the walls that hold us in


I love to volunteer. I will send in food to school or help write a devotional at church, I do childrens sermons at church and I also might make soup at Lent for Lenten meals of soup and sandwich. The thing I do not volunteer for is calling people. I hate to talk on the phone. Back when I was in junior high and high school, I was never off the phone, but now- I get so anxious. I love to text or Facebook or email people, I do not like calling. I get all flustered and I repeat words or say the same thing twice- I’m a big ol’ mess.

I don’t know why this is, I guess I think people might think I am being a nuisance or people might think I sound stupid, or people might say no and get mean and hang up. One of my jobs during college was at a survey call center, I think I lasted maybe 1 month, and I hated it, perhaps that’s why I hate the phone, people hung up on me and swore, and people still do that nowadays at my job when a class is filled up or they want to complain about something.

So my child’s teacher asked me to call other parents to ask for some party supplies and I felt like a fool. I’ve never been the one to call people, and I didn’t know what to ask or how to ask it. I tripped over my words and felt like the world’s biggest idiot. But I did it. I did it because I thought my kid would look funny if I just bought all the supplies myself. I thought other parents might be hurt if no one asked them to send stuff into school. I did it because when I do something and give my word I like to see it through completion.
Like many parents I volunteer sometimes because I can’t say no. In this case I would have liked to have been able to email the parents, but I said I would call and not everyone had an email address and as my husband pointed out not everyone checks their email everyday. So I did it, it made me super uncomfortable but I did it. It got easier as I went, but it was still not something I’m comfortable doing. So this is one of my biggest parenting challenges and also just life challenges- more times than not I don’t say no because I don’t want to hurt feelings, or seem unhelpful and in doing so I am not helping anyone and I’m teaching my children to just keep saying yes to volunteer for things even when they know it’s not right for them.

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