Ask many moms of young kids what they get up to every weekday afternoon and they’re likely to tell you that between work and school, they are taking their kids to extra mural activities. Their afternoons are probably full of them and there is a good chance their kids barely have any time left for play dates. I bet you that if you ask that same mom if she has any extra mural activities of her own…and she’ll probably say “no”. Either because any extra income has been syphoned into the kids’ activities, or because she hasn’t even considered this as an option. Well guess what, moms need hobbies too and here’s why:
Pursuing your own hobby is an act of self care
Before you had kids you had your own interests, ideas and passions in life. You did things for fun. Why should that change just because you’re a mom? Hobbies say “I have something I enjoy doing and I am carving out opportunities to invest in my own well being”.
Moms also deserve to have fun and invest in what makes them happy. Hobbies create built-in reprieves from work and family, allowing you to reinvest in yourself in order to build up new energy levels to give back to your family.
Your kids are going to grow up someday
If you devote all your time to your kids, you run the risk of losing track of who you are without them. But rest assured that one day, not too far away, your kids will leave home or become more interested in their own lives than hanging out with you. Making it so important for you to already be exploring short bursts of independence from them. So finding hobbies which get you excited and keep you in touch with what you love (independent of your family) promotes a healthy attitude for the whole family around separation and self investment.
Your kids need to understand that other people have needs too
If you find yourself feeling guilty when your child has to wait for your attention, you may be a little too wrapped up in something. Understanding that they need to wait to have their needs met is an important milestone for kids. They should be given ample opportunities to wait their turn and exercise patience. What better way to teach these important life skills than by taking time out to do something you love, allowing them to miss you while you’re gone, and then giving them the experience of having you arrive back home replenished and ready to go another round.
So, what counts as a hobby?
Hobbies are things that energise you as a person and that get you back in touch with your joy. It shouldn’t include things you have monetized or are doing in relation to other responsibilities. For example, reading parenting books doesn’t count! Hobbies also don’t necessarily have to cost money or be scheduled, but should be done as regularly as possible. Here are some hobby ideas to consider:
- Reading a non-parenting or non-educational book
- Listening to a podcast, audiobook or great music
- Doing yoga, dance, padel or other energetic activities (for fun and not necessarily for exercise)
- Choosing a fun short course off Udemy or Domestika
- Scrapbooking and other art activities
- Playing cards with friends
The bottom line
Hobbies are not just nice-to-haves, but rather, they are an important part of remembering who you are without your kids. By investing in your ‘other’ selves in the week you are not only showing your kids what self-care looks like, you are also offering them tools to manage their feelings around feeling left out and having to wait. In fact, with the holidays coming up, now is the perfect time to investigate. Happy hobby-ing and happy holidays everyone!