I don’t remember and can’t find where I recently read about volunteering. [If you ran across a post please let me know.] The idea was that a mother should not be volunteering outside of the home if she will not work outside of the home. It seemed to be making the two equal.
My opinion is that a full schedule of volunteering would be wrong. I believe that a volunteer job is different than a paying job. It is also different than a club or group.
What is the difference? The difference is who is in charge. Obviously with a job the employer is in charge. In a club or group that you pay dues to join there is someone in charge who tells you when to be where. As a volunteer you pick what you want to do, when you want to do it, and how long you will commit to doing it. In other words, you call the shots.
I do agree with Crystal that there is no greater work than raising children. I believe that raising my children and taking care of my home is my first priority.
(Can you feel a “but” coming?)
I, like her, cut back on 99% of commitments and ministries outside my home. It was a relief and I needed to do it. However, there came a time when I felt disconnected, dejected, and discouraged. Getting involved in some commitments outside my home greatly helped me.
Bear in mind that this is my experience. Everyone is different and at different stages in the raising of their children. Obviously, a mother of older children could do more with or without the children.
There was a comment left on Crystal’s post that I especially agree with. Here is part of it. It was left by Anonymous with no link included. [If you wrote this I would be glad to give you credit – just contact me.]
It is important that it not be viewed as ALL or NOTHING. There is a middle ground. We are instructed to see to the needs of our families first but this does not obliterate our responsibility to love our neighbors. The best part? These two can go hand in hand!
I just think it is easy for we mothers to feel so overwhelmed that we can be wanting to grab onto any reason we can to avoid doing outside acts of service.
Are you stressed from too many demands and not able to be a comforting spirit in the home; or are you hiding behind your mother duties?
My conclusion is that having a balance is key. There were many suggestions left in the above mentioned comments how you can involve your children in your ministries.
On the other hand, some time used to help others while the children are being babysat can be a boost much needed by a frazzled mother. It can also let the children know that the world does not revolve around them.
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