not just a seat-filler

I’m learning, slowly, that the best way, for me at least, to get through something uncomfortable is to just jump in, with full abandon.  Then once I’ve done it, most of the anxiety subsides and I’m able to reach a place where I am more comfortable and don’t feel like a weirdo who has to remind herself to smile at appropriate times.  Because yes, I do at times need to remind myself to smile at others!  I’m not grump, I just forget 🙂

This year is apparently my year of jumping in… to everything.  And that’s good.  It is!  Must keep reminding myself that to be involved; good to be around others, good to be around people who have goals, who have ambitions and who have interesting things to talk about!  Being a stay at home mom is awesome in so many ways; yet for me there is this black hole where most of my non-mom smarts have been sucked into, seemingly never to return.  Why do I feel the need to always qualify any downside I have with being a stay at home mom by proclaiming that I do indeed love my kids and being home with them?  This is one of my biggest pet peeves about myself!  GAH!  Guilt, that’s why.  But that’s a whole other post.  So, moving on…

Jacob, my five-year old, brought home what I think was the third notice from his school that they were still in need of three parent volunteers to serve on the school council.  Last month’s meeting was cancelled because without parents, there’s no council.  Now, I’ve already  pushed myself way out of my comfort zone and  am on the stewardship committee at church and I joined the PTO. I’m also on a small committee for a holiday event the PTO is hosting.

And here’s where some of that guilt comes into play; I just couldn’t see how I could not volunteer for the school council.  I’m certainly interested in what goes on in Jacob’s school and it’s uncomfortable knowing that he goes to this place 5 days a week and I really don’t know the ins and outs of how the school is run or what it’s plans are for our children.  I have the time; I don’t work out of the home and my kids aren’t in a ton of after school activities.  Well, Jacob’s the only one old enough for them yet and he’s not in any. PTO doesn’t take up too much time, for now at least; talk to me in three weeks when we’re in full preparation mode for our ‘Polar Express’ event!  Sure, there’s the teensy issue of not having the slightest clue what a school council actually does, but that’s not too big of a deal, I hope.  And I’m hoping that if a PhD is needed to be on the council, they’d at least wait to tell me in private that I am not qualified to be there!

You see, I really had no reason to not do it.  So what did I do?  I made a second cup of coffee, loaded it with a ton of sugary creamer (Coffee Mate’s Belgian Chocolate Toffee, yum!) gulped it down and made the call to the school.  They sent home a sheet to fill out explaining why I wanted to be on the council.  I was as honest as I could be.  My answer was, ‘because no one else will’.  Just kidding.  I gave the best answer I could; that I want to take an active part in my son’s school and feel that the best way to serve our school and all the students is to get involved.  Pretty straightforward.  No beating around the bush like I typically do.  There was some confusion for me over whether or not I should just show up to the council meeting or if I needed to wait to be notified that yes, as the only parent able and willing to volunteer I was cordially invited to show up.  This also was cleared up with a phone call to the school.  This is a big deal people!  I’m calling people, talking to them on the phone, talking about stuff!  Big deal indeed!

The meeting was yesterday and I’m happy to report that I survived.  I’m also happy to report that there was another parent there.  The meeting went well and I even fessed up to not knowing what the hell a school council’s purpose was.  And now that I have a better understanding, I actually think that I might be able to contribute in more than just a seat-filler capacity.

Summoning up the courage to put aside my anxieties and just jumping in has had some unexpected effects; confidence!  energy! happiness!  motivation to keep on putting myself out there!  These things are priceless.  It’s been too long since I’ve felt these things in regards to something outside of motherhood.  These unexpected effects are two-fold; as I gain more confidence, energy, happiness and motivation in my outside-of-home activities, I’m gaining more confidence, energy, happiness and motivation as a mother.

YAY me!