Thursday, March 28, 2013

Making Time for Yourself {Think About it}


Earlier this week I was so excited to show off the dress I made for my little niece. I haven't taken the time to sew for a long time, and it was so fun and relaxing to do something I loved again.  We had a great discussion on Facebook about hobbies that moms give up when they begin having kids, and how hard it is to get back into them. 

Today I want to continue that discussion a bit more in depth. I want to know - before you had kids,
What did you enjoy doing?
What were your hobbies?
How did you relax and de-stress?
Did you stop doing those things when kids came?
Have you picked any back up?
 
While you are all thinking about the answers to those let's Think About It!
 
Why do we have hobbies?  A hobby is something we do for enjoyment, not because we have to. Something that if given a little free time, we could be found engaged in our hobby.  I personally have many hobbies. The longest standing hobby for me, though, is reading. As a child my mom read me The Little House on The Prairie Series, while my dad read us the Prydain Chronicles. When I began reading chapter books on my own I started with the Chronicles of Narnia. There is only one time I remember not having the time for this hobby - after I had kids.
 
With our first, I could be found nursing with a book in hand. But as she grew, and I got busy with work, and the becoming pregnant with a 2nd 9months later, I even lost the time to read. It wasn't until my mother in law bought me the Twilight series (yes I read them and enjoyed them), that I even noticed I hadn't picked up a book for almost a year and actually finished it.
 
Where did my time go?  Of course most of it went to raising two very small children, and then some went into being wife, followed by all of the duties of a homemaker (cleaning, making meals, budgeting, and staying organized).
 
It was about this time that Facebook really became popular, and I also joined a site just for moms - Cafemom. I traded most of my hobbies for making connections with real people through the internet.
 
Think About It!
 
At the time, this was important to me. I had no job, I didn't go to school, I was just home 24/7 with 2 babies who couldn't say much more than momma, dadda, and no. I craved some human interaction.  Let's face it, we all need each other to survive. I personally believe we all need some kind of human contact to stay sane, and not lose our minds. It just makes us happy knowing others know we exist.
 
It was worth it at the time, but I find I have wasted away many hours now on facebook, not really interacting with others, as I read through meme after meme, funny photo after funny photo. So although I originally traded my hobbies for this human interaction, I do not need it as much anymore. I get out, I have friends, I actually see the people I talk to.  It is time to trade the mindless time I spend on the internet for more meaningful time for me - enjoying my hobbies again.
 
Think About It!
 
What do you find wasting away your time?  Maybe you sleep excessively (although I know no mom who gets too much sleep), or perhaps you spend all your free time watching all those shows you've dvr'ed, or perhaps you're like me and spend too much time "catching up with the internet".
 
Take back your time!  If you were to cut out 30 minutes a day just for you, how would you choose to spend it?  What would it do for your personal self? How would that effect your family?  Now what if you can carve out 1-2 hours per week just for you. What would that do?
 
I know for me - just when I get to take longer then 10 minutes in a shower, with no interruptions, I feel so much better physically, and my happiness level rises.  As a mom I don't get a lot of time to myself, and I allow myself to feel guilty if I take any time.  Morning, noon and night, I'm on call to my kids. I love them. I want to be there for them if they need anything. Sometimes the stress of it all makes it so I can adequately, or appropriately respond to their needs.
 
I need to be emotionally and physically there for my kids. To do that though, I need to care for myself as well. I love Craftsy for this reason too!  I started taking a Gardening Class to get me ready to plant my garden - a new hobby for me, that will also benefit my family. Eventually, I want to take some of the other classes they offer as well like -
Clean and Simple Cake Design
Dressmaking Basics
or Hand Quilting
 
Think About It!

 
Even my kids understand the need for time to themselves. There are sometimes that we can't share, because we just need to play by ourselves, without brother taking it away, or sister screaming because she wanted that princess. When they've had time to themselves, they almost always play better together.
 
Won't this hold true for us as well?  If we take care of us, won't we be a better parent?  I hope you notice my use of parent instead of mom this time. I feel it's important we allow our spouses, the father of our children the time to find their hobbies again as well. Maybe he enjoys a game of golf, or hunting, or jamming out some tunes.
 
Mark enjoys getting together with other local music teachers to just play music in a non-teaching environment. I love that he does this. I encourage him to do this. Yes, it means one night a week I have to put 4 kids to bed all by myself. It also means that he gets time to relax and throw off the stress from working and providing for his family 24/7. 
 
Think About It!
 
 
Your spouse is a person too. I know I've mentioned on here the stereotypes of a Stay at Home Mom. We really do quite a bit despite the little appreciation we are often given. But what about working Dads?  Do we truly show them the appreciation they deserve? 
 
But Adelina, you say, They get to be out of the house, and in contact with people, and they don't have to deal with the screaming toddler, hormonal teenager, non-sleeping baby all the time.
 
You're absolutely right they don't. They often have to deal with hormonal teenagers at school, rude customers, a hard boss.  Then they come home and they help out with the kids, or make us dinner, and sometimes they even help with the child who won't sleep. When do they get to be them? Do something just for them?  Mark is lucky, and is in a job he truly loves. That doesn't mean it's easy though. He still has stress, and has to work hard to make lesson plans, and work with each student to reach their best potential.
 
So I will continue to encourage him to jam out with his friends once a week. Even if I'm under the weather (which I was this week), I will still allow him to go out and take that time for him (but he didn't this week, the sweetheart).  Why? Because he needs that time to be himself, and do what he loves for him, just as much as I need to make time and do what I love for me. We work better as a parent team, and can show our kids more love and compassion as we take the time for us.
 
 
Has this inspired you to start up a hobby again?
I would love to hear what you're thoughts are.
 
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1 comment:

  1. this resonates so much with me. ever since we had a baby all i had been doing is feeding and taking care of him and interacting on the net while he was asleep. now that he is a little older, i try spending some time away from Fb et. al. indulging more in hobbies, reading, cooking and crafting.. but then i keep going back to the net. a habit built over the past 2 years. think it'll take some time and a conscious before i can revert.

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