Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome, Baby: Giving Unsolicited Parenting Advice is My Passion

I love this idea that we do service on Martin Luther King Day and try to make the world a better place so I've been online trying to find a volunteer opportunity that I would like. There are so many things I would be happy to do--and so many things I would hate and dread doing. I think the United Way of Utah County has a pretty good website for finding volunteer opportunities. We did our Sub for Santa this year through them and it was a really great experience for everyone in our family except Christian who was GONE MOST OF DECEMBER AND WILL NEVER BE FORGIVEN.

Sub for Santa is the perfect thing for me because I love getting presents for people. Do I want to carol at an old folks' home? No. I hate that kind of thing. But I'm not a complete jerk. We got a family with 4 kids close to my kids' ages who only lived a few blocks away from us. Maggie, especially, got into the shopping and kept a list of the kids' sizes and favorite colors. We delivered the booty a few days before Christmas. It was super exciting and may I say that our Sub for Santa family totally schooled us in graciousness. They had a modest gift for us and a very eloquent card which we will save for a long time. Talk about a class act.

So in the spirit of MLK I've been searching for something I could do to make the world a little rosier. Tutoring the functionally illiterate? No thanks. I barely read to my kids. Babysitting for morning Zumba classes at Centro Hispano? Don't make me laugh! I need a babysitter so I can work out. And so on and so on--I'm not Mother Theresa over here. But there were a few opportunities that piqued my interest. One is sack lunches. We've made sack lunches for the homeless shelter as a family before and I love it. It's a totally easy family activity (FHE, I'm looking right at you) and the people at the Food and Care Coalition are really nice and appreciative. This is a good one if you have kids in car seats because you can pull right up to deliver the lunches, feel like a hero, and you never have to unload the kids. You don't have to serve the lunches--just make them. That's all they want. Easy. I've got some pretty ambitious plans for Family Home Evening this year. Actually, it's the first time I've had a plan so that is, in itself, very ambitious. I decided to have a schedule for the types of lessons we do:

Week 1: Read a page or so from Etiquette.

I love this book and there's a chapter on what kids need to know. I don't have the most fancy of manners, but I did learn decent manners from my mom and it was a very useful tool for me because I was extremely shy and not intuitive about interacting with people. Knowing manners gave me a basic structure of how to act when I had dinner at my friends' houses or something like that. My kids definitely need this knowledge. This is the kind of FHE lesson that requires no preparation. We just read the page and practice it. "I spoon my soup away from me like tiny ships going out to sea."

Week 2: Read a lesson from the Primary Nursery Manual. This was suggested to us in our ward a few years ago--even if you have kids older than nursery age (which I do) because it's a good resource for basic principles. The lessons are easy so you don't have to really prepare. The lessons cover important topics such as being prepared.

Week 3: This week everyone will bring out their Faith in God, Duty to God, scouting, and whatever else they are working on. It's kind of hard keeping up on all this stuff, frankly. But it's definitely a good thing for kids. I'm pretty sure Ben would never spontaneously discuss ways to be more trustworthy if we weren't working on Cub Scouts. I hate Scouts. But Sam is getting really capable now because of it so I also love scouts.

Week 4: An activity. Maybe watching a movie or getting ice cream--you know "fun" things that "families" "do." I figure I can handle/afford this once a month and it will be often enough to make my kids stop telling me about all the "fun" things other "families" "do."

Long story short, whenever there's a 5th Monday I think we'll sign up to do sack lunches.

But the other opportunity that caught my eye is for a program called Welcome Baby. I read through the volunteer opportunity but thought, "Let's not go crazy just because it's Martin Luther King day." But I kept thinking about it and became obsessed with the idea and finally signed up to support new parents. I have to have some training but you can do it online and I know I will totally ace it because I know all about nursing and vaccinations. What I love about this is that I can finally give people unsolicited parenting advice! It' my passion! No one ever asks me about taking care of babies but I've had 4 and I do know how, even though I never want to have another baby ever again. It's like I'll be a nurse without having to know science or bathe sick people. It's how I will usher out my child-bearing years and transition into my pre-empty-nester years. I really can't wait. You get to take them presents (board books) and tell them what to do to take care of their baby. It's right up my alley. I know. It surprised me too. Watch out for me next MLK day--I may try to be your midwife! (Probably I won't, though.)

Get me: I live to serve!

Post Edit: 
 Here's an MLK-inspired project--collecting blankets for birth mothers. I love this idea, even though it is bittersweet. It's from Jack and Jaime--a couple of lurkers on my blog. I love it when couples come out of the closet in my comments. 


  1. Kacy- my wife and I lurk on your blog often. Sounds inappropriate in those words...sorry. Since you seem to be connected in blogger land maybe you could take a look at my wife's MLK endeavor. The more help the better. Cheers. Jack and Jaime

  2. I think this part would make an awesome holiday card: "Do I want to carol at an old folks' home? No. I hate that kind of thing. But I'm not a complete jerk." That could be the outside. The inside could have some general holiday greeting.

    Or maybe "Do I want to carol at an old folks' home? No. I hate that kind of thing" could be the front, and "But I'm not a complete jerk" could be on the inside.

  3. Kudos to you. I love the sack lunch idea and the welcome baby thing. Now I am going to google United Way of Madison County to see if there are options around here. Thanks!

  4. Kudos to whoever thought of the sack lunch thing. And I love your FHE plan for the month. I may do that.

  5. Why didn't I get someone coming to my house and helping me transition to life as a parent to a colicky baby? Well I guess there was my mom...but still as a new mom I must say "more help is better!" and even though people say "call if you need anything" you're never going to call...

    p.s. I like the sack lunch thing, cool
    p.p.s. have you checked BYU's center for service and learning? they have a great list of volunteer opportunities online too.

  6. We did sack lunches for the homeless for several years in a row here in LA. We did it as a YM/YW activity, and the kids loved it. But the idea caught on so well, that the homeless were inundated and we were pretty much asked not to do it anymore!

    But looking for ways to serve is always a good way to go!

  7. Ahhh, I'm siiting here giggling. How I've missed you. And I never came down for our lunch date because I am in high-risk pregnancy jail. And the snow. But I think we are coming under the guise of April conference to load up on IKEA stuff for our new vacation house (btw, you should come up when it's done). So I'll see you then. Also, I got that Kelloggs gift card last Friday, can u believe. Late for black Friday, but just in time to buy baby stuff. Yay. Thanks again, Mother Theresa!

  8. I love your FHE plans. I'm not so good at keeping up with Scouts and stuff either.

    I hadn't heard about doing sack lunches. That's a good idea and something our family could probably manage.

    And good for you for doing Welcome Baby. I did that for a while when Lillian was a baby. I hope you enjoy it!

  9. Loved this post. Great ideas for FHE--I think I'm going steal them from you.

  10. Now stealing your FHE schedule. Don't mind if I do.
    (My oldest daughter is 10, and I have NEVER looked inside her Faith in God pamphlet. It gives me stress just thinking about it. I just hope (pretend) that it is all being worked out when she goes to achievement days. Even worse? I am the primary counselor OVER achievement days.)

  11. There is, I believe, no one better to support new parents than she who gives the best advice. Kacy, everybody. (claps! cheers!)

  12. I bookmarked your blog a few weeks ago, but after reading this one tonight I've moved you onto my toolbar. I know this isn't as illustrious as I think it is, but it means I'll never miss a new post. I think you are awesome! Thanks so much!


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