I am currently the band's uniform mom and band parent secretary. I've been the PTO chair, the dance chaperone, and more. I am home and work part time, but I don't spend every waking moment at school. I'm too busy for that. I do try to cover the events that happen in the middle of the day, so that working parents can stay employed.
During Elementary school, we had working parents that prepared things at night for the teachers -- that included cutting out shapes that they would use in class, cutting out things that had been laminated, stapling sets of papers together, and more - all of this was sent home with a child at the end of the day with a note when it was needed at school -- usually a week later. It worked quite well... The PTO did a math review packet during spring break one year -- the working parents stapled the packets together weeks before, the teachers distributed the packets the friday before break, the SAHMs collected the papers, and both working parents and SAMs graded the packets after break. Everyone was involved as much as they could or wanted to be.
In middle school, the parents all seem to disappear and those few SAHMs are left to do it all. I've found that asking parents to volunteer to chaperone one dance a year (there were only maybe 8 dances in the year) is often too much for the working parents. They say they can't get off of work. Well, they seem to be able to take an afternoon off to go skiing.... So why can't they take an hour or two off in the afternoon and chaperone the dance??
My husband works 60 hour weeks and commutes and hour each way... He has never missed an event. He has even left work early to chaperone a dance when we were desperate for help -- if you don't have enough chaperones, the event has to be cancelled. He did that for the kids, not for the PTO, trust me. He has never missed an opportunity to be there for the kids. Our children are in marching band. He has never missed a football game, a band camp, a competition, or a fundraising event. He pities those parents who do...