Frazzled Moms Push Back Against Volunteering

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Frazzled Moms Push Back Against Volunteering
2
Fri, 12-03-2010 - 12:15pm

No wonder some of these volunteers are stressed. Many of the projects they're working on are not educational they're merely fluff.

Doing some volunteering is great but not when it takes away significant time with your family. Learn to say, "No", which is difficult at first but gets easier with practice.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/garden/02parents.html?ref=homepage&src=mv&pagewanted=all

IT was last spring, somewhere between overseeing Teacher Appreciation Week and planning the fifth-grade graduation party, when Jamie Lentzner, mother of two in Foster City, Calif., reached her breaking point.

She had already designed the fifth-grade T-shirt, taught art twice monthly to three different classes, and organized movie night, restaurant night and beach night fund-raisers. She was overscheduled and exhausted. She had scant time to help her children with their school projects because — coincidentally — she was always working on projects for their school. “You’ve got to stop,” said her husband, Darin, who worried that the constant stress she seemed to feel was damaging to her health.

Ms. Lentzner realized that she had spiraled out of control. She vowed to put an end to all this volunteering — and to recapture some of the serenity in her family life that had vanished because of nothing more than a well-intentioned desire to pitch in.

Today, more than three months into the school year, Ms. Lentzner is a new woman. She has yet to attend a PTA meeting or decorate so much as a classroom doorknob. When she saw her name listed as chairwoman of the annual Donuts for Dads Day (another event she oversaw last year) on a volunteer sign-up sheet, she whipped out a Sharpie and crossed it out.

“No, I’m not,” she wrote.

Her business — she designs children’s room décor — improved, and at home, the change has been striking. She has time to play Ping-Pong and Wii with the children. She hosted 27 relatives and friends for Thanksgiving last week, and for the first time in years she enjoyed the holiday. “I told my husband, ‘I am not stressed,’

 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2002
Fri, 12-03-2010 - 1:01pm

Thanks for posting this. I volunteer in dds class twice a month. I tried every week, but it flairs up my disability something awful, so I was losing to many days, to do it each week. I was feeling some guilt because there are these supermoms that do everything-room mother, book fair, jogathon............ But I'm home reading books with dd, playing board games, doing art......



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Fri, 12-03-2010 - 1:57pm

When you're working a full time job not too much time volunteering. I always attended open house, parent teacher conferences, plays, concerts & such but no time for volunteering at school. Outside activities such as drama & dancing I was more active because of the time of day. Bosses are too jazzed about you taking off for doctor appointments never mind volunteering.

At home we'd play board games, such as backgammon, &/or cards.

 


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