Let’s get straight into it – work and family life is a big machine that doesn’t stop moving. If you stand still, it can feel like the washing, school run and other responsibilities could literally knock you over and run you down!
Having a hobby is one sure way to help relieve some of the stress and tension that keeping this machine of life moving can produce.
Spending time on a hobby replaces negative thoughts about money, work or worries about the children or your other half. It takes your mind off your daily grind and replaces them with other positive thoughts and feelings. A hobby or creative outlet can help to lift your spirits on those hard days because you have something to look forward to.
Unlike passive activities like watching TV or going on YouTube or Netflix, a hobby provides some intellectual stimulation, while relaxing you at the same time. When you’re knitting, painting or doing another type of hobby with a repetitive action, this can be very calming, so you lose yourself in the moment ad gain some calm.
Hobbies help you parent better
Where’s the fun in being a chef, a personal shopper, a nurse, a taxi driver (and all the other job roles mums have) which help make everyone else at home stay happy when you can’t have some enjoyment yourself?
Us mums are so good at signing our children up for football, ballet, martial arts lessons etc and encouraging them to have hobbies, even paying for these classes and driving them to and fro! But we forget that we also need to learn new things and grow as people, too. This natural need doesn’t just stop because we become mothers. We may prioritise them lower down the list of other commitments, but the need is still there.
Hobbies also connect us with other people who share our interests. If you struggle to make friends with mums at the school gate, or don’t have much in common with colleagues at work, this could be a fantastic way to find new friends. They can help you maintain a separate identity as a real person and not just as a mum (and without compromising your professional integrity), which is a positive thing.
Hobbies can give you a refreshing change from your daily routine
If you’re a stay-at-home mum, you may be start to feel frustrated after a while because, at the end of the day, you can hardly point to anything you’ve “done” for yourself. If you only do your hobby once a week, it will be something you can look forward to and enjoy outside of your responsibilities.
In generations past, women pursued hobbies like quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet and embroidery not only because they were enjoyable, but because they gave tangible value to the family, by providing clothing or some much-needed income. Every few years, some of these old-school hobbies get popular again (usually because a celebrity starts to endorse it, or something of that nature), but you don’t have to relegate yourself you one of these hobbies if they’re not your cup of tea.
If you’re worried about spending money on a new pursuit, remember that a hobby doesn’t have to break the bank, and you can do many hobbies from the comfort of your own home if you’re worried about childcare costs and arrangements.
YouTube is a fantastic place to learn – you can search for any hobby and there will be an ‘expert’ or fellow hobbyist sharing videos on how they do things. Try it!