“What do you do for fun?”
A tired mom’s first response: “For what now?”
Her second: “Well, I used to…”
We gain an amazing new world when we become moms, but that big identity naturally squeezes out the old one quite a bit. Sometimes I unexpectedly run into my own self and say “Huh, you look familiar. Exactly who are you again?”
It’s so easy to get lost in the keep-up-with-today-before-doing-it-again-tomorrow cycle, often my free time is spent crashing on the couch at 9:30 p.m. and staring at one screen or another.
But this year I started actively searching for my old self a little more. I took an evening fiction-writing workshop. I was terrified -terrified!- but I learned I could do it. I volunteered with an organization I care about.
People I met there didn’t introduce me as so-and-so’s mom, which was weird. Someone asked if my husband (of 15 years) was my boyfriend, which was awesome.
Enter other moms: My corner of Dallas has a fantastic Facebook group of local parents, where we toss around such thrilling questions as “Dinner delivery options other than pizza (again)?” to “What the heck is this rash on my 3-year-old?” (with accompanying photo, of course). It’s useful. But one post really resonated the other week when a woman posted:
I told my husband that I want a hobby this year. Over the last 10 years I have become the person that has no life outside of work and my family…so it is time I find a HOBBY! Something that is enjoyable and a stress reliever, and JUST FOR ME.
She asked for recommendations and the responses flooded in, coupled with LOTS of understanding.
With their permission, I compiled a list of these crowd-sourced ideas to share with you, reader, in the event you are also running into your self occasionally and asking “Oh hi, who exactly are you again? And what do you do for fun?”
Especially if you’re afraid your usual answer to the latter is “Um, laundry and Netflix?”
There are two main categories for clarity, though many intersect both. It’s good to remember everyone has different interests (and resources, and time), so if you want to roll your eyes at some suggestions, go right ahead and just let them be there for someone else. And as always, feel free to add your own ideas in the comments!
- Yoga/Aerial yoga
- Tennis: lessons, group lessons, doubles teams
- Weekly fitness classes/groups
- Horseback riding lessons
- Golfing/golf lessons
- Gardening: floral, vegetable, herb gardening
- Sailing lessons
- Dancing lessons: tap, ballet, swing dancing, line dancing, pole (!)
- Reading/joining a book club
- Cooking classes/trying new recipes
- Cake decorating, cookie decorating classes
- Floral Design
- Home renovations/house projects
- Upcycling furniture
- Hand-making soap
- Paper crafting, scrapbooking
- Using a Cricut/Silhouette machine
- Jewelry making
- Writing workshop classes: fiction, memoir, poetry
- Auditing college classes online for free where available
- Instrument lessons: ukulele, guitar, piano, etc.
- Learning a foreign language
- Volunteering for an organization you are passionate about
- Look into the non-graded continuing education classes with Dallas Community College campuses – they cover many of the suggestions above, plus tons more
Best wishes as you seek little space that brings you joy, clears your head, and reminds you that you are capable of many things.