Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Since I posted yesterday, I've been feeling a little uneasy. It's not that I don't feel like I was telling the truth, but rather that it sounded like I was dissing the importance of volunteering which wasn't intended.

Unfortunately, we live in a place where volunteering tracked and credit is taken for how many hours of volunteering people have done. Oddly then, it is also taken for granted. If you are not in a paid job, it is often assumed that you aren't doing anything so you should be volunteering. Unfortunately, this places a large burden on parents because we want to be involved, but realisitcally are already seriously overworked.

I, for one, often find myself paying for a babysitter in order to accomplish my volunteer projects. Most of the time, it's ok because I've picked something I enjoy doing, but when I got home to pay the babysitter, I can't help but feeling a little put out. It's weird to have to pay to work for free.

So, of course, I would encourage volunteering if you have time, but want people to realize the pool of volunteers is greater than just parents and that parents should feel no guilt if volunteering can't fit on your calendar.

Additionally, volunteering should be something you enjoy. (This took me a long time to get, for some reason.) There are an endless list of possibilities, so pick something that doesn't make you shudder at the thought. If you have one hour a day to yourself, you should spend that hour doing projects that you enjoy; and, by all means, don't commit yourself to donating your one hour every day to someone else. Donate it to yourself as well.



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