Volunteering as a busy mom is a challenge. Add to that the guilt of not doing enough, or not investing in the right cause, and many moms stop trying…
I’m not going to be able to volunteer AGAIN this week…
The realization hit the bottom of my stomach like a wrecking ball and disappointment escaped in an audible groan.
Taking a 9-month-old to volunteer was like a ticking time bomb, which I’d discovered the first and only time I’d made it to the center.
Other moms would figure out how to make it happen, I thought.
I’d been trying to volunteer at a local pregnancy resource center to teach parenting classes as well as help with their social media.
Maybe I’m not trying hard enough. I want to help but it’s just not working out. How can it be this hard to get involved with little kids?
Later at home, I popped on Facebook for a sec, and caught someone’s rant against the pro-love cause: “Christians should stop railing against abortion and go adopt every foster child, or they’re not being Christ-like.” (the essence of the post)
So to add to my disappointment and guilt about finding it hard to volunteer, now someone squashes my good intentions and labels me as “un-Christ-like” because of my choices.
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So since my goal is to be like Christ, I’m now failing at life.
I immediately wonder if I’m failing foster children. I deeply care about orphans and foster kids, so this hit me hard.
Look at how bad I’m doing, to care so much about unplanned pregnancies but not be taking action for other needy kids! And with my babies so young, I can’t even get to the pregnancy center once a week.
Guilt. Shame. Comparison.
What do we do with this kind of attack?
This kind of onslaught comes on a regular basis, from so many directions. As moms, we’re already battling conflicting emotions about careers on hold and limited “me” time, to then be thrown under the “not good enough” bus.
The hard part is to sort through the truth and falsehood coming at us. I don’t let negative thoughts stick around very long, but they still come with a vengeance.
Maybe you’ve experienced:
- Guilt & negativity about not doing enough.
- Judgement about investing in a cause supposedly “not as important” as another.
- Indirectly, condemned for your choices and made to feel like a terrible person.
We constantly get messages that make us feel as small as a potato bug under a rock. We want to make a difference but we’re not doing enough, we’re not good enough, we’re not helping enough.
Trudging through the onslaught of guilt, judgment, negativity, and comparison is like trying to put a kid to bed who just ate a triple decker ice cream cone with sprinkles.
Is volunteering as a busy mom a hopeless cause?
The enemy of our souls (Satan) wants us to think we have to save the world on our own. His goal is to make us feel hopeless and insignificant, believe that God’s not working and that nothing will ever change.
On the contrary, God is absolutely at work. What’s more, each cause is important, and we can make a difference.
But if we don’t think carefully about negative messages and weed out the lies, we start to internalize them.
We live under piles of guilt.
We feel like failures.
And it makes us completely ineffective (exactly what the enemy wants).
God made each of us with a specific purpose to further His kingdom.
We have gifts, talents, passions, and life experiences that play into who we are and what we care about.
What if we got our focus off of doing EVERYTHING and saving EVERYONE (and feeling guilty that we can’t)?
What if we figured out who we are, what we can really do, and just did that consistently?
The results would blow our minds.
They say slow and steady wins the race. You may not be able to do much now, but over time the results add up.
Let’s take action within who we are, within our God-given passions and abilities. Let’s let God lead us and not give up because of false accusations.
You might not see me volunteering as a busy mom outside the home every week. But I can do little things regularly that will still have a lasting impact.
And so can you.
Go here for a list of 18 simple ways for busy moms to make a difference!