A few years into motherhood, I didn’t recognize myself. Obviously, life was drastically different than it was pre-baby. And for me personally, this period of my life also meant quitting a job I loved. And moving several states away from anything and anyone familiar. It was a grand adventure, but also terribly disorienting. For a while, life was about finding a new normal. But as time passed, it was apparent that I needed something else in my life. An outlet for creativity, self-care, and service that I had been missing while transitioning into a new season of my life. And so, for the last few years, I have been journeying into finding personal fulfillment, and reinventing what it meant to take time for myself. Here’s how the right hobbies can make you a better mama…
How the Right Hobbies can make you a Better Mama
With a little trial and error, and five years since our kiddo was born, I’ve figured out a “hobby recipe” that works for me! One that meaningfully fills my “spare time”, and my heart. And also helps make me a mama that can serve my family in a way that makes me proud. It goes something like this…
1. Something you’re passionate about
– From animal rescue to classic literature, horseback riding to gardening, find something you LOVE and do it routinely, and purposefully. For me, writing is an important outlet. It’s creative, it’s relational, and it’s fun! In my career, I wrote constantly and even started blogging. But, with cross-country moves and million new draws on my time, I didn’t keep up with this like I wanted. Enter, The Tampa Bay Moms Blog! This site has given me a structure for my writing, and a wonderful way to connect with others in a similar life place! It was a perfectly timed opportunity, that has been so fulfilling.
2. Something for your health + wellbeing
– Making new habits can be tough… especially ones that involve sweating and take time out of your day to be physically uncomfortable. (And require even more showers than you already have to take). Ugh. BUT, calling working out a HOBBY makes things a little different. In the last year, I have been practicing yoga several times a week. I love that it is an amazing workout, but also a SKILL to learn and master, with beautiful mental and physical benefits. For others, this might look like running, learning to bake your own bread, mama +me stroller classes, or a soccer league. The goal: pick something that makes your mind and body a little bit healthier, and make it part of your routine.
3. Something for others
– It’s easy to feel that my personal impact is limited to the four walls of my house. When we moved to Tampa, I knew that I wanted to find a place to volunteer. In previous places we’ve lived, it was a wonderful and rewarding outlet. And a great way to get to learn about a new community and make new friends. That’s when I found the Junior League.
Not only was I able to meet dozens of strong, like-minded local women, but I was also able to touch my community in amazing ways. I taught nutrition classes to children in an at-risk school, collected diapers for our local diaper bank, and assisted a local historical museum with their Christmas programming! All things near and dear to my heart, and service that truly “filled my tank”. As I saw that impact that I was able to have on the families and organizations where we live, work and play each day.
Again, this may look different for you – it may be work with a local church, coaching your child’s sports team or regularly checking in on an elderly neighbor. The key here is that you give of your time and resources to the benefit of someone outside of your home. It makes your community a better place, and makes you a better mama!
Though the time I have to give to hobbies and interests will with change with time (triathlons and weekly blogging is no longer my thing), this mix of activity has brought me SO much joy. It has provided structure to long days, and just the right amount of activity on my calendar. A little time for me. A little time for my health. And a little time for others has added fresh purpose and lots of new faces to my routine. I hope it can do the same for you!
What are your hobbies and interests? Do you find a similar “mix” of activities work for you? I hope you’ve enjoyed this bit of insight into how the right hobbies can make you a better mama!