Who Knew That Moms Are Supposed To Have Hobbies?

Who Knew That Moms Are Supposed To Have Hobbies?

 

A few years ago, when I moved to a new state, I met a fellow mom and we scheduled a play date with our kids. We were chatting and she asked me what my hobbies were? Hobbies? What do you mean hobbies? Oh my God, I couldn’t think of any. I started to sweat. I was going to lie, but I couldn’t think of any hobbies to lie about. I was a mom, was I even supposed to have any? Is going food shopping a hobby?

This had been the third state in three years we lived in. I managed our relocations throughout the country and tried to keep everything as normal as I could. My biggest focus was to make my son feel settled even though we were in a constant state of moving turmoil. Sometimes I felt that I could barely get through the day. Hobbies, no, there were zilch! Aren’t mothers just living and breathing their family? I apprehensively said, “I don’t have any hobbies”. I tried to think of one thing I did for myself besides getting a pedicure or my hair done. Obviously those could not be claimed as hobbies. Oh, makeup! I love make up, can I consider that my hobby? Did I want to?

I had to know what hobbies moms have? So I asked what hers were. She came up with a comprehensive list of all the marvelous things she was involved in. She was brushing up on her French, she was learning to oil paint, she ran 5 miles a day, was part of a book club. She sputtered out other numerous classes and fabulous interests she was pursuing. I was amazed and suddenly felt inferior. I could barely get the laundry folded and the beds made.

I had a career, but it was only the past 3 years and because of all our corporate moves that I didn’t work. Before having a child I hiked, made jewelry, read, wrote poetry, studied botany, gardened, etc. Now that I had a kid I had no hobbies. I was supposed to wake up and focus every fiber of my being on my son, wasn’t I?

After the play date was over I was flustered and still thinking about the question she asked. I decided to call one of my friends and asked her what her hobbies were. She laughed and said “hobbies? I don’t have time for hobbies, I’m always carting my kids around to all their activities”. Phew, I didn’t miss the hobby memo. I felt better, but I couldn’t believe that this woman had just moved as well, from a different country no less, and had a menu of pastimes that she enjoyed daily. I had to make sure I wasn’t a pathetic excuse for a person. I called another friend and asked her the same thing. She had a similar reaction. “Unless you consider taking care of the house and kids or trying to find matching socks a hobby then I don’t have any hobbies”. Praise the Lord! I am not the only one, I thought.

I was relieved but that hobby theory had me thinking. Why do so many women give up their interests or personal goals while raising a family? We forget about ourselves and put other’s needs first. We stop our individual and spiritual growth while we are monitoring the growth of our children. I thought having a hobby was a great idea!

I decided to make my Instagram a photo blog. I took so many pictures anyway. I was officially declaring photography as my hobby. I started posting my photos weekly. I would take a picture and match an inspirational passage to it. I have to tell you that having that focus was immediately empowering and healing for me. I understood why that other lady had so many pastimes. I appreciated how important it was to take up other activities. My photography was something that I did for me. I was able to have time out to really focus on the beauty in the world and in my life. I also noticed that it lightened my mood, gave me more energy and made me a better person and mom. It was something to look forward to.

I became conscious of the fact that it’s normal to want to have other interest, learn more and be more than solely someone’s mom. We love our children with all our heart but life doesn’t end after you become a mother, it changes. We have to remember what our passions were. It’s alright to find joy in other things besides our children. We can’t forget to feed our souls so that we can take care of those around us. The saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup” needs to be our reminder to take time for us.

Previously Published on Medium.

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