Doing RIght vs Being Good- Right is Better

My neighbor has some personal things to take care of, things that take up much of her time and that she cannot do with her children present. I won’t mention what it is, as it is not my business, but my neighbor’s, and it is her place to say rather than mine. It is a positive and necessary thing for her.
So her kids come over to my house for just an hour and a half on Thursdays. I won’t take pay. I am a single mother, so is she. How can I accept payment from someone below the poverty line?
Her kids play with my kids weekly, and my kids learn about being social, and her kids have fun (I hope).
I haven’t got any family around, no cousins to play with, so for me it is a nice way for them to get some after school play.
She feels awful about it. She thinks she is taking advantage of me.
I want to explain to her, that this is all I do. I give food to people, people I know, to be kind and friendly, and I watch her children to help her.
I used to do far more than that. Before I had children I had a good job and I worked long hours. I paid for college fees, rent, legal fees, whatever help I could give, I gave. I did hours and hours of advocacy work. Freelance. Which was silly. Of course an organization would get more done. I know who they are now, but then I did not know there was any help available.
I cannot do that now. I have to take care of my children first and I cannot give away whatever I have and live on potatoes and bread. It is not fair to them.
It probably was not fair to me, either. This is a way I can keep myself in check, feel like I am doing something for the greater good, and keep it at that.
Because most volunteering requires that I pay a sitter, or commit more than an hour and a half. I cannot do either on a weekly basis. I can do this. This much to help.
I want to explain all this to her, so she does not feel so conflicted, but really I do not know how. I don’t want to claim sainthood, or brag about charity, or even mention that this weekly playdate might be a charitable act. It is a way to commit to good, to give back. A safe way. I get the added bonus of socialization for my kids, who were isolated in their first years and are not accustomed to having people over.
I have to get over my anxiety about talking about myself. How will anyone get to know me?
I always wished someone would help me when my kids were little, by watching them just for a little bit. I get to be that person, now.


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