I’ve mentioned, over the years, how important it is for mom to have some time for herself. Sharing blurbs on social media and writing a few posts, I’ve been trying to stress to moms to take care of themselves. When I re-branded this blog to SAHM, plus … I had a goal. I wanted to start focusing on the plus. With motherhood, it’s so easy to lose ourselves in what our family needs. Your children come first. Sometimes your husband comes first. But, how often does a mom truly put herself first?
When we’re finished with dinner, putting the kids to bed, and cleaning the dishes, how much energy does mom have? Even still, if you’re like me, you’re probably sitting on the couch pretending to enjoy the silence. You’re really wondering if you did everything you needed to do today. And, you’re probably thinking of the thousands of things you need to do tomorrow, and the millions of things you need to accomplish the rest of the week.
I struggle with making a hair appointment for myself once every six weeks. Seriously, I don’t know why I even bother getting a special style because it only looks good for 4 weeks. Then … well, it looks like I’ve given up. And the truth is, I have. I’ve relinquished myself to my family. Most times I have difficulty finding 5 or 10 minutes to do simple things to reduce my parenting stress.
But, there’s one thing I can say I do for myself. So long as I can get a babysitter for the two kids, I schedule a once a month hobby for myself.
This is one of the most important things I can ever tell you… don’t lose yourself to your family. You’re a mother, not a martyr. I 100% believe all moms should have a hobby. And that’s where this new project of mine comes into play. I want to share my mom hobby with you. My aim is to encourage you to find a hobby and make time for yourself.
My Back Story
I had a really hard time making sense of motherhood after my first baby, S. I had intended to go back to work when she was born, but wasn’t able to return. Her health issues were time consuming. I wasn’t sleeping (seriously nearly 8 months of hell with her sleeping no better than 30 minute stints at any given time). She cried constantly. I probably did too. Being a mother was not at all what I had imagined.
After we got through the major rough patch with our daughter, my husband finally convinced me to get a hobby. Aside from doing things for myself, he had to remind me that I needed to focus on him as well. At the time, it all seemed so unnatural. Looking back, however, trying to be super-mom was making everyone miserable.
I began blogging as a way to express myself and share deals, but it wasn’t allowing me to get out of the house and take care of myself. I needed something more.
The Truth about Motherhood for Ivy
Having a family and being a mother is nothing like what I had imagined. I loved kids and had so much patience for them growing up. Taking child psychology and marriage and family classes in college, I was certain I was prepared for parenting. The reality is, I had very real answers for logical situations. But, there is nothing logical or easy with kids. They don’t fit a mold in which you can have a set of answers for each situation and realistically expect to have it handled. It just doesn’t work that way. And, what works for one probably doesn’t work for the other.
Having two children is infinitely harder than one. Many days, I really feel bad for each of my babies, individually.
I’m not at all the mother I thought I would be. The ideals we have of parenting and marriage are unrealistic. I can’t tell you how many days I feel like I just need to get away.
One night, my husband asked if I wanted to run out to pick up dinner. He was offering me a break from a cranky, sick 5 year old and the tiny 10 month old dictator. I turned down the opportunity to leave. I responded with “I’m a flight risk.”
No, parenting is nothing like I had expected. I had no clue I’d ever feel like I would want to leave the house and never come back.
My Mom Hobby: Autocross
I was a car person when I met my husband, so it made sense that my husband would get me into Autocross. About once a month (less often now that I have two children) I take my Honda S2000 out to a track made up of cones. The purpose is to take a few laps and try to beat your own times.
This hobby isn’t all that dangerous. The only other cars on track are running behind you. You’re not racing them, but trying to beat your own times. It is not door-to-door racing where I have to worry about hitting another car, or it hitting me. Not that there are never close calls, but generally, if you mess up on the track, you take a few cones out, and maybe spin out into the grass.
Let me share a video of one of my recent runs, so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about!
What I love about Autocross
When I get to do this, I get to take my “mommy hat” off and get a little aggressive behind the wheel. I love driving, but after having kids, my focus in the car has shifted from enjoying the drive, to making sure my family is safe. Autocross allows me to enjoy driving without the care I have to take in our daily travels. And, I improve my driving skills safely by pushing my car to limits you don’t often achieve on the street. Aside from the fun, it’s a continuous learning experience and totally nothing mommy about it! It’s a true break from anything that links me to being a mom.
For us, Autocross happens usually once a month, though sometimes life gets in the way and I have to miss every now and then. But, when I get to go, I have a whole day I get to leave the kids with a grandparent. Though I could use more rest, one day of freedom to feel like myself does wonders for me!
Want to Know More about Autocross?
Would you like to learn more about Autocross? Sports Car Club of America explains Autocross in more detail here. From their site, you can also find local clubs and events if you have an interest.
I encourage you to find a mom hobby
All hobbies cost money. You need to let go of the notion you shouldn’t spend money on yourself. Don’t think of it as spending money frivolously, rather an investment in yourself. You’re investing in your skills and your mental health. Your hobby doesn’t have to be costly, but you do need to invest in something. You need the time for yourself.
I hope to encourage you to find something you’re passionate about and do it. Once you get over the initial feelings of guilt for leaving your babies, you’ll begin to see an improvement. Your mood will be lifted (even if it’s temporary). You’ll be less stressed. And, your family will have a chance to miss you. I always look forward to picking up my kids and getting a big huge hug from them. It lets me know they miss me and I actually do miss them.
Do you have a mom hobby you’d like to share?
I want to give you the opportunity to be featured. Any mom hobby, no matter how mundane you believe it may be, can be an excellent source of inspiration for a mom struggling to maintain her sense of balance. If you’d like to encourage another mom by sharing your mom hobby, click here to the mom hobby interview.
Please follow the rules of the interview – mainly, encouraging moms to join or start a business IS NOT the focus and will NOT be featured. It’s okay if you make money from your hobby, but NOT okay if you only started something to make money. We’re trying to free mom from thinking about more obligations. If you have social media following, this is a good chance to get listed 🙂
Take into account I will try to publish mom hobby interviews generally once a month unless interest warrants more frequent posts.