The following is a post from Renee at Joyful Mom. Be sure to check out her blog for more practical tips and advice for moms.
It is that time of the year for me–time to re-evaluate where I spend my time!
Did you volunteer too much or too little this year? Did you stick with the plan or did you allow yourself to get pulled into the volunteer vortex?
I’ll be honest–I did much better than last year, but I allowed myself to take on too much–again. My worst days as a mother, have NOTHING to do with motherhood! My worse days come from my inability to gracefully say no or to stick to my plan. When I fail, I’m grouchy and resentful.
So as I reflect on this past year and look toward next year, I want to make the choice to be a better mom by making better choices with my time. I’ve compiled this list to help us be the best version of ourselves.
- Take some time and think about what is your passion. Environment = Green team, lunch room mom, centers mom, art room mom, room mom, etc. All of these take a different amount of commitment; yet, all are important.
- Coach a team. If your passion is sports you can either coach or be an assistant coach. My husband and I are currently c0-coaching kindergarten soccer with another couple. We love it, and it is working out very well for both of our families.
- Where will you volunteer? Church, school, animal shelter… If you pick one group it will be easier to streamline your commitments and get coverage when you need it. (Because we always need a plan B!)
- Think about if you want to do a lot of little time commitments like lunch duty or one big commitment like the main fund raiser for the school. If you are interested in the huge commitment because it sounds interesting–yet daunting–consider having a co-chair run it with you. Two heads are better than one.
- Take a look at the following year and where your kids will be. Will they begin a sports program, be in the band? Have a major celebration like the 4th grade play, First Communion, or travel soccer? If you can anticipate big events you can plan better.
- Start slow. Opportunities will ALWAYS be there to volunteer.
Remember what I said about my worst days as a Mom having nothing to do with being a Mom . . . when you are overwhelmed and over-committed it affects everything. Motherhood has different seasons and there is a time to volunteer and a time stay home and take care of your nest. Honor your season. If you have a newborn it might serve your family better to stay home, but only you can make that decision on what works best for you.
I am still planning on volunteering at the elementary school, the middle school and the church–but I am defining my roles so everyone knows what I will be available for and what I will not do.
When in doubt say “NO!”, and go back later if your availability changes. Being the NO mom is much better than being the “YES” Mom who then backs out at the last-minute.
Be Blessed as you honor yourself and your commitments.
How did you manage your volunteering this year? Will you make changes next year? What was your favorite volunteer position or what was your least favorite, and why?