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Volunteering and SAHPing
How do you combine them?


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25 replies to this topic

#1 MintyBiscuit

Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:40 PM

I was reading in another thread about some SAHMs who manage to do some volunteer work as well. Have you done it? How have you managed it? Is it a matter of finding volunteer positions where you can take your kids it's you, or doing it during non business hours so your partner can look after the kids? Or are you getting child care/babysitting?
I'd love to be doing some volunteer work now that DS is a bit more settled and I have some more time, but I have no idea how to juggle both.

ETA - This feels like one of those questions that might be a bit dopey, so please be kind wink.gif

Edited by HollyOllyOxenfree, 18 February 2013 - 05:41 PM.


#2 Peridot

Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:46 PM

I volunteer with the Tasmanian Ambulance Service, and have been doing so for nearly a year now original.gif
We do training and can go up the levels which is exciting and I really value it.. The things I've learnt are life saving, literally! We can do virtually everything a paramedic can do, bar a few high up things like administer morphine and put in canulas.
I do my shifts when my partner or mother in law can have the girls original.gif

#3 Coffeegirl

Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:49 PM

Depends on what type of volunteering I guess.

I know SAHMs who volunteer through their children's school.  Canteen duty, reading, weekly kids banking etc.   so they just do them duirng school hours and their children are already in school.  A couple others have shift working partners so they volunteer when their husbands are hime to watch younger kids.


I volunteered at a local nursing home when my DS was a baby.  It was an adopted a grandparent program.  They set me up with a lovely lady whose children were just too far away to visit regularily, so we took their place.  It worked well for us as my own parents lived overseas and my IL's were not terribly involved.

The lady we were paired with just lit up when we came to visit.  We aimed for a catchup every fortnight at a minumum, if not more.  I just had to ring the staff a few hours before to ensure it was a good day/time.



#4 Lagom

Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:56 PM

I used to help prepare, cook and serve a large luncheon for people who live alone.  I brought DD along and she would play in the other room and entertain the oldies.  They loved having her there as many of them rarely saw their (great) grandchildren or family and were isolated from their community.  DD loved the attention so it was win win.   biggrin.gif  Unfortunately I can't fit it into my crazy schedule now but I'd love to do it again when I can.  I'm very interested to see what everyone else gets up to.

#5 feralisles

Posted 18 February 2013 - 06:01 PM

I joined WIRES when my first child was a baby.  I care for native animals at home, in my own time, and fit it in around kids (and my paid work as well).  I love it, but it does get hectic at times!

My kids really love it too, especially now they are old enough to help.  I think it is good for kids to see the adults around them giving something back to the community.

#6 caitiri

Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:45 AM

My DH is a shift worker so I do my volunteering when he is home.  I volunteer for a community information referral service

#7 GenWhy

Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:50 AM

I'm a volunteer ambo and firie. I also work part time. I'm allowed to take the kids with me on weekends as they have a play area. On call outs or training nights my DH has the kids.

#8 JustBeige

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:22 AM

I volunteered for the kids school in primary.  I also did meals on wheels with mum when they were 3-4.   This was an awesome thing for them as they just loooooved going and knocking and delivering the food.    tbh, It was a bit of a PITA having to unstrap and restrap int he car seats all the time, but between mum and myself we managed because the kids just loved it and so did the majority of the clients.  They also didnt get out for every client, just a few special ones.

I also am volunteering in an ongoing community project.

Try your local neighbourhood centre to see what they have available.  or you could call Volunteering Australia and have a chat regarding doing something that is kid friendly.

#9 CalEliKat

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:24 AM

I am P and C president - I manage the staff in the canteen and before and after school care, I liaise with the school - often this takes up 25 hours of a normal week.  Lots of it I can do from home but I am around the school a bucketload.

#10 Tall Poppy

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:33 AM

I volunteer for the Australan Breastfeeding Association (ABA) & we all bring our kids along to different events, training etc. There has been many a laugh as a result.

When calls are placed to the helpline the counsellors are at home & may have their kids with them. I'm not on the helpline but, many counsellors have some hilarious stories to tell about helpline.

The ABA very much encourages & accomodates families in their volunteer work. It is not at all out of place to bring yor kids.

#11 QueenIanthe

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:35 AM

I study by correspondence and have my youngest in preschool two days a week. So I can volunteer around office hours.

I'm the treasurer for the school P & C too, meetings are at night and if anyone needs me any other time we text (and vice versa)

#12 tickly_rain

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:36 AM

I've volunteered through school for a few years - staff didn't mind my younger children being there as they'd sit happily playing, listen to the children read or participate if it was appropriate.

I've also been on various committees, most of which meet in the evening when DH is home.

I convene a support group for people with a specific chronic illness and am also a phone contact for newly diagnosed families.  I'd make the calls when my youngest was asleep or my mum was visiting.

