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As a parent, you need to find a hobby you can enjoy and do.
It’s really easy to not make time for yourself and your own interests when you become a parent. It’s also really easy to spend way more time doing your hobbies and spending time with your friends rather than enough time with your child. There’s a fine balance between the two that you’re going to have to figure out as a parent. However it’s important that you find that balance in order to really be happy.
Brand new parents often find themselves on the end of the spectrum where they spend too much time on themselves and doing the things that they want to do - most often it’s the father that does this, but mother’s do it as well. You’re used to your routine and only worrying about what you want. You used to be able to choose what you wanted to do when you wanted to do it - that’s not the case anymore.
You’re going to have to find things that you can enjoy and that you can actually do in a reasonable amount of time. You’re not going to be able to go out with your friends for the whole weekend just because you want to - you’ve got responsibilities at home. That doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to do that again, but it’s going to be an uncommon experience where you’ll be without your child on such an excursion.
You need to find a hobby or things that you can do in smaller chunks of time. Something that you can do in as little as 10 minutes is most ideal. That means that you can spend a little bit of time every single day doing something that you enjoy without having to make larger plans to figure out how you’re going to do it. When you get into any activity that takes more than 30 minutes, you’ll likely have to plan when you’ll do it.
We highly recommend that reading be something you spend free time doing - it’s an excellent way to learn something new, or explore a new world without going anywhere. You can do it easily at home and in short periods of time (although longer durations are certainly better if you can make them happen). Reading is also a great way to engage your mind so that you’re able to destress from your other worries.
The longer that you’re a parent, the more common it is that you no longer spend enough time on yourself. Too often parents will simply stop trying to really do things that they enjoy and just focus on their child. While it’s great to be an engaged parent with your child, you also need to focus on yourself or else you’ll burn yourself out at some point. You need to make sure that you have your own interests.
Beyond burnout, at some point your child will no longer need your help every moment of the day. You’ll likely find that you have no idea what to do when you get to this point. If you’re focusing on hobbies, and building your skills up while you’re still a parent, you’ll find this transition much easier. You’ll be able to spend more time on the things that make you happy, outside of your child.
Find hobbies that you enjoy, and that you can do with children. Spend time on yourself and find the balance with your family. You’ll be truly happy as you make this balance work for you.