With one kidlet looking at colleges, one in the last year of elementary, one hubby + business, one mom on a feeding tube, I have been really struggling on where I fit in when it comes to serving in the community.
For years, my hubby and I were both pretty active; the dude was on several boards for his profession and church as well as coaching both soccer and baseball. I was active in school and church functions in addition to the regular Mom routines. We were spreading ourselves so thinly, that we were actually causing chaos in our house.
We realized that every new endeavor one of us decided to take on affected the whole family unit because one person would have to “hold down the fort” while the other was busy on projects. So, we decided that we were so done with the “rat race” of our lives and analyzed how we could get our home life down to the basics.
We determined that the first way to begin simplifying our schedules and hectic home life was to cut out some of our volunteer activities. You would think we were the two worst people on the planet by some of the looks we got when we shared our new goals with friends and acquaintances.
After completing a huge project for the PTA, I was offered the position for the next year. When I explained that hubby and I were downsizing our volunteer opportunities, the PTA mom hollered at me in the grocery store parking lot. Hmmmmm, I wonder why the volunteer rate was a little low at our school?
The bi-product of our decision was one that I did not see coming. I felt guilty! I know that guilt is something you feel when you have done something wrong or evil but I was trying to fight for my family’s sanity. Was it an offense to scale back on extra opportunities in an effort to find some peace in our home?
I am not encouraging everyone to stop serving others! I have a deep desire to give of myself and I believe there will be a season in this journey of mine that I will be able to do more than I am now. As for our little fam, and the situation we are currently in (caring for my mom), we are finally able to find a happy medium by making selective choices and tweaking our volunteering a little bit. Now:
|Being head coach/manager of sports||Volunteer as an assistant|
|Being a chairperson of a board or activity||Work hard as worker bees and assist the project|
|Participating in large events at the school||Chaperone field trips and correct homework|
|Signing up for individual volunteer gigs||Volunteer as a family|
It really takes a lot of commitment to pare down the busyness of life. It may be a little easier to do when you think of the benefit to your family. As you can see above, we have not eliminated serving from our list of priorities and we just made some changes and a pact that we will discuss any future endeavors together first so that we don’t end up back in that “rat race”.
How has your family handled the call to serve others?