Volunteering is incredibly beneficial to our spiritual growth. Serving in the community provides opportunities to focus on the needs of others, challenges us in new ways, develops virtues, and encourages us to pray more.
But, once you become a mom, isn’t your family your ministry?
Yes! Your vocation as a wife and a mother will always come first. There are many seasons of life that do not allow for ministry opportunities outside of the home and none of us should feel obligated to try to squeeze them in.
However, if the Holy Spirit is prompting you to get involved, there are also times in the life of a mom when it can work to volunteer. Though it might be difficult to fit serving the community into your family’s busy schedule, the Church needs us as mothers. A mother’s heart and gifts can meet the needs of our communities in a way that other members of the Church cannot.
9 Tips For Moms Who Want To Volunteer
- Have a prayer time EVERY day. If you don’t have time to pray, you don’t have time to serve.
- Make sure your husband is in full support of what you want to do.
- Look for opportunities to volunteer that your whole family can be involved in. (Children’s Liturgy, Vacation Bible School, Hospitality, etc.)
- Expand your definition of ministry. Mentoring younger women or baking cookies for an elderly neighbor, or cleaning up your neighborhood counts!
- Schedule date nights. This will help keep your vocation as a wife your first priority.
- Aim to have 10-15 minutes of quality time with each of your children every day. Your kids should never feel second to your volunteer involvement.
- Set and stick to your boundaries. Know when it’s time to say no.
- Let some things go. If you are called to volunteer, it could be time to stop going to book club, or maybe you can order takeout once in a while instead of cooking a gourmet meal. You can’t do it all, and that’s ok. Ask God to help you discern your priorities.
- Pay attention to the fruits of your volunteer work. Are you always in a bad mood when you return home? Are you tired, impatient, and feeling overwhelmed? If yes, it’s time to make a change. Or, perhaps, you come home full of joy, excited to share stories with your family, and feeling refreshed. In this case, the mental health benefits are just what you need!