This school year was supposed to be my year to turn to me.

It was supposed to be the year where I finally, blessedly, finished a massive, years-long volunteer commitment. And finishing was supposed to free me up for what I truly love. Writing, connecting, maybe even discovering if I can excavate that book from my mind.

But instead I picked up more volunteer positions, giving me five or so commitments AGAIN this year.

More time being taken from my writing.

What is wrong with me? Why can’t I stop saying no to volunteer positions? What need am I filling when I get the call and say yes?

Last year, I hired a personal coach and one of her biggest pieces of advice to me?


learning to say no | Just.Be.enough.

Learning to say this isn’t easy.

And since then, I have! I’ve said no to quite a few additional requests that have come my way.

I did a darned good job saying no to practically everything asked of me this summer. As a matter of fact, I didn’t raise a finger to help out on my child’s swim team, citing 1) being new and 2) having a four-year-old to keep an eye on during meets.

And you want to know something funny? Some of the moms talked about “people like me who didn’t do their part!”

Isn’t that hysterical? That I spend 20-30 hours a week volunteering during the school year, but when I take one summer off, I allow myself to get guilted into feeling inadequate from other parents?

(Hint: This may be one of the reasons I say yes so much.)

Here’s one thing I know: All of these commitments will be manageable. And I will even feel great fulfillment from them.

Especially if I continue to ignore my personal hopes and dreams for writing.

My volunteering has begun to make me feel like I’m not enough when it comes to my personal goals.

But to the people I volunteer for, I am enough. More than enough.

And that used to be enough for ME.

Problem is, it’s not anymore.

And I need to figure out how to change that. I need a better balance.

What do you think I should do?



About Missy

Missy Bedell blogs at Literal Mom where she encourages all parents to be thinking parents. She uses wit, humor and sometimes even tears to share her message. But above all that, there is hope, for our next generation. You can also find her on Twitter at @LiteralMom.

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