When I was single without kids, I had hobbies. Outside of work, my time was largely my own to do with as I chose. I enjoyed knitting, scrapbooking, reading, travel, and wine tasting. I sang in church, attended monthly meetings of a women’s group, and was in a weekly small group Bible study. While I still enjoy all of these things, I do them with far less regularity than I would like to. My time outside of work is now taken up with caring for my husband, my son, and our puppy. There is cleaning, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, scheduling, taxi driving, and more. But if I think about it, I have developed a whole new set of “hobbies” for my current lifestyle.
Seven of my favorite (tongue-in-cheek!) Mom Hobbies!
7. Intensive Clothes Washing
I like to think we’ve all been there. Throw in a load of wash. Oh, yeah. I threw in a load of wash – yesterday! I’d better run it through again…I’m going to pour a little vinegar in and give it an extra soak and rinse. Maybe the musty stink will come out. Shoot. I forgot *again* to get those darn clothes into the dryer. Wash them again, maybe in hot water this time. And I’m going to set the kitchen timer so I remember to switch them to the dryer this time…along with several fabric softener sheets to mask any lingering odor. I like to put a positive spin on this hobby: I am really washing my family’s clothes, and it shows how much I care.
This hobby may sound self-explanatory and like a legitimate hobby, but as a Mom Hobby, this is something I do numerous times daily. Where is that other shoe? Let’s Hunt for it. Yes, I can help you Hunt for the firefighter action figure. No, I haven’t seen the tablet, but let’s Hunt for it. Where are your keys? Oh, let’s Hunt for them together. It’s lucky this form of hunting doesn’t involve guns!
5. Duck…er, Kid Calling
I don’t know if duck calling is considered a stand-alone hobby, but Kid Calling is definitely a Mom Hobby. Most often this hobby involves repeatedly calling your child’s name with increasing volume and mounting frustration. My spin on this one is to also yell, “We’re going to be late,” several times over the course of Kid Calling as well. Feel free to modify this to suit your needs. Maybe you like to Kid Call outside so all the neighbors can hear. Another good option is in the grocery store or Target so a lot of people can appreciate it. If you want to branch out, there’s also Spouse Calling. Theoretically, this involves fewer repetitions and less volume.
4. Paper Management
This one sounds like work, not a hobby, until I clarify that the paper I’m talking about is toilet paper. Wow! There are several Mom Hobbies that fall into this category. Among my favorite Paper Management activities are re-rolling toilet paper after 90% has been pulled off said roll and replacing the toilet paper roll (sometimes from a bare toilet paper holder, others with the cardboard tube still fully in place). I sometimes take this Mom Hobby to the next level when I am stranded after having used the facilities, no toilet paper or tissue in sight or arm’s reach, and I have to “creatively” find my way to the other bathroom to finish up the Paperwork!
3. The Second Guessing Game
You’ve probably heard of the Guessing Game or 20 Questions. This Mom Hobby comes with far more dire consequences for guessing incorrectly. Does he really want bubbles in the bath? Once they’re in, I can’t take them out. Or how about this one: If I cut his sandwich into four triangles, is there a way I can smash it together so it looks like I just cut it in half? I know he said he wanted to do the puzzle together, but I mistakenly put some pieces in. At least with this one, we can just take the puzzle apart before “we” do it again. After the meltdown. While this is a hobby in which I regularly participate, I have to say it takes a lot of energy. And thick skin. And possibly a glass or two of good wine!
2. Free-style Mom Geocaching
Geocaching is all the rage, so this hobby is cutting-edge. In my case, however, I don’t need fancy equipment. I don’t use maps or a compass. GPS? Who needs it? This Mom Hobby is powered solely by observation and intuition. I like to participate in this hobby mainly after my husband or son has searched “Ev. Ry. Where.” and is still unable to find the “missing” object. Most often the target of the search is either a very specific stuffed animal well after my short person’s bedtime or an item in the pantry or refrigerator that is needed NOW. My Free-style Mom Geocaching persona kicks in and is able to go directly to the item of interest or describe in detail exactly where said item is (“left hand side, second shelf down, just behind the microwave popcorn, under the corn chips”). It’s a mom thing!
1. Picking Vegetables
Garden, you say? Who has time for that? This hobby goes w-a-y beyond gardening. I have finely honed my skill in the removal of miniscule veggies out of…well, anything. My personal forte is individually removing the tiny red and green peppers from McDonald’s breakfast burritos. Not only am I able to remove these pieces of vegetables once they have been detected by my short person, I am able to remove them most often while driving the car. I have been known to branch out to veggie removal from queso dip and fried rice, too. But my first, true love involves those McDonald’s breakfast burritos!
Do Not Despair
So, if you have felt like you used to have hobbies to enjoy and you wish you still had the time and energy to devote to them, consider just looking at your (new) Mom Hobbies in a little different way! I bet you actually do have some of these “hobbies” I’ve described. Embrace these Mom Hobbies, keep your sense of humor, and try not to forget why you have honed these activities in the first place. You keep your family going. You take care of them. You put up with the craziness. And you likely love all most at least some of it!
And I also bet that someday, in a little different season of life, you can get back to some of the real hobbies you’ve temporarily put aside or even pick up some new ones. In the meantime, try to take some time for yourself when you can. Be creative about doing your hobbies. Do you like photography? Bring your camera with you when you go on a walk. Is the new adult coloring your thing? Pull out your coloring stuff when your kiddos are coloring. Wish you had more time to read? Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning and read a couple chapters.
As a mom, it’s so easy to lose yourself in the hubbub of daily life, so this week, be intentional and find a couple times you can engage in a hobby or activity you enjoy!
What hobbies or activities do you wish you had more time for?