I also sew lots of things for charity groups - dolls for children's hospital, pillow cases for oncology kids, etc.  This I can do at night / during children's sleep times.

I love volunteering and manage to fit it in with part-time work now too.  It's definitely possible - you just need to find something you're interested in / passionate about!

#13 Ice Queen

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:38 AM

OP, with kids pre-kindy and pre-school age it is hard to find volunteering that suits without having to get some kind of childcare for them.

Before I had DS I did meals on wheels.  It only worked as I did it with a friend who also had a pre school age child.  The two of us were 'one' volunteer.  So one week I would do MOW, friend would babysit 2 kids, next week I would babysit, she would do MOW.  But I stopped when DS was born and now her kids are all at school and she works so I have noone to JV with.

I am going to start having a look around later this year for something that works within my hours, kids etc.

Edited by Ehill, 19 February 2013 - 07:39 AM.


#14 hunter4

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:44 AM

Another meals on wheels voluteer here.  The kids (5 and 3 now but have been doing it since they were 3 and 1) go with me and yep it can be a pain in the ###@ getting them into and out of the car, but its definitely worth it.  The kids love visiting everyone and the old people love having them come for a visit.  As a PP said at some houses I can leave the kids in the car and just deliver the meal to the door, but other places the kids come in and have a great chat.  



#15 againagain

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:09 AM

I volunteer at school. I can't do much in-class stuff as my toddler gets bored and interrupts too much.

I take her with me to canteen, counting school banking, I take books home to cover for the class and library, I do cake stall days and school fair etc.

#16 *LucyE*

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:20 AM

A mix of all your suggestions.  I just went with whatever worked for that particular situation.

Since the arrival of #3, I haven't done any volunteering because it has been too difficult.  Our school tuckshop doesn't allow young children inside because of OHS issues.

#17 item

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

I've done a fair bit of volunteering as a SAHM, mostly admin stuff or organising events for NFP's.  So apart from a few phone calls during the day, the bulk of the work was done at home via email at night and during nap time etc.

ETA, I found organisations to give my time to privately, but you could look at http://volunteer.com.au/. Have a think about the skills and experience you bring from your working life - you might be surprised at the sort of volunteer roles out there.

Edited by in(s)ane, 19 February 2013 - 11:29 AM.


#18 MintyBiscuit

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:28 AM

Thanks everyone, there are some ideas there that I hadn't thought of.

Meals on Wheels sounds like a good one, particularly as I only have one child to get in and out of a seat at the moment. And DS loves meeting new people so it could be good for him too. I'll get in touch with volunteering australia too and see what they can recommend



#19 ThatsNotMyName

Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

Canteen at first which was easy as ours is sibling friendly. Now DD is in daycare 2 days a week while I'm studying so I'm currently doing a full day of volunteer work each week at the school on a day I have no classes (this term anyway).

#20 Feral_Pooks

Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:37 PM

Well, I am
A) on the waiting list to foster rabbits and guinea pigs.
B) currently sussing out whether I can run a young mums playgroup once a week, so DS can of course come along.
C) offering to help out at community house which has childcare I can pop DS into while I am busy, but this is likely to be only for a few hours every now and then.
D) doing some editing of online newsletters for a community group, which will again only be every now and then, and I can do evenings or when DS naps.

#21 JRA

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:06 PM

As has been said, depends on what volunteering. When I was home and DS was not at school I did play group committee/president, and also local council stuff. This I did either with DS, when DS was sleeping, or at nights when dh was home.

Once he went to kinder school, it has included stuff at school - either in the classroom or dh running he school fair. Or other stuff like oxfam etc

#22 MintyBiscuit

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:03 PM

QUOTE (in(s)ane @ 19/02/2013, 12:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
ETA, I found organisations to give my time to privately, but you could look at http://volunteer.com.au/. Have a think about the skills and experience you bring from your working life - you might be surprised at the sort of volunteer roles out there.


Had a look on here and found a position for a cake baking volunteer! Definitely surprised at that. Wll be meeting up with someone next week to have a chat and see if it's a good fit.
Thanks again everyone biggrin.gif

#23 Swelle

Posted 22 February 2013 - 07:04 AM

Volunteering at the toy library was a winner for me, my kids got to play with stack of toys, the committee was lots of fun and I really enjoyed it (still do the occasional shift for them now).
Kindy and school committees often need a hand.

#24 kpingitquiet

Posted 22 February 2013 - 07:10 AM

In my mind, the majority of SAHP who volunteer outside the home have school-aged children, but I could be wrong about that!

I've done a fair bit of work designing graphics and assisting in internet campaigns from home, though.

#25 Kay1

Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:43 AM

I have just been nominated the Grants and Submissions Officer for our school P&C. I often can't make P&C meetings because DH isn't home in time but this job I can do from home in my own time. original.gif I will also be doing reading groups at school this year and taking my baby with me.




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