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Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 12:22am
bandbmom's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2005 - 09:00

Oh Gail, you are so sweet! Hugs back to you!
I ended up sending the email ahead to time to inform the members. The meeting went great; good discussions, etc. At the end of the meeting, one lady asks me if we are having a meeting next month (????). I asked if she got my email and everyone said they got it but were kinda like - what do we do now and were looking to me for answers. Not one single person said that they would take my place. One person said -Do we really need an actual support group leader?
I already have the library booked for Feb. and I give permission in advance to one lady I trust to open the meeting room in my absence (this is the lady who has been assisting me all along). She said she would open the meeting room and everyone said they would meet next month to "figure out what they are going to do". One person asked me if I would ever come to any meetings and if they would ever see me again and I said yes, of course. I don't think they fully grasp the concept of the fact that I'm stepping down from my responsibility as "leader" and future plans are no longer in my hands.
Thanks for asking!
Tracy

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 12:44am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Gail beat me to it! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
That is GREAT to hear! (I mean, that it went smoothly [i]for you[/i].) Hopefully they'll figure it out, huh? And you know, with a very small group, a few people kind of passing the word around is sometimes enough. I wonder if any of them even recognizes that a meeting location is going to be a problem.
Anyway-- as long as it isn't [i]your[/i] problem. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Great JOB handling this!!

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 7:06am
Lori Jo's picture
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Joined: 09/17/2003 - 09:00

Tracy,
I just saw this post. I'm glad the meeting went well for you. I just wanted to add my experience with leading support groups. I founded and ran a group for parents of twins and triplets for 2 years, with about 40 families by the time I left. It was ALOT of work. Most people, as you've found out, are willing to enjoy the benefits of a support group without providing support back to maintain the group. Understandably, some are very busy, etc. A good support group has members in all stages - new ones who just need help, and more experienced ones who have worked thru most issues and are interested in guiding the newbies. These are often the people who end up in leadership positions, obviously. One thing that I had to keep reminding myself, and the rest of the group, was that our group was formed by the group for the group. Therefore, social and support activities would be only as successful as those people who were willing to pitch in. I am someone who tends to want to just do it all to make sure it's done well, and this part was the hardest for me. Now that you've successfully announced you're relenquishing your duties, you'll have to stand by your guns to actually do it. I might suggest you send an email out saying that something has come up and you will be unable to attend the next meeting - would someone volunteer to run the next meeting? If someone does, great. You can get with them before hand and give them a few pointers. If no one does, then they will have to muddle thru. It's a good chance someone will step up during the meeting. If no one steps up, then you should prepare yourself that the group may run much differently without you in charge, or possibly not at all. It is hard to see something you put so much time into change drastically or even fall apart, but if you need to put family first then that's what you need to do.
Our group had by-laws and elected officers. I'm guessing yours does not? That might have made it easier. The election meeting was always our least attended meeting, but the ones that showed were the ones willing to give back to the group.
Good luck!
------------------
Lori Jo,
Rose, 7-31-02, PA
Beatrice & Georgia, 8-14-99

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 10:57am
gvmom's picture
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Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

Glad to hear it went okay. Are you going to go to their first meeting without you as leader, or just wish you were able to be a fly on the wall and see how the chips end up falling?

Posted on: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 3:31am
bandbmom's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2005 - 09:00

Since my *last* support group meeting on Thursday as the leader, I've been feeling like I made a mistake in my decision to step down. It's been nagging at me. I expected to feel a sense of relief, but instead I feel like I'm ignoring my calling to run the group and help other families. I feel so torn.
I talked to DH about it this afternoon and am thinking of going back on board as support group leader, but some major adjustments will have to be made so I can do this. I decided I could probably handle holding meetings every other month, but will need to keep it simple and not have all the extra frills that the group is use to. The meetings will have to be limited to open discussions and I'll have to cut everything else out to make it work.
So, need some opinions again. If I do in fact decide to do this, do I need to spell out all the things I can no longer do and that everything but the actual support group meetings (no greeters, no new member packets, no flyers, etc.) or should I just say, here's what I can offer the group, but nothing more.
Let me know what you think!
Tracy

Posted on: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 12:31pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

