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Volunteer burnout


laundrycrisis
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:grouphug:

 

I know it's all hard work. Extra, hard work on top of your personal responsibilities.

 

I have found that I feel differently when I am overwhelmed by volunteering for people who truly NEED help- like babies, severely ill, homeless, addicted... than I do volunteering to make peoples lives easier- like providing a group newsletter that nobody reads, fundraisers snacks and lunch sales at a coop, library, planning classes and field trips.

 

I feel ZERO guilt eliminating or reducing my volunteer hours for the second group. I do my best to continue in some way for the first.

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I've cut back too. 

The things that amaze me

  - people who won't step up but still complain.

  - people who won't step up but always criticize.

  - people who want the group to be 'child-led' and encourage their children to spout that off regularly, but when the volunteer/coordinator steps back to allow this, nothing -*absolutely* nothing happens. Great idea, family, but seriously, that means *you* have to *DO* something - not just say what you want 'cause things don't happen magically

  - people who take advantage and don't even say, "Thank you"

 

I'm sorry. ((Hugs)) to all volunteers. And Thank You! 

 

I keep going because I know it really is good for the kids, but once my youngest is through, I'm through too. I'll find something else to volunteer for.

Edited by Bambam
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I've cut back too. 

The things that amaze me

  - people who won't step up but still complain.

  - people who won't step up but always criticize.

  - people who want the group to be 'child-led' and encourage their children to spout that off regularly, but when the volunteer/coordinator steps back to allow this, nothing -*absolutely* nothing happens. Great idea, family, but seriously, that means *you* have to *DO* something - not just say what you want 'cause things don't happen magically

  - people who take advantage and don't even say, "Thank you"

 

I'm sorry. ((Hugs)) to all volunteers. And Thank You! 

 

I keep going because I know it really is good for the kids, but once my youngest is through, I'm through too. I'll find something else to volunteer for.

OH, my yes. And the lady who is "too busy" to plan and be involved but still wants to tell us all how things should be done. Seriously. If you don't want to be involved you don't have a say. 

 

Or the ones that as soon as they join want to tell you all the things you are doing wrong but have no idea the logistics of everything.

 

Or people that want you to do all these things but aren't the ones doing it all. 

 

We are supposed to camp this weekend but the chance of rain is nearly 100%, the campground has a high likelihood of being closed due to the rain(as it was last weekend). yet, one mom is complaining that we aren't doing Troop camping. Mind you it is not like they are hardcore or something they only camp with the group and never on their own. Of course she isn't the one that has to set it all up and tear it down etc besides the fact that none of the other parents want to camp in the rain. I think I want to suggest that she takes over camping next year if she thinks we aren't doing it right.

Edited by soror
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I can't do much volunteering at this stage in my life, but I sure feel for people who do.  Our scout leader in particular - every year she says she can't keep doing such a large % of the work, and if it changes, it's ever so slightly.  I think her daughter is going into her final scouting year.  Some people need to step up.  But ... easy for me to say.  Single mom, busy kids, full-time job ... I haven't even managed to attach the badges my kids earned this year.  This week I sent scout leader 2 emails saying I can't help with things Thursday afternoon nor Saturday morning.  I really can't.  I have 2 other conflicts on both days.  But I'll bet she is frustrated seeing that.

 

I used to volunteer a lot when I didn't have kids.  I will probably do so (if I have the energy) after my kids need me less.  I wonder how we can get more people to volunteer when they are in the relatively less busy times of life....  One idea is to recruit kids who have aged out of the program the volunteers are needed for.  Hmm....

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I hear you. I am right there with you. I have got to cut back. I know some people aren't going to like it. But others have got to take some turns in some things too. I can't keep teaching scouts, co-op, VBS, and church, plus the other things that go along with those things like fundraisers, baking, planning meetings, etc.


 


I just got three extra hours out of the house added to my schedule for something I have to do weekly with dh. That is three hours that have to go away somewhere. 


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Oh, and the guilt when you quit doing something and no one steps up so it falls apart.

 

Volunteering can be so tough. I try really hard to show appreciation to volunteers where I can because a little appreciation really goes a long way.

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Our scout leader in particular - every year she says she can't keep doing such a large % of the work, and if it changes, it's ever so slightly.

... One idea is to recruit kids who have aged out of the program the volunteers are needed for. Hmm....

My home country's girl guides organization gets their volunteers from the Trefoil Guild which is the girl guides alumni. A lot of the girl guides and brownies troops where I am from are part of school ECAs so there is at least a dedicated teacher serving as the teacher in charge per girl guide coy/company/ and brownie pack.

https://www.wagggs.org/en/about-us/our-partners/funds-foundations-and-friends/trefoil-guild/

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Moving helps!  Our most recent move got me out of 2 bad volunteering deals.  Here's the thing, I love volunteering.  I have gotten a lot of satisfaction out of volunteering throughout my life but recently there has come a point where I have realized that no one else actually volunteers.  Everyone else with school aged kids, and kids in school, work.  Everyone works.  It's probably not an actual change in society, but it seems like I just noticed it - I think I'm like an endangered species.... No wonder I'm the only parent to show up at the 8th grade party meeting or the teacher appreciation week gig.  I'm almost sorry to say that in a couple months, one of my craziest volunteer gigs is going to start paying me -- I've gone to the dark side!

