School Volunteering Stresses Parents Out

Pressure to help out a source of anxiety for moms and dads
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2009 7:00 PM CDT
Hayward Jean, 27, center, works with his fourth grade single gender students during a math lesson on patterns Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009, at Marshall Elementary School in Orangeburg, S. C.   (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – With school budgets slashed because of the weak economy, parents are feeling more pressure than ever to volunteer. About 64% of parents surveyed by Harris Interactive say they believe it's more important than ever to pitch in, with 53%—far more than last year— saying they planned to do just that. But this self-inflicted pressure also seems to be a huge source of stress.

“I want to want to,” one mom tells the Boston Globe. “It would make me a better person.” Many worry they’ll get a bad reputation if they don’t do their part—and fret over being compared to über-volunteers—those parents who seem to do everything. “I volunteer and of course I feel guilty that I don’t do it enough, and of course I’m resentful that there’s always someone who’s doing more,’’ one parent said.
(Read more volunteer stories.)