Ispent about around 15 years in the SES so I am very well aware of their ethos. When time pressure built up, I dropped to lower classes on several occasions. After my kids were born juggling time became too difficult and my tutors (childless, I suspect in deference to school ambition) used to make some very unreasonable requests around my duties.
My point about this same issue occuring in other organisations comes from watching a colleague change his wedding dates, another suffer a heart attack due to pressure and in one case commit suicide all because of their work organisation, and more importantly, how they chose to deal with it. I do manage to attend some school events but often demands of work do not allow it. My choices are part of this in terms of role I choose, level of responsibility and income/lifestyle expectations. The interaction between individual and any organisation you choose to belong to, is something like the hypnotist froms with his subject. It only happens to you if you acquiesce.
Yes, you are absolutely right. I swallowed the 'school line' completely when I was young. I gave up my right to make my own decisions as I belived that my own desires came from the ego (ahankara) As women, we were expected to obey our husbands and the tutors and that is what I did. But I don't blame anyone but myself. You were obviously made of sterner stuff and thought for yourself. Good on you.
I made some silly decisions based on advice from tutors who thought they knew best. Once, when I was still breastfeeding my daughter, I was accused of prolonging the breastfeeding because it was sensually pleasurable. The ideal time was supposed to be six weeks for a boy and three months for a girl. Of course, after being told that, I weaned her like a shot. I felt terrible. As a result she suffered bad health as she was allergic to cow's milk.
Yes, pressure from work can be terrible but not usually from 'voluntary' organisations. Also I started in the early 70s so perhaps a bit earlier than you. If we said we couldn't come we got into big trouble but things got easier as time went on I think.