Dear PTA {I’m Dumping you! Leave me alone!}

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What’s better than a “public declarations” of love. A public DUMP! It’s time I ended an unhealthy relationship.

I once thought I had found my match. Someone who cared about what I cared about {kids}. Someone to hang out with… someone I could be with that wanted to make the world a better place for our kids. I’m ashamed that I didn’t leave sooner. I stayed in a relationship that was unhealthy. I am writing this to save others from the same mistakes.

How we met: Since my daughters have been in school I have been the Room Mom for each of their classes every year. Even when I was having medical problems with my heart… I was there. I’m the one who makes sure a celebration happens even if no other parent offers to help {time or money wise}. When the teacher runs out of copy paper or tissue paper, I’m one of the ones that rushes to help! I never say no. I am not saying I am PTA Volunteer #1. But if you ask, I’ll be there to help if I’m not already helping the teacher at that time!

I know that the first thing that people want to know when someone dumps them is why? I feel you deserve to know since we did spend 5 years together. Me helping, you pissing me off. Make no mistake, I know we have invested time in our relationship. Out of respect for you, I chose to write you this post here on my blog because Twitter seemed so impersonal. Let’s remember the times we spent together….

Our First Date: The first time I went on a date with you {PTA meeting} there was yelling! I sat there in the back row thinking to myself, “really this is how we treat each other and help our children”. I couldn’t believe what was happening. There was no respect for anyone and nothing positive for the children came from the date. I didn’t know if we had a future.

Our Second Date: I decided to go on another date with you. My Mama always taught me that people have their “off” days and never to judge someone on a first date {unless they attack the ice cream scooper for not having their favorite flavor… but that’s a story for another day}. So I went back. I waited many years for our second date and I’m sorry to say, it was even worse than the first. This time I watched as old gossip was breathed new life and used to attack a very involved and helpful member to the point of tears. I quickly learned that she used to be a devoted girlfriend of yours. Your poor ex-girlfriend had complete lies spread about her that nearly broke her heart. Why haven’t you learned to use your energy to help the kids, not tear people down. There are lots of us Ex’s around. Our stories about you all have the same. Shame on you.

Seeing Other People: I came to the realization that although we were not a pair made in Heaven, that I did enjoy spending time with your cousin, an offshoot of the PTA Member, the “Room Mom”. At this point I was entering my 5th year of knowing you and also my 5th year of being a Room Mom. Having held that position for all that time, I knew how to make that work. We were in a good place together. The teacher needed something… say copy paper, tissue, paper towels, crayons, pencils… anything… I would go out and spend my money to make the relationship work. I did it to be nice and I did it for our children. Lot’s of times there would be a party or a project that would come up and I would beg for help and many times no one answered. But I still kept on going. I made sure I was there to help, I made sure that I bought everything that was needed. My heart swelled with happiness when others wanted to help but it also ached when you, the PTA seemed to be somehow the reason that all of the parents that should have been actually helping in the classroom where not. They were “too busy” with the PTA they would say. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t all be together… this was for the kids right?

I tried re-dedicating myself to you {disaster}: I guess I’m just a sucker for punishment, or maybe I just really wanted it to workout for us. I didn’t want to give up on us. I decided to go on one last date with you. We talked about money. Most relationship problems are around money and you and I were no different. You want to spend our hard earned fundraising money on technology… I wanted to see that money go towards the basic supply needs of the teachers first and then of course to the more exciting stuff like technology! I would bring up that we had to pay for our needs first… but you didn’t want to hear it. See, since I’ve been dating your cousin Room Mom, I learned that there are some very serious supply issues that the teachers face. I was all for adding technology to our children’s learning environment, but I wanted to know that the teachers had everything they needed to teach our children first. I realize that you might think that there are suckers like me and the teachers buying needed supplies for the classroom, but I think we are starting to get smarter so you might want to plan ahead. You didn’t care about my thoughts at all… in fact you said that you wanted to leave a legacy in the form of some really expensive tech items. I don’t care about any legacy… I care about the children.

