When Do I Have Time To Volunteer?

I used to volunteer. In high school, I was always volunteering as part of some club or another. In college I was too busy sewing costumes and partying to even think about it. Before I moved to the DC Metro area and had kids, I volunteered for a Rape Crisis Center.

When I hear my friends talk about volunteering the food bank or serving meals in a homeless shelter, I think, I should do that. Except, how am I supposed to find the time? Yes, I know. If I really wanted to volunteer, I’d make the time. Heck, that’s what I say about art and crafting on my Cup of Creativi-Tea blog.

Then, I go into this crazy head space. I should volunteer because I want to give back to the community. I want Sophia to volunteer with me too. I want her to understand that even though we may not have a lot in the bank, our family has tons to be grateful for.

Except the logistics are crazy. I do my Passion Parties on weekends. Hubby works Sunday through Thursday (and sometimes even Friday and Saturday). Since he works in retail, some days he has to be at work at 8AM, other days he has to close the store, not leaving until 9PM. Heck, sometimes he has to work a 12+ hour shift. It’s not predictable, it’s whatever the store needs. Do I pay a babysitter so I can go volunteer? Both of us are completely exhausted by the end of the day. Poor hubby falls alseep if he sits still for more 60 seconds.

It’s crazy self-talk right? There’s only so many hours in the day. I had to talk myself off the ledge.

You know what I realized? I’m already volunteering. I’m this year’s president of my Mocha Moms chapter. We’re a non-profit and I’m not paid. There really isn’t any perks except that Sophia thinks I’m totally cool like President Obama.

Funny thing when I first joined our moms group almost 3 years ago. I like to have my hands in many pots, and I know it can get me in trouble. I loved the support group, but told myself, “I’m never going to run for office. I’m too busy and can’t do it justice.” Famous last words right? Turns out last year’s co-president said the same thing when she joined.

It took me a few months to get the hang of things. We’re a local chapter of a national group, so there’s an entire set of bylaws and procedures I need to learn. Oh that and taking care of a newborn. (Jaxson was only 2 months old when I told office.) Thankfully, I have a great support system with our other volunteers, our executive committee.

Most of the time, this role doesn’t feel like a volunteer job. (Except I do get a ton of emails.) Now that I know what I’m doing, it’ fun! Even though my title is President, I don’t think of it as being in charge. I feel like it’s my mission to provide a fun and supportive environment for our moms. When I first offered to run for the position (really because at first no one wanted the gig), I did it because I didn’t want to leave our group without a leader for 2010.

It’s satisfying to realize that I am finding time to volunteer. It’s just a different scope that what I thought I should be doing. The best part about this job is that I’m helping out other women. Since I was in high school, that was my passion. To help women feel more empowered. That’s why I volunteered for the Rape Crisis Center. That’s why I continue to do Passion Parties. With Mocha Moms, we help support moms in being more than just moms.

That’s why I’m proud to be the President of my Mocha Moms chapter.

This blog post was inspired by Yahoo Mother Board‘s topic for May: volunteerism. Mocha Moms is an awesome support group for moms. There are chapters all over the US. You should check them out! I was not compensated for this post.

 Photo via Lel4nd

5 Comments

  1. Amy @ yodelingmamas. May 20, 2010
  2. Michael May 22, 2010
  3. Donna May 22, 2010
  4. Thien-Kim aka Kim May 22, 2010
  5. caffeineandaprayer.c May 24, 2010