Parents @ Home:
Being a stay at home parent is a family choice which is often made at the cost of one parent’s career path and occasionally short term sanity. Consequently, finding ways to continue to feel purposeful is vital.
I know what you’re going to say:
We have purpose. Our kids are our purpose.
Absolutely. Unquestionably true. But, just like a great cup of coffee is good on it’s own, toss in some cream and sugar, (or Baileys) and it’s just better. Finding a balance between making our kids our world and still remaining a part of that world is key.
So, where should you look for a complimentary source of internal fulfillment that is not at the expense of your goals for your kids or family?
Volunteering fills a need
Stay at home parents are treasures few schools or teams could do without. This statement in no way discounts all that working parents fit into their busy days, at work, school, home and in volunteer roles. However, it just acknowledges an often underappreciated resource. Not to mention, nowadays many stay at home parents are also doing some part-time or home based work too. So, what should you consider when thinking about volunteering?
“NO ONE can do everything, but, EVERYONE can do something”
Pros of volunteering:
- Helping others helps yourself. Being able to see yourself succeed outside the role of parent is important
- Achieve a sense of accomplishment by taking on roles and achieving goals
- Develop new skills that might be useful in the future
- Gain confidence in yourself
- Make new personal and professional connections
- Get to take a break from kids and tedious chores in the home
- Build your resume for the future
- Let your spouse or other caregivers take care of your children, which builds trust and social skills
- Allow your children to learn that volunteering is important to your family
- Feeling like you can’t say NO
- Getting exhausted or overwhelmed
- Time restraints and lack of flexibility
Finally, make sure the schools, teams or organizations that you volunteer with know that your primary job is that of parent. Kids come first. Because, if you can be assured that there is flexibility and understanding then you can put your heart into the role without misgivings.
What type of volunteer work is there for stay at home parents?
- join a board
- help seniors
In the end, whatever volunteer roles you decide to take on, realize that you are in charge of determining what that role entails. If you can’t commit the time today, can you recruit others? Think out of the box when it come to volunteering. Your ability to contribute outside the home doesn’t need to end when the diaper boxes start to pile up. On the whole, when you can find a volunteer role that fills your heart and helps your community, your entire family will benefit.
Stay at home parents can find meaningful purpose in roles that compliment their commitment to family. Volunteering can fill this need.