Archive for June 2010

Cure for what ails – volunteering!

June 4, 2010

I love action, solutions, solving problems (as long as numbers are not involved….I’m a words girl, barely comfortable with anything to do with numbers or math!). And, thanks to a dear friend here in my new home who made a very insightful suggestion to me, I have found a cure for my problem of “extra time” which I wrote about in my last post.

My friend heard on the radio that the local boys and girls club was looking for someone to help write grant proposals. Volunteering! Of course. That makes sense for me right now. I can’t (and won’t) look for a job while I’m half-way through a pregnancy. But I would love to be using my skills for more than just “mommying” right now. I want to be a part of my community, not just the network of moms I’ve met here. I want to feel like I’m doing more than just following my husband and his career across the country.

The last time I volunteered was with the literacy guild when I was living in Mississauga. It was great – I attended a seminar, with a group of other volunteers, to learn some teaching techniques. Then, I met with a small group of high school kids once a week to help them reach their goals of graduating on time. These kids already knew how to read, but they struggled with writing skills. They were falling behind when it came time to write essays or reports. It felt great to be able to help them, to see them progress even a little bit each week. And it was good for me, too. I find myself using some of those techniques I learned in the seminar, with my daughter, now, who is just starting to read.

So I am now embarking on a new volunteering adventure, and so excited about it. I was giddy, when I met with the executive director the other day, just to be having a “business” meeting. To be discussing anything that doesn’t involve laundry, meal plans and play dates was refreshing. And it doesn’t matter that I won’t be submitting invoices and getting paid (some jobs here are so low paying, I find it insulting, and I’d rather be “giving” than trying to do some thankless job, right now, for little more than enough to cover my daycare costs). I’ll be learning, contributing. And I didn’t realize until I went there, just how great the need is for the services provided by this wonderful organization.

Yes, I am lucky to have the choice right now to stay home with my kids. I love being part of all their moments (aside from the hours they are in school), seeing the large and small changes in their growth day by day. I am grateful that my husband can keep us afloat financially, and grateful that we’ve learned to live comfortably on one income, barely noticing, any more, the small sacrifices we make to do so. It IS possible! But I do look forward to getting back to my career, at some point, for more than financial reasons. My mom was a career woman, and I’ve always felt very proud of her. I want my kids to think of me that way. I want them to see that they can have more than one thing in life – a family, a job they can enjoy, hobbies that keep them active in mind and body. And I don’t ever want them to hold back from giving of themselves, whenever and wherever there might be a need.