetings in the school library or some other school grounds location. Maybe my PTA is just a tad more lit than others, which thrills the heck out of me. This meeting was at a bar... And the next one is at Top Golf. I'm not sure if all PTA's are like mine, but I'm sure glad mine is so hardcore with the fun!

I'm thrilled that the time I went to my first PTA meeting, my prejudice was proved completely wrong. These moms are normal. They're kind. They're fun to talk to. It was a fun time (that had a very rough morning after!) and I can't wait to go to my next meeting and really get to know these women and make some great friends.

5 comments:

  1. Great story. Never been to a PTA (live in a very small town) but i honestly had the same stereo types. Sounded like a whole lot of fun.

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  2. Lol sounds like quite the adventure. I’ve never had the pleasure of attending a PTA meeting!

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  3. This is good to know! Nothing like the movies then? I'm excited to attend my first one.

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  4. Haha! I loved hearing about your first PTA meeting. I'm not sure I'll be a PTA mom because people here are... 😬but I won't rule it out! Glad your stereotype was wrong and you had a blast!

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