Advocating Without Drowning In Good Intentions

Hey Super Mom, you don't have to do it all.

Ellen Haws December 02, 2016
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I have this image in my head of a Mom: strong, smiling and ready to raise great human beings. She stands in front of a table sparkling and covered in support pins and ribbons. She picks up two or three pins and adds them to her outfit. She looks beautiful! And then she gets looking at the ribbons and pins left behind. How can she not support that cause? How does she choose whether to volunteer for Autism Inclusion or Down Syndrome Awareness? She better volunteer for both! And so slowly she keeps adding causes to advocate for and the weight of it all starts to impact her. But how can she not volunteer? These are all worthy causes, causes that directly impact her children. Can you see her? So many pins and ribbons on her mom cardigan that she is slumping from the weight? And then someone hands her her children to hold. Y’all, I am so guilty of this! I love believing that I am a super mom! I love to think that I can raise smart, respectful, kind boys and change the world, one world-changing project at a time. Guess what? I can’t. I made a list of all the organization I would love to volunteer for in 2017. Then I figured to really make an impact you would need to volunteer about 20 hours to each organization and if I stop showering in 2017, I can do it! I will stink, but my conscious will be clean! So yeah, I might need to limit my list a little.

I had to remind myself that my family is the priority at this time in my life.

But, how do I do that? How do I pick which torch to carry? Honestly, I don’t have a good answer here. And I tried to volunteer for the Good Answers committee to find the answer, but they didn’t know either. I could throw out all advocating projects and just keep us afloat as a family. And that would be an honorable choice, because let’s be honest the goodness of the world is built in our homes. We teach children how to love, how to care for others, how to be good humans. Parenting is the big gigantic advocating ribbon you wear like a Tula filled with your offspring. It is the big cause!  But if you are like me and would like to do more, without drowning in good intentions, maybe you can follow my lead and try this approach in 2017. I stepped back and looked at our family torch, I evaluated where I felt our family needed support, and then I looked for organizations to volunteer for that could help build up my family torch. I had to remind myself that my family is the priority at this time in my life. Seems like a selfish approach but I truly believe the greatest change the world project I am working on is the one happening in my home. Looks like 2017 is the year of the PTA and Down Syndrome Awareness, all those other beautiful ribbons and pins are going to have to shine on their own until I can pick them up again later.

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Ellen Haws

Ellen Haws is a writer and stay-at-home momster to two boys. She is an advocate for special needs individuals and special needs adoption. She created and is administrator of a thriving Facebook group that promotes and hosts events for special needs individuals and their families in Arizona. Once her hausfrau duties are finished, Ellen can be found creating sarcastic cross stitch art for her loved ones.

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