SAHM: A Hobby? What's That?
After my first daughter was born, I was completely swept up in motherhood, as I'm sure most parents are when a new life suddenly tosses your world upside down, and I lost myself a bit.
At the time, we were living away from family, and my only true social interaction was the few hours I got when I went back to work after maternity leave. At home, it was back to mom-mode. Those really were the only two things in my life: mommin' and workin'. And it worked for a while. But I started to see that those two things alone did not completely fill my bucket. Whenever someone would ask what I like to do or what my hobbies were, I would draw a blank.
Fast forward to bringing our second child into the world. We relocated two months before she was born, so I had to leave my job - my one true social interaction. I was now at home with two kids, and engulfed in motherhood more than ever. I started to wonder if I'd ever have any hobbies or relationships again outside of motherhood.
I realized shortly after bringing our baby girl home that I had to rediscover what brought me additional joy outside of my role as a mother. I was so overwhelmed. So incredibly grateful for my two babies, but overwhelmed. With two small children, I was itching to find some new hobbies, and unlike the first time around, I did not feel as guilty for needing to take the time to care for myself. I recognized there were some many boxes left unchecked in my life, social and otherwise. So what did I do?
First, I finally joined the fitness group that I kept talking myself out of for months. They require you to schedule your spot in the class ahead of time and that held me accountable. I've discovered new strength, psychically and mentally, and find it incredibly awesome that my body can still do a lot, even after rough c-section recoveries, and I'm super proud of myself for giving it the opportunity.
I also auditioned for a play. The theater was once my happy place, and it just got put on the back burner for a few years. My ever-supportive husband pushed me to audition, despite my fears of scheduling conflicts and finding babysitters. I'll forever be grateful for the opportunity to be back under stage lights. It was so, so good for me. I hope to do another show soon.
The connection with other adults and the time to breathe without someone wrapped around my leg or crying to be fed are just two of the benefits that my "extra-curricular" activities have provided for me. I've learned it's absolutely necessary for how I feel mentally and emotionally.
I encourage you to rediscover your hobbies and what brings you joy outside of parenthood. Please do not feel guilty for putting forth effort into your own self-care. Both you and your children will benefit from seeing your successes and failures from learning something new, whether it's hand-lettering, refinishing furniture, or performing in a play.