This week I have received several e-mails asking me to volunteer my services for different organizations teaching, donating, and giving my time for free. I looked at my scheduled and panicked. I was over ridden with guilt because I have to say no. Some of these causes are really good, and I would love to do them, but the truth is I just don’t have the time or resources.
I already donate time with a non-profit doing art therapy and teaching for free. I offer free art lessons to children whose parents live in a shelter. I donate work to various organizations that I find worthwhile. At some point I have to say enough.
I often give the advice to others that you have to take care of yourself first. I have to give this advice to moms a lot. I realized with the guilt that I’m not following my own advice. I have to take care of myself first. I have to take care of my child second. Everything is tied to me. If I don’t take care of myself then nothing gets done. I f I get sick, if I get overwhelmed, if I’m too tired….things that depend on me don’t get done.
Second, I have a responsibility to my son. I cannot keep donating time and resources when I have bills that I struggle to pay. When it comes right down to it, the most worthwhile cause is my family. I will start by reevaluating my responsibilities to myself, then my son, and then everything else will fall in if there’s room. I think most people don’t take care of the most important person in their lives – themselves.