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The thought of being a stay at home parent can be exciting, rewarding, and a touch scary, and those feelings can change as we settle into our new position. Feelings of isolation, worry of losing touch with the job market and our own skills can hang over us. But being at home can be a life changing experience for the better.
Once the task and routine of baby are figured out, we might find some idle time, whether physical time, or just the need to be mentally stimulated and challenged. If baby groups, parks, and walks are not cutting it or are not your thing then volunteering may just be the answer to get you through being at home for a few years.
Most people might think volunteering looks like stocking shelves at the food bank, and it might, if that is what you are into: but it can be so much more. Picking an organization that is near and dear to your heart, that works on issues that you care deeply about can really ignite your passions and give you purpose outside of taking care of the family. It can also provide a real core purpose and meaning, which is good for your life spirit. You are also going to meet people that have the same interests as you and could blossom some lifelong friendships.
Aside from getting to get dressed professionally (or at least out of pajamas!) and talk to people above the age of your children, you can really build your resume and make excellent contacts in an industry that you could only dream of being a part of. Not to mention hands on real life experience in a job you may not have been qualified for and always wanted. References from professional’s in the industry or high up places and experiences to add to your resume instead of a gap will keep you more employable... maybe even more so than before.
So where is this volunteer work? It could be a city committee, a board, or even a local non-government organization. Different scenarios offer different commitments: a committee may meet once a monthly or quarterly. Organizations might have special events a couple times a year, or maybe a local group might need help once a week, and sometimes a lot of the workload can be done at home on your time. You may even be able to take your little ones, or at least schedule around the times when your partner is home and can take over the house workload so there is no need to pay for care. The organizations you chose to help can be local, or even internationa! There are all sorts of opportunities and different levels of need.
An extra special bonus—you could get into some pretty cool events and meet some pretty important people, and you can be behind some pretty awesome initiatives in your community.
Volunteering can be what you want it to be, on your schedule, at your commitment level, and about something you really care about. Guaranteed to be much more fulfilling and powerful than you can imagine! Give it a try!