A month before I had Miss C I was in the last few weeks of serving as president for a local business professional organization. I had served on the board for years in various positions and while I enjoyed it, it took a lot of time. Of course when I joined the organization I was a recent college grad, hungry for networking, and the only person I had to get ready in the mornings was myself. My lunch break really was used to eat lunch, and not to run a million errands. Now I do my volunteer work at Miss C’s school. It’s a lot less pressure doing things like hanging up laminated shamrocks and drawing smiley faces on worksheets.
Becoming a parent to a kindergartener has meant I have the opportunity to volunteer for every school event known to man and enroll Miss C in various extracurricular activities, from after school Tae Kwon Do to Spanish lessons. I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid my only after school activities were riding my bike and getting to know the multi-faceted characters on Leave it to Beaver and The Munsters.
I’ve known moms I call mommy martyrs. They’re the ones who seem to get some sort of satisfaction over how thin they stretch themselves. When you run into them at the grocery they’ll greet you with “Joe and I went out to dinner the other night while a sitter watched the kids for two hours. We hadn’t eaten dinner out by ourselves in three and a half years!” or “Sally’s taking ice skating lessons, ballet, gymnastics, playing soccer and she’s a Girl Scout this year…it’s crazy but we love it!”
I am a people pleaser, so it’s tough for me to say no, but I’ve learned it’s one of the best ways to resist becoming a mommy martyr.
Visit me at Blissfully Domestic, where I’ve written about balancing home and work. I’d love to hear what you have to say.