The other morning I brought my oldest son to his first kindergarten field trip. As I watched the slew of kids get on the busses, followed and generally wrangled by a smaller slew of moms and one dad, I asked my friend Pamela when the sign-up was to accompany the kids.
She said that those were the “room parents,” but she didn’t remember how they signed up to do that. “Ah, yes,” I said. “That was among the things we were asked to volunteer for in that huge pack we got at the beginning of the school year.” I had seen it and shoved it aside, quite casually.
Two posts ago, I wrote of how God was working in my life regarding my jealousy and contentment issues, today I realized how far I’ve come in getting over “false” guilt and accepting who I am and what I can—and can not—do in my current situation.
Of course I’d like to be a room mom, but right now, it’s barely possible. And something I feel really good (or at least really okay) about saying no to.
Same thing when I declined to sign up as a chaperone on my daughter’s preschool field trip last week. I went with for my son’s two years ago, but I couldn’t make it work this time for her. While I FELT guilty for a few minutes, I simply let it go.
I don’t have to feel bad about not being able to do EVERYTHING, even (or maybe especially) if it pertains to my kids and it means other people have to pick up the “slack.” In this case I don’t feel bad because I don’t have that many readily available sitters for my other two kids—which I’d need to be a room mom—and I need to use the sitters I have for when I work.
And while once upon a time (and frankly, still some times) I’d guiltily rush to defend my use of the word need in the previous sentence (complete with tax returns), I no longer need to don’t have to because if I believe I’m doing my best to follow where God’s calling me and to do what’s he’s calling me to do, that’s need to enough. You know, some other things just have to get a pass–and I have to believe he’ll call others to fit in those places.
Of course, this doesn’t mean I never have to volunteer for anything again. It would be an easy excuse to claim busyness and God’s “calling” on my life and go on my merry way. That’s not what I’m talking about here. It’s just about knowing that you’re doing the best you can, living in accordance with God’s priorities and purposes for you. And then not feeling guilty about it. At least I think so….
(Wondering what’s up with the dog at the top? Click on About. I’ve decided he’s a nice image to put alongside posts talking about my kids.)