You’re the Leader?

About seven years ago, I volunteered to join my homeschool support group’s Board. I was, I believe, member number thirteen. I had volunteered to help with supplying information to people contacting our group. It was a small job, or so I thought, just a way to help out a bit. But within six months, most of the other members of the Board dropped out. A few announced they were leaving as they moved out of the area or their children graduated, but most just disappeared without word. Eventually, we’d hear that a family crisis had hit and they’d moved to help relatives or a family member died and they’d suddenly left town to help settle an estate and no one knew when they’d be back. Soon, it seemed that I was only one of two Board members left. I was suddenly second-in-charge. But the long-time Board member who was first-in-charge was coming to meetings less and less often as she started working part-time; I ended up running the group’s park meetings because no one else was there to do it. I posted things on our group’s website and kept it going. I handled new members joining. I answered questions about homeschooling. I ran events. Then, one day, when a group of disgruntled members came, upset about a situation and looking to blame me for it, it suddenly occurred to me that I was in charge and needed to start acting like it. Instead of complaining with them that certain policies weren’t written down and it was confusing, I needed to get some people together to write out our policies and put them in black and white for all to read and prevent further confusion. When the only remaining Board member resurfaced, she thanked me for keeping things going and made it clear that she was only too willing to let me continue to run things and she’d help when she could.

So imagine my surprise this evening when my husband says to me that he recently heard group members referring to me as the group leader, that they spoke as though I wasn’t just on the Board but was the Head of the Board.

Ummm, yes, I’ve been leading this group for a long time. I was there when we incorporated and set by-laws and written policies and procedures. I’ve led Board meetings for years, run most of the park meetings, organized events, field trips, and clubs. I was the one who orchestrated the yearbooks we’ve made for three years now. I’ve dealt with the sticky situations between members, run interference when members have run into problems with police or DCF because of homeschooling, and so much more. How could he not have known?

Then I realized, he wasn’t there. When there were only two Board members left and a crisis left me realizing that I had to fully take charge of our homeschool group was right after he fell from our roof. He broke his back in multiple places and crushed his heel. Hospitalized for a month, he then spent several months learning to walk again. While I wasn’t sure if my husband would ever walk again, that’s when trouble reared its head in the homeschool group and I realized that I was the only one around who could take charge and try to fix it. I’m sure I told him about it, but I probably didn’t want to burden him too much and he was probably in too much pain to really pay full attention. While he knows that I’ve been going to Board meetings and handling a lot of things, I guess he never realized that I’m the Chair of the Board on our incorporation papers and have been for about five years.

Wonder what else I’ve been doing that he hasn’t really noticed?

Cheryl
Chair of the Board of PBC Homeschoolers, Inc.–an inclusive homeschool support group in Palm Beach County, Florida

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