Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The New Recruits

Parenthood is so different today than I remember it for my parents. First, there's the whole homework thing that I know my parents never had to deal with. But there's another big change for parents today: Mandatory Volunteer Requirements.

Just about every organization our kids participate in requires parents to donate time to support their efforts. Now I know my parents volunteered, my Dad was big in soccer and my Mom was a room mom more than once. But today it's different. It's every single thing and many organizations require parent attendance at various meetings.

A sampling of my commitments above and beyond work and family includes: Soccer Coach; Scholastic Book coordinator for two classrooms; this month I'm on the preparation team for the kids Faith Formation class plus I'll spend an hour in the Magster's class on Friday. The Dad also gets in on the volunteer act. He'll be in La Nina's class tomorrow and at soccer practice tomorrow.

On top of this, we must attend Faith Formation with the kids monthly, plus First Eucharist preparation classes for both girls (La Nina's in 2nd year, the Magster's in 1st year). So, that's another three hours a month that one of us must attend a meeting with a child. And each program mandates parents volunteer in some capacity, adding even more hours.

It's not that I don't want to help, I do. It's just there's a limit. And it's not like soccer season is just a "bad time." When this ends, dance starts and that lasts through March. Supporting one dancer is just as demanding as coaching an entire soccer team. Trust me on this.

I don't know what the answer is to this situation. You want your kids to know their efforts are supported, so I guess parents today just sleep less. It's just sometimes you have to wonder if all the volunteer time is really needed or if the folks running all these organizations have so many volunteer obligations, they need help!


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