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I used to volunteer a lot when I didn't have kids.  I will probably do so (if I have the energy) after my kids need me less.  I wonder how we can get more people to volunteer when they are in the relatively less busy times of life....  One idea is to recruit kids who have aged out of the program the volunteers are needed for.  Hmm....

 

This is what our church does. We could not run AWANA or VBS without the teen helpers we get.  And bonus! The kids love having the teens there.

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I've found that the best way for me to joyfully volunteer (and to maintain my volunteer staff) is to make sure that everyone's work is seasonal. I can go full guns for only so long, and then I need to recharge so that I can look forward to starting the process over again. I long for those breaks by the end of each session, but when it is time to get started again, I am always brimming with new ideas.

 

Everything gets old after you do it for too long - even the best of things. After watching multiple volunteers refuse to admit that they needed a break, just to get all upset at my other volunteers for not doing enough, I've finally learned that rest is not an optional luxury. Everyone has to step aside and just trust that their hole will be filled. As grandma always used to say, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

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I am SO burnt out on volunteering for the homeschool community.  And more than volunteering, having people complain at me like I'm a paid professional serving them.  It seems like in our community the newer wave homeschoolers coming out of school treat every homeschool group like they exist for the sole purpose of serving kids new to homeschooling.   The parents are the last to sign up to volunteer and the first to complain.  I'm so over it. 

 

PSA - most homeschool groups are run by parents creating something to work for their own kids.  It may not be a fit for everyone.  Assume they are doing the best they can with the time they have.  If it doesn't work for you, your options are A - walk away or B - step up to volunteer.  Note that there is not an option C - have a flaming tantrum at a random parent who made the mistake of fielding e-mails for a small group.  :cursing:

 

And yes, I'm stepping away from several volunteer roles after this spring.  :hurray: :lol:

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I am SO burnt out on volunteering for the homeschool community.  And more than volunteering, having people complain at me like I'm a paid professional serving them.  It seems like in our community the newer wave homeschoolers coming out of school treat every homeschool group like they exist for the sole purpose of serving kids new to homeschooling.   The parents are the last to sign up to volunteer and the first to complain.  I'm so over it. 

 

 

Truth.  I am almost done homeschooling.  DD has one more year.  I have noticed interesting changes from the beginning of my journey to present.  When I started there were very few homeschoolers where I live that were secular.  The yahoo groups and the meetup group were invaluable to me as I learned from the experienced homeschoolers.  I have watched the numbers of homeschoolers increase in my area.  I created things that worked for my kids.  Opened my home, organized trips (at least tried to), researched curriculum, etc.  I have seen the tone of the support groups I joined have changed.  It seems to have gone from "teach me" to "What can you do for me". I get the looking for something already made.  I certainly did in the beginning.  The difference seems to be that when I couldn't find it I tried to create it.  Very few seem willing to create.  They just want and complain loudly that it does not exist.

 

I stopped trying to organize because too many people flaked at the last minute or complained the cost was too much.  I'm sorry, but the docent who is taking a few hours from their day to teach this class deserves to be paid. I get the cost factor.  Certainly my budget is always pinched.  Every activity got a return on investment calculation.  

 

For the swim team,. I only do the bare minimum of volunteering.  It is time for the new parents to step it up.  The team doesn't run without the parent volunteers.  It would cost even more without the volunteers.

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I am on a long break from volunteering. I am still burnt out only 1.5 years into my break. I don't have it in me to deal with all the crap and pettiness. I will only put together classes/activities for others that I know well. Too many flakes now or expect everything for free or want ages changed. I also realized my expectations are vastly different from others. I expected people to do what they said when they committed and to not decide they just didn't feel like it or put more than 1/100 of an effort.

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Due to this thread I sent a heartfelt thank you email to some of the leaders of my dds ahg group. I volunteer in other places so I can't do much for that group. I hope they don't think I'm entitled and freeloading.

 

The ladies were very glad to get a thank you.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I stopped volunteering in the homeschool world VERY early on. I got so unbelievably sick of people flaking out. It was INFURIATING. I could rage about it for many pages here...but I won't.

 

I led scouts for years. It was great for the season. EXHAUSTING, but great.

 

We just moved so we're getting our footing. I have teens and I think they are at an excellent age to volunteer but it has to be meaningful. We'll be starting weekly with Habitat next week. I'm excited. It's a very busy group with lots of very active retireees. So for me, it's bonus - hard work, skills, mentors, and useful work. We'll also help with VBS and another camp for city kids coming out to nowhere. We'll pour all those years of Cub Scout camps/meetings/activities to good use!

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I'm dropping a volunteer responsibility next school year at my church. I agreed to another year as a scout leader. I don't do anything at school. Teachers probably think I'm a lazy mom, but I work full time and showing up during school hours is almost impossible.

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