Thursday, August 13, 2009

Give it your all, or not

Learned a few good lessons today.

Lesson number one: people ask for everything.

You can say no.

It's like your kids, or the telemarketers...they aim for the moon, just waiting to see what you're willing to give.

So, the Office was requesting eight volunteers to give up two hours of their day, one week before school started, to man the New Student Registration desk at my son's Elementary School.

And I say "Yes"...of course.

Not thinking that:
  • it will really suck because when they say New Student what they really mean is "people trying to sneak in to the school system even though the school is closed to people outside the boundaries, because they have heard it is a good school".
  • and the copy machine is broken in the office, so you will spend the next few hours on your feet, walking to the opposite end of the school, to use the copier at the Kindergarten faculty room, in order to make copies of birth certificates and utility bills, which sucks.
  • and there will be ten people that get there before the registration begins, so you feel completely swamped and overwhelmed at the beginning, and then there is one person an hour that comes after that, making all the moms who gave up their day pissed off, because they feel like you just royally wasted their time.
  • and you have to pay your sitter $8 an hour to watch your kids, and have fun with them.
  • and watch your neighbor's kids so that she will agree to help you at the last minute.
  • and so your baby will take crappy naps because there are a hundred kids in the house.
  • and the Office Secretaries (two of them) who are PAID EMPLOYEES, will sit in the office, and gab, and have a fine time for those four hours, as the eight volunteers do the work
    for free.

And by the end of the four hours I realize that A) I am an idiot for saying "Yes", and B) my sitter just got to hang out with MY kids, and get paid, which is way more fun than what I just did, and C) I am so flippin hungry I could eat my shoe, and D) volunteering sucks.

And it's too bad that I feel this way, since I am supposed to be the PTA Volunteer Coordinator and all this year...and I am thinking that I may just quit.

School hasn't even started and I want to quit.

And then it makes me think about all the other things I want to my schooling, and Shelby's schooling, and anything else that takes my precious time away, and gives me stress.

Instead I think that I would like to just be...with the kids. Before I grow old, and they are gone.

When they are gone and I am old, that would be the perfect time to volunteer.

***and right before I hit the PRINT button I remember that I do like the PTA moms, and I do feel good when I help out at the school, and I like to see Dalton there and get to be involved with his stuff...but really- I have got to set some boundaries like yesterday.

I have got to state what I am willing to do...what I am willing to give up...whether it be 1 hour away from the kids a week, or five, and then stick to it.

Cause there is nothing worse than doing something really nice and feeling really bad about it. So that is my lesson learned for the day.

1 comment:

Sara said...

You taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my life. DON'T OFFER SOMETHING YOU DON'T TRULLY MEAN. When everyone else is offering to take dinner to someone, but the thought of cooking makes me want to puke and I'll just be mad at my family because I'm sick.....I just say no, thanks to you Ashley.

Also, seriously.....If people make a choice to have kids (such as myself) why do other people make us feel LAZY for not staying home with them? You know it isn't's hard work, and it is important work. And we mess up a lot, but the more time we spend with them = more time we have to fix things and get better at it. But I still feel the pressure (from myself maybe) to go out and pick up more hours at work, get a sitter to volunteer or do SOMETHING that takes me away from the house. I'm with you, they are only little for a short time!

p.s. don't worry. I love sitters ;) I'm getting 2 today. Everyone needs a break right?!