Monday, March 16, 2009
"They" say that volunteering is important and we should all "give back to our community" at every reasonable (and often times unreasonable) opportunity. And in most cases, I've drunk the Kool-Aid. But there are sometimes that I find myself confronted with a volunteer "opportunity" that I just don't want to do, yet I feel compelled simply because it is expected of me. After all, I'm only a stay-at-home mom.

The irony of this is that stay-at-home parents spend their entire day volunteering, but are, for some reason, expected and encouraged to "give back to their community" more than anyone else. Isn't the fact that we work 12-16 hours days for free making sure that our kids don't grow into a social services cases enough?

Be forewarned, though, when you feel spunky and offer the "I'm already volunteering, I'm a parent" argument, be prepared for the also popular "keep your resume current" or "find something that YOU like to do" counter-arguments. For moms with the intention of "going back to work" once the kids become school-aged, these are compellingly manipulative arguments.

I'm not saying that volunteering can't be rewarding, worthwhile, and important. I'm only suggesting that stay-at-home parents shouldn't every one's primary target when they need volunteers. As an occasionally responsible, social participant, my volunteering cup runneth over. Please look elsewhere.


The Martin Family said...

The key is to learn the word "No". As an adult, it is your right to say only that word. You don't have to explain why and feel quilty about it. They don't need to know your business.

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