5 powerful volunteer opportunities that even busy mamas can do

Maybe you’re not ready to go back to work yet, but you really miss that “working” feeling, like when you have a set job that needs to be done in a certain amount of time.

Why not volunteer?

Giving back to your community would be another big perk, as would having something to add to your resume if and when back-to-work time rolls around.

We already know mamas have big hearts.

Here are 5 ways you can give back:

1. Spend quality time at nursing homes.

Some nursing homes have established “Adopt a Grandparent” programs, where individuals are invited to spend time with a resident without family or visitors. Older people love babies, and imagine how happy you’d make them with a regular visit. This will make your heart happy, too.

2. Help out at food pantries + food banks.

Serving food may be challenging with the stroller, but strap baby into a carrier and scoop away!

Food banks can always use help organizing or restocking their shelves—time to put your organization skills to good use. You can also offer to stand outside a local grocery store asking for donations for the food bank. Who can say no to a cute baby and sweet mama? There are many families who rely on donations from food banks and pantries, and it’s incredibly important for everyone to chip in however they can to make life better for our friends and neighbors in need.

3. Promote good causes + events.

Is your church or local arts group hosting an event? Offer to walk around town distributing flyers to businesses and passersby. Everyone will stop to say hello to your adorable little one and while they pause you can pass along event info. You’ll get in a nice walk and show off baby, too!

4. Help with your favorite cause, even virtually.

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Do you have a favorite cause or charity? Contact them to see how you can lend your support other than just making a monetary donation. Stuff envelopes, make phone calls, collect donated items, maybe even host a mini-fundraiser to benefit the organization. Organize gatherings or fundraisers for a local museum or family resource center. Let your interests (Renaissance art? Search engine optimization? Early childhood literacy?) inspire you, and go where your heart leads.

There are also a host of virtual volunteer opportunities that can help keep your career skills fresh, without the pressure of a 9-to-5.

Check out VolunteerMatch’s Virtual Volunteer programs for opportunities that match your skill set and interest.

5. Create your own volunteer job.

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Do you see a missed opportunity to create some good? Fill that void yourself! Chair a bake sale at your church to fund a new mommy-and-me group. Establish a walk-a-thon at the local high school track to benefit a worthy charity. Get a local business to sponsor an Adopt-a-Highway span and pool together a group of fellow volunteers to clean it up every other week. Form a babysitting co-op specifically for unemployed moms who need to find a new job but don’t have a sitter for the job interviews. Collect work clothes for a women’s shelter to help these mamas get back to work.

There’s so much good to be done in the world. It seems like such a big job, but remember that all big changes started out as something very small. You can make a difference, mama! Let motherhood inspire you to recognize the needs all around you.

Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.

This article was sponsored by Earth Mama Organics. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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