The Day I Told You It Was OVER {I thought about changing my number, might still change my email}: And then you finally did it. You pushed me over the edge. You had done many things that made me scream on the inside and I knew this wasn’t healthy for either of us for a long time. It’s just hard to admit when things are not working out. There are pieces of you that I consider friends. Still do, but after the last blow you threw at me I don’t think I really have as many friends in you as I thought. Remember two weeks ago when I had two sick kids at home? Yep, around the time that the Toddler ended up in the ER. Nothing makes me sadder than a sick kid but you managed to make me sadder. I made a choice not to drag the sickies out of the house to buy a ticket for a PTA sponsored event. It never crossed my mind that you would throw a yearly event that my daughter plans for {and already bought a dress for} knowing full well that that there would be children excluded because you wanted to have it by one of the organizers house. No PTA would intentionally hurt children’s feelings, right? So that day I emailed you and asked for you to hold a spot for us. You said no. You admitted {without me even asking} that you planned an event that you knew was very popular at a venue that could not accommodate even close to the amount of people who would want to attend. You knew that not everyone would be able to go since there was not enough room. The one thing that had me coming back to you was that you put the children first. You proved to me that you really don’t put the children first. You say you want to raise money but you failed that too. See basic math stated that the more people that attend the more money you make. You’ve just been a big failure to me and I’m done with you. Even after I did my best to treat you right… even after I dedicated years of my life to your cousin, Room Mom… you broke my daughters heart.

 {photo compliments of my daughter}

Because of all of these things I’ve decided to dump you. It’s not me, it’s you. Please remove me from your roster. I don’t want your emails. If you need me to forward something to the whole class {you send me too many emails to forward by the way, remember “needy” is never attractive} please send them to your new girlfriend. I am in a committed relationship with your cousin the Room Mom and nothing has changed. I just won’t be seeing you anymore. Good Bye! 

PS. The rumors about me also seeing a different PTA are true. My other daughters school PTA is perfect! There is respect, consideration and most importantly, we share the same mission… making life better for our children!

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • Wow, it’s crazy to see parents treating each other that way…and to think it’s supposed to be all for the children. I think it’s a good thing you initiated the break up!

  • Dear Heather,

    After reading your experience with dating the PTA I wanted to reach out and let you know you are not alone! In fact my best friend Kim and I were just discussing our break ups over dinner the other night. I too am a wicked busy mom involved in too many things relating to my four kids, but that’s what good moms do. So my latest relationship involves the Cub Scouts. I recently took over as Den Leader for my 9yr. old son’s den. The former leader abruptly quit with out notice via group email.
    It was becoming obvious there were problems in the relationship between her and the Cub master’s and their wives. Little did I know it would not be any different for me.
    So I grabbed my box of band-aids and jumped in to save the Den from falling apart. By nature I am a fixer and helper, and can’t resist and challenge. Perhaps I am the one who needs help and fixing since I jut can’t leave well enough alone. It has been two months into our relationship and I am ready to break up. I go above and beyond for my Den and always offer my help during Pack Meetings as well as Scouting events.
    I am constantly on the tongue of gossip, hoping one day it will bite itself. I get no thanks or recognition for all that I do just complaints and snide comments. So I strive to do better and still nothing positive is given back. I have decided to end this unhappy relations at the end of the month after our Cross Over Ceremony, when the scouts move up to the next level.
    My new philosophy this year is: “Being single is better than being in the wrong relationship”.

    PS. and to learn to leave well enough alone, they don’t make good friends anyway.



    • I love that, “being single is better than being in the wrong relationship”. I need to tell that to a few of my friends…

    • I’m dealing with the exact same thing with my Girl Scout troop. It has gone so far that my daughter’s best friend’s mom wont even let the girls play outside of school. She became friends with one of the troop moms that doesn’t like what I’m doing. I love working with the girls, but I cant work with these junior high antics these moms are doing.

  • Wow. This should not be happening. And some people wonder why the children turn out the way they do? It’s because of their parents. Thanks for sharing.

    Charter or Private School your children. Get out of the system

  • I’m so sorry that your PTA isn’t as welcoming to all parents. Sounds like time for a coo to happen and new leadership to get voted in next year.

