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I think one of the hardest things for a woman to work into her day is hobbies. Or even a single hobby. We are so busy taking care of our children and our home that to add in hobbies sounds like something that would happen in 20-something years!
When: During nap time and independent playtime
Where: At my house (typically)
Why: To be me
How: Make it a priority
We are talking hobbies today. I am talking about things you like to do–things that are you. You can think of things you liked to do before you had children (did you sing? Dance? Draw? Sew? Read? Run?….). But your hobbies don’t need to be limited to what you did before you had children. I have a lot more hobbies now than I did before having kids. You can always add new hobbies.
When: During Nap Time and Independent Playtime
Where: At My House
I mostly do my hobbies during naps and independent play time. There are some hobbies that sometimes require me to leave my house (like playing in a basketball league), and that is usually done after the kids are in bed (during basketball season). There have also been times I have been in the city choir and have had practice in the evenings.
I do my best to make sure my hobbies to not infringe on family time. That doesn’t mean, however, that I never leave my husband and children at home for things. Going back to the city choir, practices started at 7 PM–bedtime is between 8-8:30. I never planned on joining the choir, but my husband basically told me I had to. He knows how much I love to sing and wanted me to have that chance. It was a 6 week practice schedule of once a week, so not a huge impact. I do like for my kids to see me doing things that show I am a person beyond a mom. I love being a mom and having that identity, but I am more than a mom. I have other things about me than just “mom.”
Why: To Be Me
I have a goal. When my children move out, I want to handle it with grace. I want to know who I am and not be dependent on my children for my own identity. I think being an indpendent mom makes for a healthier relationship with adult children. I don’t want my children to feel guilty for living their lives and leaving me behind.
A lot of my hobbies are things I do for my children and husband. I sew for them. I make jewelry and bows for my girls. I garden for their food. I scrapbook to preserve our memories. I took a photography class so I could take better photographs of my children.
There are hobbies I have like reading that benefit my children because they see me read and love books and it helps influence them to want to read and love books.
I have very few hobbies that are purely for myself. One is singing. I love to sing. I know my children love for me to sing them songs, but when I join a choir or sing a song in church, it is because I love it. I don’t doubt they will benefit from my love of music, but my motivation is just that I love it.
This post is one of my very favorites to women:
This is the key paragraph for this topic:
Third, even as you try to cut out the extra commitments, sisters, find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests. Pick one or two things that you would like to learn or do that will enrich your life, and make time for them. Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others, even to your children.
For more on my thoughts on why to develop hobbies, see Developing Talents.
How: Make it a Priority
This is where the whole hobby thing gets tricky. You don’t want to neglect your family in pursuit of a hobby. But I do fully believe it is so worthwhile to develop hobbies. I think this post helps with the balancing act: A Good Woman see also Motherhood: Some Uplifting Words
So first, you decide you are going to work it in.
Next, you decide what. Like the paragraph above stated, pick one or two things you like to do. Do you like to read? Crochet? Craft? Dance? Write? Play an instrument? Cook? What is it you like? If you really think this sounds impossible, I suggest you start with just one thing.
When Brayden was a baby, I didn’t have many hobbies I actively pursued. I sewed sometimes. I scrapbooked sometimes. I mostly read because it was something I could do that was quiet and that could easily be interrupted. As you get used to being a mom and balancing your time, you will get better at fitting in other things.
Now you are determined to do a hobby and know what you want to do. You next need to decide when to do it and where. This will depend on what it is.
Next you just do it! You might need to set goals to motivate yourself. So if you want to sew, you might say, “My goal is to sew some pajama pants for my child(ren) for Christmas.” But always remember, your purpose in your hobby is to enjoy yourself and enrich your life.
A key to fitting hobbies in is time management. A lot of the ideas I have shared in this series are keys to helping your day be smooth enough to work a hobby in. Don’t let your hobbies become a stress in your life (consistently–sometimes they will…like when I was just sewing Halloween costumes and finished 15 minutes before my first party of the season).
I should also add, there will be times when you have more time for hobbies than others. When I have a baby under 6 months, I don’t have much time for hobbies. I do some here and there, but not much. Having one core, easy to work in hobby is great. That is one reason I love the hobby of reading. It seems like you can always work in reading.
How do you do your hobbies? When do you do them and where? What do you love to do? Please share how you have made it work for you! We all benefit from each other’s ideas.
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