So, we’re a Catholic family trying to live out the Lord’s call and follow the precepts of the church. My wife and I have been blessed with 3 children, currently 11yo DS, 7 yo DD, and 8 mo DS…
DW and I have been active in various capacities in our parish. DW has taught faith formation, been the first communion coordinator, teaches music at our parish’s school, plays piano at mass, and was just asked if she’d help teach confirmation. I’ve volunteered extensively with youth ministry, been on the school board, help with the parish fundraiser, and am in the KofC. DW is a certified catechist…I’m working on my certification now.
Anyway, we’ve been trying to cut back on some of our volunteer activities lately since we’ve got the new little one, and have managed to pull back on some of them. This is hard for us because we’re those people who have trouble saying “no” when asked to help. In a discussion with DW last night after the kids were in bed, we came to a realization that when one of us goes off to volunteer at one thing or another, our kids just see us leaving, just see it as less time that we are spending with them. We are trying to set a good example and show that we are called to serve…but our kids don’t really see it that way. They see it as another “stupid meeting” that takes one or both of us away. I took a group of 41 teens to a Steubenville youth conference in July, and my two older kids are still calling it “Stupidville.” To them it is bad enough that my job takes me away from them on travel a few times a year. To add to that voluntarily they see as a great injustice.
So we started talking about how it might be better for everyone involved if we poured our energy into doing God’s work as a family…finding some way to volunteer our time and talents together so that the kids would be more involved and develop an understanding of what it means to give of oneself. They would be able to see us working, work with us, and see the fruits of our labor. It would be an opportunity to spend time together while serving God…I can only see that strengthening our family. Obviously DW and I might have to switch off depending on what we do since the 8 month old will need to be cared for. But now it just seems to make sense to pursue this.
My question, then, is: Anyone have any good ideas for good works we can do together as a family? I’m interested in the creative ways you’ve gotten your whole family involved in doing works of mercy.
Thanks in advance!