It's great that you care so much to try to find a way to continue. Maybe frame things positively by outlining what you have time to continue doing, and then detail the things you no longer can continue doing, and that we'll now discuss who would like to take over each task (or, if it's an email, asking people to reply if they are interested in becoming responsible for that task). It then would be clear that, if nobody volunteers to do them, they no longer will occur. Nobody has the right to complain about not having those things any longer if they aren't willing to help out.
For the sake of being positive, I wouldn't point out that they no longer will continue unless nobody volunteers. If that happens, I'd definitely point out that those activities will continue only if people are willing to do them.
[This message has been edited by Mookie86 (edited January 08, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 12:54pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

[quote]Originally posted by Mookie86:
[B]It's great that you care so much to try to find a way to continue. Maybe frame things positively by outlining what you have time to continue doing, and then detail the things you no longer can continue doing, and that we'll now discuss who would like to take over each task (or, if it's an email, asking people to reply if they are interested in becoming responsible for that task). It then would be clear that, if nobody volunteers to do them, they no longer will occur. Nobody has the right to complain about not having those things any longer if they aren't willing to help out. For the sake of being positive, I would not initially point out that they no longer will continue unless people volunteer. If nobody volunteers to take some of the responsibilities, then I'd definitely point out that those activities can continue only if people are willing to do them.

Posted on: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 11:56pm
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

Hi Tracy -
I'm afraid if you jump back into this you'll quickly be taken advantage of, and folks won't take you seriously if you say that you won't do something - they'll figure you'll change your mind.
But I understand not wanting to just walk away, either. Maybe instead of taking over as "leader", you can "facilitiate" the next meeting (assuming no leader has stepped up). Don't try and say what you will and won't do, but just ask those who show up what they want to get out of the group, and then ask who will help make sure it that it happens.
If some does step up as leader, then maybe you can just offer to help them out, or maybe put together a SOP (standard operation procedure) notebook.

Posted on: Tue, 01/09/2007 - 12:39am
bandbmom's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2005 - 09:00

Thanks Greenlady. This is a real struggle for me. I feel so torn. I can almost guarantee that what you said will happen will in fact be the case. Considering the comments I heard from the group Thursday night, they really didn't seem to believe I was actually stepping down and would be likely to just look to me to do the vast majority of the work. If someone else would have agreed to step up, I'm sure I wouldn't be struggling with this as much.
I have such a difficult time finding balance in my life with family, work, taking care of the house, finding time for myself and with my DH, etc. I'm not sure the *right* thing to do is. I want to make sure everyone is taken care of, you know? I'm the type of person who wants to help everyone, but then end up overwhelmed and exhausted. I guess I better think about it longer before making any quick decisions. I also have to consider that two major things happened with my DH yesterday that will impact my decision with the support group. My DH had to be put on meds for high blood pressure. He's 36 but is on Concerta for narcolepsy and one of the side-effects is hypertension. He has lots of stress of work, which doesn't help. The work stress escalated yesterday when it was announced that the bonus plan would be restructured (my DH's bonus makes up about 30% of his pay) and it will end up resulting in over a 50% cut in his monthly bonus pay. I also work from home and, if I run the meetings, I don't work that night, which is not good for our financial situation, which is very bad right now due to the mounting medical bills we have. This is in addition to DS's PA and newly diagnosed seizure disorder. When it rains, it pours but, in our case, it's been drizzling for about five years now (ugh!)
So, as you can tell, I have a lot of factors to consider. I appreciate everyone's help on this. I'm having a hard time right now with all that is going on and it's good to be able to come here and vent!
Thanks,
Tracy

Posted on: Tue, 01/09/2007 - 1:54am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Hi Tracy. I wanted to think about this some more before posting. . .
My thoughts are similar to Greenlady's, and you've pretty much confirmed that with your latest post. IMO, the best thing would be for you not to have the title 'leader' because it will come with expectations others place on you. I think it would be a better for *you* to take on one smaller aspect of the group and do it well. And I think it would also be better for *the group* to struggle for a while because it soulnds like the previous leader/founder sheltered the members from the workload. I think that all needs to flush out some more without falling on any one person's shoulders.
Stay involved and agree to take on smaller jobs when you see that your schedule would allow it. Then you can feel good about your contribution without the pressure.

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