Sunday, February 22, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Sunday - The Volunteer Society

Every time I get through an exceptionally stressful week, it feels like there should be a break where I don't have a ton on my plate, but that never happens. Being a parent presents you with so many additional responsibilities...those things that no one tells you when you are discussing starting a family. 

It's been both good & bad that we have only been blessed with one child. Given that between work, church & personal agendas there are an amazing number of opportunities available to give of your time for charities of your choice. But when kids are in the mix, you come to realize that things seem to have changed significantly since we were school-aged.

So here's my 5 minute brain dump...

SOC Sunday 2015

They start you out easy with kid sports. It all seems so low key - relatively inexpensive and manageable. You fill their preschool days with as many activities as you can, wanting them to try everything & figure out what they really enjoy. There's swimming lessons, t-ball, soccer, gymnastics, tumbling, skating lessons and here in Minnesota, there is hockey. The list goes on & on.

From the first open house for elementary school you figure out that not a lot happens in the schools unless parents are available to give of their time & talents. The long table of sign-up sheets was so intimidating. Looking at the names of the events, you have no clue what any of it is, or what you are getting into if you volunteer. 

The easiest route to take is to volunteer in your kid's room - that you can handle, knowing that you'll have to bite the bullet & find at least a couple more things you can take time off to help with in the course of the year.

You feel guilty after the first year of school when you figure out that the majority of the go-to volunteers are the stay-at-home moms - and that doesn't work for you - a working mom.

Then comes the sports leagues, where they have you write the checks up front - one for the fundraiser & the other for volunteer hours.  There is a minimum & your motivation for getting all your volunteer hours in is the threat of that enormous check getting cashed. You are after all a parent living in a volunteer society and they have you at hello.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Link your new posts to All Things Fadra (feel free to use her SOC Sunday graphic).


Candy said...

Isn't this the truth. I love to volunteer. I haven't done so in my son's room because I always think my boy will be silly. So I do other things. This was my first time to post with Fadra. I really enjoyed it.

Sisters From Another Mister said...

ahhh ... yes.
When my kids where still in school, i was room mom, and on the board, and did the fundraising, and pretty much had a job there that did not actually allow me to see anymore of my kids ... but sure as heck took away from them.
So write a check, enjoy the time with your kid instead ... trust me, I wrote a post about some of those women once .. it was not pretty ;)

Susan G said...

I really feel for you. I don't have children but reading your post and watching my friend''s experiences make me wonder about the benefits of all of these organized activities. I hope you find peace in how to best approach the situation.

Kendra Frampton said...

I was a room mom for 5 years when my kids were little. I love feeling like I have helped out with something important (little lives).

Love linking up with Fadra!

all.things.fadra said...

I'm always happy to help out but I learned quickly NOT to overcommit. Being a work-from-mom makes me feel like I have a lot more free time than I do. I volunteer and then I get behind. I used to volunteer regularly in K and 1st grade but now parent volunteer simply make copies. I'd rather help where I can actually interact with the kids. So now I do some PTA stuff but I definitely have to set my boundaries there!