Today, I want to tell you about something that can change your life.
No, it’s not a dryer that will automatically fold and put away your clothing. (That would be awesome.) But, when it comes to preserving your sanity, this could have as many benefits.
You ready for this?
You need a hobby.
Okay, I get it. You have enough to do— more to do than you ever thought possible. You barely have time to shower. (Three times a week is more than enough, right?) You have no idea what you are making for dinner tonight and your children are showing the signs of watching too much Disney Channel.
I know your plight.
But, hear me out. Even in your extreme busyness, a hobby could change your mommy life.
At the ripe young age of thirty-six, I started writing “just for fun.” At the time I had four children whose ages ranged from one month to barely four. Drowning in dirty diapers, potty training books, sippy cups, Goldfish and nursing paraphernalia, I needed something that made me feel human. I needed something all my own. A project–a diversion if you will.
One evening while nursing my newborn, I told my husband I wanted to blog. He laughed a little, gave me a “Are you crazy?” look, then said, “Go for it!”
That night my life changed. I had something new to “do!” It energized me in ways I never expected. Now, almost five years later, I see how my hobby transformed me in positive ways.
Do you have a hobby already? If not, here are some reasons why you should get a hobby!
Number One: Moms need a real outlet.
If you are like me, there are days in this mom-life that make me feel like I’m going to explode. All I want to do is clock-out and then shut down. The thought of doing it all again tomorrow overwhelms me. So, I do what many moms do. I find something on a screen to amuse me–to temporarily take my mind off of the hard work of motherhood that engulfs me.
While it seems like binge watching Netflix or killing time on Facebook can help us decompress, these non-hobbies often subtly drain us even more. (Seriously, I know many times has a few minutes on Facebook added to my stress instead of alleviating it!)
A hobby does just the opposite. The right hobby will invigorate you. It should allow you to use your talents and stir your creativity. Whether it’s writing, sewing, crafting, or trying to bake a masterpiece—a hobby allows you the chance to relax in a productive way and should actually energize you for the next day’s diaper changes, pacifier-retrieving, or kid taxiing.
Number Two: You do have the time.
The list of things you must do and should do sneaks up on the list of things you want to do. It then grabs it and suffocates it to death. It happens to me daily.
But here’s the real deal, when you have something you love to do on the calendar it motivates you. In the same way that most women can achieve an extraordinary amount of work before leaving for a vacation, when you know something you enjoy is next up on your schedule, it can energize you to better prioritize your time (i.e. no more mindless Instagram scrolling), get the essentials done, and get on to doing what you love.
When I knew that after bedtime I could have some writing time, it drove me to get my chores done in record time and with newfound enthusiasm. We all have the same twenty-four hours each day, why not be intentional about spending at least one of them doing something to energize you?
Number Three: And, someday you will have even more time.
Yes, if you have a newborn on your chest and toddlers at your heels you will be lucky to get an hour or two a week in with your hobby. That’s totally normal. Though it may not feel this way right now, remember that this stage of parenting is only temporary. Someday those little ones will grow. They will play on their own, go to school, and then (gasp) leave your house. Spending a bit of time cultivating a hobby you love now will help ease the shock of “what do I do now” when you find yourself home without bottoms to wipe and Legos to clean up off the floor.
As my babies have all grown out of diapers, writing has become an even bigger part of my life. I’ve gone from writing one blog post every few weeks to writing up to eight posts a week and have finished my first book which will be published this Spring. And, now that I have a bit more time, I’m very glad I started writing when I did.
Number Four: Your husband and children will love you more.
I can’t make any promises here, but do you remember how vibrant and creative you were B.C. (Before Children)? The right hobby will revive that part of you and may just help you feel better about the parts of your life that are seemingly mundane right now. What’s the connection to inspiring greater husband and kiddo love? It seems that there’s nothing my husband and kids love more than a mom who smiles from contentment. If you are happy when you are gardening, cooking, running, or scrapbooking–then no one in your house should complain when you steal away a few hours a week to do what you love.
Number Five: You have permission to relax and do something you enjoy.
I confess: when I first started writing I felt guilty. My baseboards had never been cleaned. My husband’s ironing pile stacked so high it leaned over. There were certainly other things that I could have been doing during that time. I had to remind myself that I it was okay to take some time for me. I had to give myself permission to have fun. But, soon I realized that pursuing a hobby reinvigorated me to serve them even better and I stopped feeling guilty for taking the me time each week.
What do you love to do? Do you already have a hobby? How do you fit it into your busy mom schedule?