I can still hear the satisfying hum of the sewing machine. Before having kids, there was nothing I enjoyed more than quilting. No matter how stressful life got, feeding soft fabric into my machine made everything feel better. I had no idea that becoming a Mom meant that I’d give up a piece of me that brought so much joy. It took me years to learn how to squeeze my hobbies back into my busy life. In this article, I share how I finally found the time and why it’s important that you do this for yourself, too.
Below is the podcast version of this article. You can subscribe to the Podcast by opening your favorite podcast app and typing “Balanced Working Moms” into the search or click here for a link to the podcast on iTunes.
Why do you need hobbies?
Let’s take a look at your life right now.
-You do a lot of laundry and chores.
-You also have to do a lot of gross things like change diapers, change the cat litter, or scoop the poop on your walks with the dog
-And then you go to work and it’s no picnic there. You deal with all the politics, managers and coworkers who’re in a bad mood.
Are you tired yet?
If there’s one thing you need, it’s things that’ll bring you joy.
What Brings You Joy Right Now?
Is it Instagram?
Is it a glass of wine after the kids go to bed.?
Or perhaps it’s a box of Oreos you stashed away?
I have some truthful words for you today.
These things aren’t bringing you true joy.
They’re just covering up some of the pain and exhaustion you’re feeling.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with doing any of those things — in moderation.
I’ve got some dark chocolate peanut butter cups hiding in my kitchen, waiting for the next crisis.
The problem with all these things is that they don’t really give us true happiness and joy. Instead, they give us little surges of feel-good chemicals.
Our brain THINKS these things are good for us. These little surges are addictive so we keep doing the things that don’t bring us true joy.
And instead, we waste the little spare time we have with these things that aren’t really helping us.
Besides exercise and movement, your hobbies can bring you so much joy.
A common complaint I hear about becoming a Mom is that you “lose yourself.”
And it’s true. You’re so busy that you don’t take time for yourself or do the things that make you happy.
But when you have a hobby, then you redefine yourself as that interesting person you were before you had your babies.
You feel good about yourself since you’re redefining yourself as someone who has interests in something other than doing 6 loads of laundry a week.
It’s also just plain fun
Another reason why you should do your hobbies is because it’s just plain fun. And we all need more fun in our lives.
As Moms we take ourselves WAAAY too seriously. We’ve got bills to pay and grocery shopping to do.
We feel guilty when we have fun.
But when we have fun we’re a better Mom. Everything else is easier.
When you’re in a good mood and enjoying life, even doing the dishes is easier. Everything is easier when you’re filled with happy energy.
How Cann I Find the Time?
I know finding time for hobbies isn’t the easiest. And I still don’t do my hobbies as often as I’d like.
But here’s what I’ve found that helps me find time, no matter how busy my schedule gets.
1. Do your hobbies with your kids
You know what brings me the most joy in my life? It’s when my kids join me in the craft room and we make something together.
We love to put on music and work together on a project. Sometimes we work on different projects but we’re together in the same room, all doing our own craft project.
It’s such a nice way to find time together. It combines being a Mom, family time, and hobbies together into one neat package. This is the best-kept secret for finding time to do hobbies, and also create bonding time with your kids. It’s absolutely win-win.
2. Change up your hobbies
I was so frustrated after I had kids because before kids, I used to do a lot of quilting.
Let me tell you, quilting is a lot of work. You’ve got to cut the fabric, sew it all together. It’s hard work and I couldn’t find either the time or the energy to do it after my kids were born.
But after a few years, I found some new new hobbies.
For example, now decorating my planner is a hobby. Last week while my daughter painted in our craft room while I put some washi tape and gold flowers on my planner.
It’s a small thing I can do that’s fun and if it doesn’t happen for 2 months, no big deal. But when I do sit for 5 minutes and pretty up a page, it makes me so happy.
Know that whatever you did before kids may not work for you anymore, so be on the lookout for hobbies that fit your life now.
3. Make a hobby social time
One of the questions I get a lot in our community is that some working moms cannot find other working moms near them.
They’re frustrated because the moms near them are stay-at-home Moms and they feel excluded when the Moms do activities during the workday.
I suggest to these Moms that they do a hobby that involves other people and meet them, on zoom or face to face.
People are starved for community these days.
Imagine the joy, for example, of joining a book club.
You’re reading interesting books, meeting other people, socializing. The date is set on the calendar so it forces you to finish the book.
It’s absolutely win-win.
If you can, consider a hobby you can do with others. Whether it’s a book club, cooking class, synagogue or church event.
I hope you feel inspired to go find a wonderful hobby.
If you were looking for someone to give you permission, you’ve now officially received it.
It’s not only okay for you to do something you enjoy, but it’s also good for you AND for your family. Trust me, they’ll benefit when you’re happier.
I’m excited for you to find some new hobbies or rediscover your old hobbies.
It’ll be so much fun and I wish you the joy and better balance, that a hobby will bring you.