As a working mom with a full-time job (running the website for a major woman’s magazine) and side job (this blog), I am pretty strapped for time. It leaves little time for TV, a social life, or just relaxing. Not that I would have it any other way. Frankly, I get bored easily and I like to be busy and love that I am able to build this community and outlet. But, I’ve realized recently that it’s left me with little time for myself. I thought once I became a mom, my kids would be my hobby, at least when they were younger, but I”m starting to realize that hobbies can be really important and maybe even necessary when you’re a mom. I’ve tried to carve out time for myself by making time to workout again. I realized that my body hasn’t really felt like my own, especially since struggling to get pregnant and it has made me feel really bad about myself. I’m feeling angry enough with my body over my inability to get pregnant, so I don’t really need another excuse to hate it. I’m finding that working out in the morning has been really good for me — helping me deal with my stress and anxiety. But it’s not the same as a hobby really.
I’m talking about a hobby hobby — like Andrew has gotten really into fly fishing. It’s something he can learn, research and buy gear for, improve upon, and spend hours doing. I don’t exactly have that luxury of time — I want to spend as much of my time not-working with James, but I have been thinking lately that having something outside of work would be good for me to do. After James goes to sleep or when he’s napping on weekend, I work. At night after he goes to sleep, I work. Even on vacations when I’m not chasing after James (because let’s face it, vacations aren’t really vacations once you have kids), I end up working. The only time I get to do the hobbies I do have like reading, tennis, skiing, golf (which I don’t even really like but will do on occasion with the hubs) is on vacation or the occasional weekend when we have a sitter or grandparents to watch the little one.
The idea of picking up something else and learning it, feels exhausting and isn’t a hobby supposed to be something fun and relaxing? But I feel like without any real hobbies of my own anymore, I’m becoming one of those moms who gives up everything once she has kids, which I don’t want to be either. I don’t know. What even is a hobby? Gardening? I’m sure our deck would look a lot better with more flowers or even a veggie garden but I tried last year to grow some plants and they are all brown and dead now. Knitting and needlepoint are way too slow for me. Would training for a marathon count (not that I have time for that)? What about decorating? Part of the reason I’m thinking about moving to the suburbs and a house is so I can spend every weekend fixing it up and decorating. I figure that will keep me very busy in my little remaining free time, and I actually really like figuring out how to put a room together and decorating it. I’ve been thinking I could pick up cooking as a hobby because I feel like it would be good for my family to learn to cook and ensure we eat better. But it also sounds like a chore, and I already do a lot of those. In fact, most of my free time not working is spent ordering groceries or grocery shopping, running errands, doing dishes, cleaning up after James, Dakota, Andrew, doing laundry, etc. etc. I don’t know. Do you have hobbies? Do you think they’re helpful or just another thing on your plate?