Sometimes as parents we get so wrapped up as our roles as caregiver and provider that we forget to nourish our own spirits. At home we care for our children, at work we do our job but among those responsibilities we often do not take care of ourselves. An important way to keep ourselves mentally healthy is to have a hobby they we like and can spend our time doing.
Having a hobby can free your mind from stress and getting started is not difficult. To begin, you have to decide what you enjoy and what things interest you. For some people it may be collecting items such as coins or stamps while others may enjoy working with yarn and knitting and crocheting. Fixing items, such as cars or electronics, is a fulfilling hobby as well. Hobbies do not always have to involve acquiring objects: running, watching old movies, blogging and reading are all considered hobbies too.
Once you figure out what it is you would like to do as a hobby, finding the time to do it can be challenging, especially with younger children. To do so is truly a balancing act, but not completely impossible.
Get your partner to help.
No matter your situation – whether you are with your child’s other parents or you co-parent separately – you should never be afraid to ask them to help out. It’s understandable that they are in need of personal time as well but there should be a balance between parents. If you are parenting solo, talk to your friends. Good ones will have no issue hanging with your little ones to give you some time to yourself. It never hurts to ask.
Look for time.
Time is everywhere, but you really have to look for it. Your lunch hour, a few minutes before work or a few minutes after could be all it takes to have some time to yourself to enjoy a hobby. I spend many a lunch hour reading, writing or watching Netflix.
Involve the kids.
Sometimes the purpose of involving yourself in a hobby is not only to get time to yourself but simply to do something you enjoy. If your child enjoys it too, why not do it together? Sharing a hobby is a great opportunity to bond with your child and help build their self-esteem.
Find a hobby you can do at home.
Sometimes the greatest challenge in pursuing a hobby is finding the time and resources to leave home and ensure your children are in proper care. Having a hobby at home can cut down the effort it would take to coordinate all this and give you more time to enjoy it. Blogging, reading, writing, painting, knitting, cooking, yoga, meditation – these are all activities that can be done at home while your child sleeps or entertains themselves.
Find hobby buddies.
I remember when I was young, my mother would invite her friends and their kids over and while we all played, they crafted. All I remember is the fun I had with my friends and I never felt excluded from my mother’s activities. Find a group of moms with the same interests as you and arrange for your kids to play while you engage in a mutual hobby.
Nurturing your interests is important in maintaining your mental health and sense of individuality. It is so easy to lose ourselves in parenthood that we almost forget who we were before we had children. Pursue a hobby and find yourself again – a happy parent makes a happy family.