SnS Stories: Fundraising Photo Shoot Shenanigans

Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by Mandy, a dear friend of mine who has previously written for SnS here. Today, Mandy is writing about how she reclaimed her playgroup  fundraising photo. When she told me this story, well … I loved it. I hope you enjoy it too.

I have declared 2013 to be The Year of Parental Educational Participation. For the past eight years of being a mum, I’ve mostly avoided all such responsibilities. Of course, I started to feel guilty about it.  Yes I’d made a few cake-stall goodies and swept the kindergarten floor a few times over the years.  Was it enough?  No.

So this year… I decided to test the boundaries, push myself to the limit and accept the biggest challenge I’d faced since giving birth to premature twin girls almost eight years ago.

I became the local Playgroup Enrolment Officer.

With great power comes great responsibilities.

Here’s the detail…

Responsibility 1 – Attend weekly playgroup;

Responsibility 2 – Bring 2-year-old third daughter;

Responsibility 3 – Respond to enquiries about playgroup;

Responsibility 4 – Go to meetings once per term.

So far, I’d met all required responsibilities except number 4. Meetings had unfortunately been scheduled at the same time as crucial haircut bookings (mine, not the kids).


So, I felt under pressure to nail Responsibility 5.

Responsibility 5  – Support all fundraising activities of the playgroup.

Normally, I’d wholeheartedly support the chocolate drive. Instead, this year, the playgroup ran a family photo fundraiser.  You know the one. You pay $15 to the playgroup, have your family photos taken, check them out, buy some, order one for free …

So, I booked in myself, my husband, my twin eight year old girls and the two year old.

Foolishly, I booked us in for a Sunday morning.

At 9:15am.

What can I say? The twins had a birthday party at 12pm!  It seemed like a great idea at the time.

By Sunday morning, the only one in the mood for family photos was ME … the foolish mummy.

A million thoughts ran through my head as I prepared for the day … does this purple top go with those orange pants, will my husband actually comply, what if the 2-year-old refuses to take her finger out of her nose… 

At 8.30am, I made the announcement to the family.  ‘We will soon be going to the playgroup hall for family photos’.

Mistake number 375,987 in my parenting. I failed to give adequate warning.

‘Noooooo!’ chorused the twins.

‘We’re relaxing!’

‘We don’t want to go the stupid hall, I’m too tired, I don’t want my photo taken…’

‘Nooooo’ copied the 2-year-old. ‘I relaxing!’

I chose to pretend this is not happening.  I left them alone and got myself dressed.

Fifteen minutes later, they’re still not interested.

‘Nooooo’ they said, glued to Peppa Pig. ‘We’re not coming’.

I go red, get mad, flip my lid.

‘Forget it!!’ ‘I can’t be bothered!’ ‘It’s not worth it!’

Then … it hits me like a bolt of lightening.  I’ll go.  By Myself.  Since when do I have the opportunity to get professional photos taken?  Never!

The husband looked at me like I’ve lost my mind, but quite frankly, I am used to it.  The kids didn’t even notice me leaving.  Lip gloss on, hair done, I left and drove to the playgroup hall.

Lights, camera action. It was all set up and ready to go.  White sheets dangled around, the photographer fiddled around with some lenses, families 1 and 2 got their shots.

My friend walked in, looked around for the girls, then gave me a look of pure confusion.

‘No kids’ I explained. ‘They refused to come’.

‘Ah!’ she said, wrangling her own non-compliant toddler.

It was my turn.  I sat on the chair, trying hard to follow the photographer’s instructions.  Soon enough, we both come to the conclusion that the shots are crap.

So, since I am Playgroup Enrolment Officer, I felt compelled to rectify the situation.  With great power comes great responsibility.

The photographer and I worked some magic.

Another mum came in, desperately shepherding her five year old and one-year-old twins away from the expensive camera equipment.  The photographer loads up my image.   All three of us look at the laptop and gasp.  Then, hysterical laughing-so-hard-I’m crying-and-snorting cackles fill the room.

Want to see my photo?






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What a ripper!

Being the Playgroup Enrolment Officer just doesn’t get any more glamorous than this!

About: Mandy is mum to 8-year-old twins and one nearly 3-year-old, as well as working as a part-time sales assistant at a beautiful children’s toy and furniture store and as the local Playgroup Enrolment Officer. Mandy is available for public speaking to share her journey of being a mum to premature twins, their disability diagnosis and her daily dealings with living grief. You can contact her at or follow her on Instagram or Twitter @Mandysgirls.

Do you have a funny or nightmarish family photo story? What happened? Did you ever considered ditching the family and going it alone?