In this episode, the Reno Dads podcast invited long-time Reno Moms Blog contributor, Jessica Santina, into the studio to chat about how moms and dads can get more involved with their kids’ activities, and the organizations that support them. It’s a complicated issue that has no single root cause, and definitely no simple solution. Jessica is on the board of her daughter’s elementary school Parent Faculty Association (PFA), and she has noticed that the dads in her school, while available for drop off and pick up, are noticeably absent from the PFA board, and many classroom support roles.
As a complex issue, we covered a pretty wide range of topics in our conversation. With only our own personal experiences to guide us, we probably missed as much as we covered, but the bottom line is that, at least in many typical families (heteronormative ones, that is), the planning and mental burden does largely fall on the moms. The moms “wield the calendar” as Jessica likes to say, and it means that many dads find it easier to allow their partners to keep the lists, and let them do most of the planning for the family. That seems to transfer directly over to school activities, the notable exceptions being dads as coaches and managing any grill or cooking for school picnics. From the dad’s perspective, there’s the occasional “mommy mafia” vibe that shows up from time to time when we try to participate in any of the PFA organizing and activities.
So what’s your take? How do we get more equitable participation from dads, and a more welcoming environment for ANY new comer to the PFA and parent-run organizations? Send us your comments and ideas — we’d love to hear from you!
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