  • what cruelty!! Good for you for sticking up to what you believe! Parents should not be treating other parents like this.

  • Sorry you hit a rough patch! My kids are only in preschool…so far no issues there! My mom was like you…always involved with us at school! But I do think times have changed and paremts are a little more crazy now a days!!!!

  • All I can say is wow. I haven’t had to deal with the PTA yet, but boy do I hope they are easy to work with, and not awful like above.

  • You go girl!!! Don’t look back! I haven’t had to deal with PTA either, but I hear so many horror stories!!

  • I guess there’s drama wherever we go, right? I thought that all got left after high school! I’m kinda dreading the school years with my kids.

  • Most women are gossip and drama queens, hence why I tend to stay away from them. It sucks that they are not putting the children’s needs and interests first but I’m glad your other daughter’s PTA is better. They will learn the hard way unfortunately.

  • Wow, I think this should be sent to all PTA to remind them that parents and kids are the backbone and support of this group. That human dignity and respect should be in every meeting and gathering. It sounds as if they need a new President. 🙁 Sorry you had such a horrible experience and abuse for those many years.

  • Hi Heather,
    Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Sadly this is exactly what happened to me and my daughter in 2 different school PTAs. Thank goodness we didn’t experience the event that your daughter looked forward too and weren’t allowed to go to. I would have lost it. This happens way too much in our schools. I don’t understand why. We are all parents that want our kids to be involved in as much fun and educational things as possible. We all want to raise as much funds as we can to supply the teachers with all the tools they need to teach and to have enough left over to have the fun stuff too! I don’t understand why it is always a screaming match in these meetings. Nothing seems to get done. So much for being a team. It is just a popularity contest and I am so glad I am not involved in it any longer. I will never join a PTA again. I will always be available to the teacher my child has but no longer will I be dragged down.
    Pick yourself up Heather! You made the best choice you could for your child! Enjoy the work you do with the teacher ( I know she appreciates you). I am glad that you do have the other schools PTA that actually does what a PTA is supposed to do! Glad to know there are PTAs that do the right thing and work the right way!
    Good luck to you!

  • I am glad the children and teachers still have you as a room mom. That PTA sounds very toxic. I love hearing about active parents! We homeschool so active is a given and that PTA should be #334 of why we will keep homeschooling too. You however and those like you for sure go on the Positive list of reasons to consider public school! 🙂

  • My kids are not in school yet, but you better believe I will be paying close attention to the PTA and hope they have members like you in our school! 🙂

  • I love your style of writing. I’m dreading the PTA/PTO stuff once my kids get to school age. I have no desire to take part, but then again I’m too anal to just sit back and watch what happens.

  • I’m glad the PTA at the other school is better. At least now you know it’s to the PTA, its those people. So sad.

  • Yeah, I’ve kind of been really afraid of doing the PTA thing. For this sort of reason. o.O;

  • I homeschool so I can’t begin to imagine all that goes on in a PTA. But wow, sounds like it’s rough!

  • Wow, I know I want to be involved in my son’s school when he is ready to go, but stories like this make me worry. I thought about the PTA when I had an exchange student, but a fellow mom warned me off for reasons just like this. I wish people would put the children first. Stupid people.

  • I volunteered to help restart the PTO at my granddaughter’s school Marc Kahre in Las Vegas. Everyone one of the people on the board were busybodies who talked about everyone else. No one wanted to be involved. The principal became chummy with the “co-president” and they held their own meeting without me or the rest of the board. This caused all kinds of strife Needless to say I quit.

    I heard this year that the PTO made a bunch of money from the cookie sales. Las Vegas is facing a huge budget shortfall, with cutbacks, teacher firings, etc. Instead of helping the school with supplies the PTO bought PATIO FURNITURE for a coupe of thousand dollars!

  • I’ve volunteered for the PTA (PTSO) at 2 different schools… Both places were a complete nightmare…
    We are moving again (Air Force) adn I am considering giving it another shot at the new school district… the same dist I grew up in, so I have high hopes that 3rd time is the charm.. 😛

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