I Don’t Have Time to Volunteer

112_2825531I have been a parent for the past 12 years. My oldest son is in 6th grade and I have a son in third grade. Like your kids, mine are in plenty of extra curricular activities like karate, swim, piano lessons and golf. Like you, I spend my weeks trying to figure out how it can already be Thursday while attempting to schedule weekends full of games and birthday parties and perhaps (dare to dream) an occasional date with my husband.

I also work full time as the Regional Marketing Director for a mortgage company with nine offices in the southeast. And I own a website called Modern Parent. So why am I oversharing with you today? Because I wanted to tell you why I don’t have time to volunteer.

You heard me right. I don’t have the time. Every day is a challenge and a balancing act that you know only too well. It’s impossible to be work, manage your household, and be a loving parent while finding time to work out, cook healthy meals, keep relationships balanced with my husband, family and friends and still have time to volunteer. I just don’t have time.

But I make time.

I have been a member of the PTA for the past seven years. I became involved and put my hand in the air even when I was caring for a young child at home. I did so because investing in my child’s school is what makes it the school it is. Parents are the key to making up the deficit in school funding. We are the resource that our schools depend on.

And I get it. Please believe that I understand how hard it is to figure out where to find the time to make life…well, fit into life. I understand how hard it is to find and pay a babysitter in order to answer the phones at the front desk or bandage skinned knees in the nurse’s office. I know the weary look from the boss when you are 30 minutes late because you helped with carpool. I get how impossible it seems to add just one more colored block to your calendar. I know that your children get sick, snow days wreak havoc and that you are doing the best that you can.

35_2513160But your school needs you. We are blessed beyond measure to attend fantastic schools. And maybe it’s as simple as the PTA hasn’t made you aware of how important you are and how much you are needed.

Enrichment programs like Girls on the Run and Chess Club and Science Olympiad would not be possible without strong, gifted parents. Programs may cease to exist completely without people to step up. The school carnival and 5th grade celebration would not be the biggest events each year without people who give their time and talent to make them successful. The bulletin boards, teacher lunches, book fairs and so much more exist because people just like you make the time to make it all possible.

Maybe you have been nervous to come to a meeting because you don’t know anyone, but you won’t meet a group happier to have you come by. And perhaps you just don’t know how to get involved, but they would be more than happy to show you. You don’t have to blaze a path; the amazing parents who walked it before you have laid one out. The only thing that you need is a willingness to understand that this is your school every bit as much as it is your child’s school. When you invest your time, you make it possible for every child to benefit. If we all do a little bit of the work, it’s far less work for the whole, as we know many hands make easy work.

Let’s get you started. Go to your first PTA meeting. I know you don’t have time, but I would ask that you find time, make time and have a great time helping to build the foundation of a program that supports your beloved school in every possible way. No one said being a parent would be easy, but as a team, we can make this school the amazing place that we know it to be. Come help build your school’s legacy.

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Kelly Yale

Kelly Yale

Kelly Yale has written for many parenting websites and wrote a weekly column for Charlotte Parent called “Diva Mom” for many years. Kelly created Modern Parent in social media several years ago and is excited to relaunch a new Modern Parent website. When she isn’t working as the Marketing Director for a mortgage company, she plays wife to Matt and mom to Ryan & Josh in Charlotte, North Carolina.