Volunteering saved my sanity
I started volunteering soon after the birth of my first child. For some, this might sound crazy and the worst possible time, a time of intense emotions and chronic tiredness. But for me, the overarching feeling around that time was boredom. Not that I wasn’t busy as such – I was, of course, feeding and changing my child, bathing, clothing and soothing her. But I felt those tasks were repetitive, and I wasn’t busy intellectually. I was also very lonely and the days were long. So a month or so after my daughter was born, I started looking for something I could do while on maternity leave.
With the help of the Volunteer Centre, I became a tutor for the Age Action Getting Started program. It is a beginners training course on computers, email, the internet, etc. for older folks. I used the material provided by Age Action, and also created my own. Since I was working as a trainer in a computer-related environment at the time, I felt at ease. I was able to bring my daughter with me to the training sessions, which was a requirement for me. I think the residents of the retirement home also liked having her around, cooing and smiling. There was the odd bit of crying, but I would pick her up and continue the session with her in my arms.
After a few months, I regained my confidence as a professional, my daughter continued to thrive, and I was ready to go back to work without having lost my sanity to motherhood.