I’ve got a lot of (childless) friends who used the pandemic as a time to pick up a new hobby: bread baking, learning a new language, or learning an instrument. But hobbies for moms? When? How?
I tried, I really did. The fall before the pandemic my husband got me banjo lessons. (Yes, I said banjo. What.) I diligently practiced a bit each day and honestly enjoyed it.
Then the pandemic hit and our childcare disappeared.
As my childless friends found themselves with more time on their hands, I very clearly had less.
Even now, as the pandemic restrictions ease away, I still find myself unable to wrap my brain around fitting in a hobby. Having a hobby feels like something I SHOULD do. Ya know, expand my horizons and all that jazz. It’s fun! I can improve my skills! But with kids? Especially kids at home? HOW?
I’ve decided to broaden my idea of what constitutes a “hobby” to include the realities of parenthood. Join me. Let’s start a movement.
Yeah, I said it. I think we should consider napping a hobby. Is it something I do for fun? Heck yeah, it is. Is it something I can get better at? I believe I can. My husband can close his eyes while the kids watch an annoying, blaring children’s show and fall asleep sitting up. I dream of getting to that level of mastery someday. But to start, since I can’t seem to get to sleep early enough, maybe I’ll try to actually “nap when the baby is napping” and let the house be a mess. Because it’s my hobby!
No, I’m not saying join a book club or finally tackle Infinite Jest. But you read to your kids, right? Do you enjoy what you read to your kids? Or do you just plow through Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for the millionth time while trying not to claw your eyes out? (Someone please come steal my copy!)
There is good children’s lit out there!
Like, really good. Why not make it your hobby to scan children’s book lists, put things on hold at the library, and actually enjoy the little bit of reading you actually get to do? It’s been a game-changer for me.
I dream of being a woman who ends each of her days writing family memories in her journal: the highs and lows, the cute things my kids said, the happy family memories. Documenting my life before bed so I can look back on it when my kids are grown.
But in reality, I am a woman who ends her days zombie-walking to bed and lying there mentally reviewing tomorrow’s to-do list until sleep finally arrives. (Anyone else?)
My brilliant friend Monica pointed me to an easier way. Just start a note on your phone. I have one for each kid (but you do you). When they say something cute or creepy or funny, I just whip out my phone and type it in real quick. Easy. Peasy. Done-sy.
So there you have it. Three hobbies for moms that can actually fit into a busy life and maybe even (hopefully) make it a little better!
Originally published July 2021.
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