Monday, December 20, 2010

When and How to Say No to Volunteering and Donating Money

Many mothers struggle with the word "No" and want to give as much as humanly possible to others.  However, it's often necessary to keep things in check and know when you're overextended (or about to overextend yourself!).  If we learn how to spend our time wisely, we will be happier people (and also easier to be around!) 

As a parent, schools and organizations are always asking you for help and donations.  Especially in these times of economic hardships when organizations are laying off and depending on volunteers for much of the needed help. 

It's often thought that we should give to others before ourselves but this kind of thinking can really get us in trouble.  Personally, I donate blood and donate my time and money when I can to those in need and volunteering is something I plan to do in the very near future.  I think volunteering sets a great example for our children and is very rewarding.  However, looking at the big picture allows us to prioritize our families needs first. Before making a commitment, ask yourself these questions...

Does this make sense for my schedule at this point?  Think of your time as a pie chart.  If your children are involved in many activities (for example), is it reasonable to make another commitment to volunteer? 

Is my family OK with this?  Talk to your spouse or family about the commitment your thinking of making before saying yes.

Can you negotiate?  Most organizations are willing to take whatever you can give.  If the commitment they are asking for is a tall order, ask if there's a more reasonable commitment.  Chances are, they also do not want you to make a commitment they you later resent or can't keep up with.

Are all my other financial needs met?  Donating your money is a wonderful thing, however, there are times when our bills become a priority (and that is OK!)  Budgeting your money wisely and donating at the appropriate times is a good thing.  If you are unable to give money now, forgive yourself and remember you are taking care of your family needs first.

Remember that being a charitable person begins in the home.  If you aren't able to be present as a parent than your not being charitable to your children which is most important.  Your kids will thank you later!

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