Moms, trust me: you have to make time for yourself. Not just time for mani-pedis and self-induelgence, either! Yes, that type of self care is so very important. I don't want to discourage you from seeking out those small treats that make you feel great about yourself. But, there's more to self-care than just taking time for fun. One of the big issues I see with moms - myself included - is that we tend to lose ourselves in motherhood. The desire to provide a great life for our children can sometimes override our own personal interests.
No, I don't just mean that your kids get new clothes and you wear the same tired jeans season after season. I mean that the person you were before you had kids - that person can get swallowed up by mom-you. But she's still in there somewhere! With a little coaxing, she might just surprise you with how much she still longs to come to the surface.
One way to make space for the non-mom you to come up for air is to try some of the things you used to enjoy before you had kids. Perhaps you were a roller derby queen! Lace up those skates and get back on the horse, mama! Even if you can't commit to practicing or competing a league, it might give you a sense that these baby years don't have to be all-consuming forever. For myself, personally, I love volunteering. It gives me a sense of fulfillment that few other things can provide. But having kids can throw a wrench in those plans, as you well know. Many of the volunteer opportunities I used to be involved with aren't things I can do while babywearing or chasing a toddler.
Lucky for you, I've done a bit of research! It's possible to volunteer from home with a variety of skillsets. Check out some of my personal favorite ways below!
Have you heard of the Buy Nothing movement? It's a fantastic sort of social experiment where people ask for items - or donate their own items or skills - for absolutely free. The goal is to build community among people who are local to one another. Find your local Buy Nothing group - most are on Facebook! Be sure to follow the rules and guidelines for giving and receiving. I personally offer volunteer services as a doula through my local Buy Nothing Facebook group!
But she actually has two boys and one girl. One boy is an angel.[/caption]
The Angel Gown program was founded by NICU Helping Hands group. It's quite simple, really! They have a group of 180 volunteer seamstresses around the country who sew donated wedding dresses into small dresses for angel babies. You might remember from Pregnancy And Infant Loss Month, an Angel Baby is a term used for babies that pass away in utero, are stillborn, or pass away shortly after birth. Angel Gowns are meant for Angel babies to wear in posthumous pictures or even in a funeral process. Volunteering is as simple as shipping your wedding dress to The Angel Gown team. They'll do the rest!
This volunteer program is one that could really lift up others who are going through a rough time. Chemo Angels volunteer from home to provide gifts, cards, letters, or notes throughout the duration of chemotherapy treatment. Most volunteers spend less than $50 per month. For those on a limited budget, Card Angels offer the same support but without an expectation to provide a gift. The goal is consistency - to send a heartwarming message to someone enduring chemo once per week. It gives them something to look forward to - and it's a great way to give of yourself to others.
Have you found other ways to volunteer from home? Tweet me your best ideas @pi3sugarpi3 with #VolunteerMama.