Posted by: Meagan | September 16, 2011

Obligated

I often feel obligated and this is why; I’m a stay at home mom. I am very blessed that I have the option to stay home, but staying home isn’t without great personal and financial sacrifice. There are people who assume because I stay at home I can do things for them, and obviously I do enjoy helping and serving others or I’m sure word wouldn’t get out about all my awesomely-good deeds. {haha} I do enjoy helping others out, I think though that I most enjoy serving friends, and who doesn’t? Anyway I’m aware that out of all the stay at home mothers at church and among my friends I look the least busy, and maybe I am. My husband isn’t in school, I’m not in school, I don’t work part time (unless you count the kid-sitting I do.) So people ask me favors, most of the time I don’t mind. Often I volunteer myself to help people out. But I find myself overextended. “Sure I can watch your kids every week for free, AND I can totally watch your kids while you go to a seminar and go grocery shopping and have a girl’s night and a 20-day vacation, no problem! I’m just at home anyway!” That isn’t simplifying my life! Why do I do this to myself?!?

 

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Responses

  1. I hear you. People call me to babysit all the time. I’m learning to say no when I just don’t want to. Or to ask them for favors back. “oh, sure I’ll babysit your kids. And by the way, we’re hoping you go on a date this weekend. You’ll return the favor, right?” But the only problem with that is that half the people that ask me to babysit are people I would never leave my kids with! Yep, I hear you…

  2. I KNOW! What is wrong with people? Just because you stay at home does not mean you don’t do anything. I would love to count the hours, days, and months of FREE babysitting I have done for people. If someone needs babysitting on any kind of regular basis, they need to hire someone. That is NOT the job of a stay at home mom. (If you couldn’t tell, this topic really fires me up. I will never voluntarily babysit for someone else on a semi-permanent basis again.) And I really hope you are kidding about the 20 day vacation thing. 😉

    Anyway, here’s something I learned, maybe it will help you. I have a friend who, when I would ask if she wanted to do something (not babysit, but like come over, do a book club, or whatever) she would say “not then, that’s family time”. At first I thought that was ridiculous, now I think it’s genius. What can you say to that, you can’t interrupt “family time”. I thought she was crazy, but HER time was never interrupted. I totally respect that.

    Maybe you could come up with 3 or 4 hours a day that is your “family” time. You don’t have to do anything, just know that you will not have others over during that time and if someone asks, just say, “not then, that’s family time”. They may look at you like you’re crazy, but you will preserve YOUR time and YOUR energy. You cannot give everything to everyone else. And they will keep taking and taking if you let them (as well meaning as they may be). So preserve YOUR day and they’ll have to figure something else out. Plan time in the middle of the day, before or after your son goes to school, whichever works, AND plan time after hubby gets home from work. OR just use the “not then, that’s family time” excuse anytime you don’t want to. They don’t need to know your schedule and if your family will struggle because of what people are asking, it’s not an excuse, it’s a reason. But don’t let YOUR time interrupted. Stand up for yourself. You do not need to be the ward babysitter.


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