Monday, June 9, 2008

Sharing the Wealth by Nannette Croce

When I first decided on the stay-at-home mom thing, I assumed I’d go back to full-time employment eventually. At first we scrimped a bit having become accustomed to two incomes, but by the time this mom was no longer needed at home, my husband’s new business provided us with a large home and enough left over for my daughter’s education, a nice trip once a year, and dinners out. Oh, there have been some nail-biter years as with any business, but generally, it’s more than we need to live.

So I faced a choice. Take a good job I didn’t need from someone who did need it and spend the income they might use to feed their kids on extra vacations and more dinners out or give my time in volunteer or what I call, semi-volunteer work (low-paying non-profit jobs where I returned most of my pay through donations or out-of-pocket purchases).

I chose the latter.

Like any “great leap forward,” the women’s movement came with a downside––a huge drop in the number of available volunteers. At the same time funding cuts to non-profits put organizations from libraries to the YMCA to museums in desperate need of people to work for little or nothing.

Sadly, too many people judge the value of a person’s time by what they earn for it. People, especially women, who work for nothing now often feel the need to apologize. Paid work is a career; non-paid work is “keeping busy.”

Well this gal is grateful for her good fortune. Anymore would simply be greedy. My professional background makes me an asset to organizations that could never pay top dollar for my skills, and I enjoy “keeping busy” for a good cause.


Barbara Quinn said...

Let's hear it for the volunteers. So many good causes depend on them, including us!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Good for you Nan....what would we do without volunteers?

Angie Ledbetter said...

The "pay" SAHM's and volunteers receive is way more than a mere salary. I bet your regrets are fewer too.

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