Friday, November 30, 2012

Volunteer Overload

Moms, it’s that time of the year. Schools are gearing up for fundraisers, churches are doing their fairs and carnivals, and there are not enough hours in the day to do what needs to get done.

There’s a saying that if you want something done, ask a busy person. They are more likely to finish the task. But as the one who is always being asked, are you finding it hard to say no?

I have to admit. Sometimes it’s easier to say yes. Sometimes I think, “OK, just this one thing” which always ends up being a series of more tasks. And the person doing the asking is just as busy as I am.

I’m not complaining about the fact that I have so much to do. I volunteer for things because I enjoy getting things done for a greater cause. I am, however, pulling out my “Thanks for thinking of me, but no” script. I have officially hit the limit of things I can get done without pulling my hair out.

Among my favorites, because they have the benefit of being true and appreciative:
•    “Thank you for asking, but I have filled my calendar up for the fall and won’t be taking on anything new until my commitments are finished.”
•    “That sounds like a wonderful opportunity, but it’s not one I can add to my plate right now. Have you considered NAME?”
•    “You are so sweet to think of me. I might consider doing this next year, but I won’t be able to take this on right now.”

Do you have good responses to help moms say no when they’re overwhelmed? I need a couple more responses for my arsenal of “No, thanks.”

Reace Alvarenga-Smith is a Mom of two in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

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