Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Fine line of Balance


That is a big word for me Just enough effort to get by? Effort that goes above and beyond? Effort wasted and squandered on the wrong things? Varying degrees of effort are doled out for everything we decide to do.


A second big word that should be expanded only to say Focus on my Family. With this loving focus, I have had to change the amount of effort put to outside obligations.

Tonight, one obligation and the expectations of a single one were lowered. When I was asked with big puppy dog eyes by my son to be his Den leader, I happily said yes, not really aware of the sheer amount of work put into running a den successfully. And I did suceed right out of the gates at having an awesome night planned for every den meeting and getting all my tigers accomplishing their requirments to advance. Simply because I want the best for my son, and if 13 other boys are effected by that, then more the better.

But with this new year and new focus, I have purposely let that obligation slide. I no longer spend 4-6 hours a week preparing for a den meeting. I pick a couple topics, cover them using what tools I can from the school, and get (when I can) some sort of cheap basic craft for the boys to use. I also wear a second hat for the Pack, that of awards coordinator, which is alot of work mostly in the planning and tracking stages, but alot of work still. But with the new focus, that obligation has been totally downsized in my life. No more special trips to the scout shop and council, I hit it up when I happen to be on that side of town which is only once a month. But I have planned that once a month trip to work around the due dates for those awards. I am just not strictly controlled by it anymore.

Well tonight, I had to set things straight with one single ambitious parent who has unfortuntely colored his sons view of the process with his disappointment. Nothing is as heart breaking as hearing a 6 year old say, "Why bother?". So I told him, back off unless you want to take over the job of it and stop influencing your sons enjoyment of the cub scouting process with your obsessive complusive tendencies. And he agreed, mostly because I called him on it and because he knows I won't stand for manipulation. *sigh* It made for a long, mentally draining night.

Once in the car, I shook it off, returned library books and gased up all the while explaing to Alex how the earth rotations on axis and why recycleing is so important.

My family is my focus and if outside events take me away from that, then they must go. Fortuntely, Casey and I agree that scouting is a great event for Alex, and so has my leadership position with the den. But as soon as I can find a capible parent, I am shucking off the mantle of awards and will once again enjoy the process with out disappointment coloring my vision.


Lisa 1:06 AM  


Cost benefit analysis. What areas has your effort actually paid off? I can give you a full report of where mine had been proportioned and which was wasted and which benefited me or someone else, and which cost a lot but at the very least paid off in life lessons. I should have examined those hypothetical summary sheets on a more regular basis!


Good for you for calling that guy out and not being manipulated!

Denise 6:38 AM  

Hey Nicole, it's Denise (from St. Louis) that used to be on the working mom's list. Anyway, I love your website and usually check on it when I'm eating my breakfast at work!

Nonetheless, I love your attitude about life! As a Webelos II den leader I have a suggestion that worked for me. When I had a parent or two complain, I too, suggested they could take over. Let's just say I didn't have any takers. But, what I did do when Ronan was a Tiger was tell the group that each family was responsible for setting up and executing one meeting a year. At the beginning of the year I had a sign-up sheet and a list of badge requirements. I was always there to help and offer suggestions when asked. It worked great! I spent a lot less time on scouting, which gets quite busy once they are Webelos for 2 years, and more time with the family. Since it worked so well for me I thought I would pass it on!


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