This is a post for 31 Days about making it as a mom. Check out the intro post if this is your first time here!
Today we’re going to talk about something that tends to generate strong opinions on the mommy blogs: “me time.”
Should moms take time to develop their own interests?
I’m going to say yes. Absolutely yes.
As time consuming as caring for children is, I have found it absolutely essential to find time to do things other than be a mom. My brain works best when I have a balance of three activities: reading, writing, and working as a nurse.
Reading: I’ve always been a reader. If you’ve spent much time on this blog, you’ll see that many posts focus on what I’m reading. If I go more than a few days without time in a book, my brain feels scattered.
I usually have three or four books going at the same time, ranging from novels to Christian growth to memoirs to parenting. I try to find long stretches to read, usually after the kids go to bed, but I’m learning to squeeze bits of reading into the small moments of the day.
Writing: I’m an accidental writer. I started this blog at the beginning of our adoption journey as a way to keep friends and family informed. Over time, I’ve found writing to be something that keeps me sane(ish). Getting the words out of my head is my primary way of processing the complexities of our life, and writing is cheaper than therapy, for sure! I’ve paused writing several times, only to find that I miss it greatly and have to get back to it, lest my brain explode from cooped-up words. For better or worse, “writer” has become a part of who I am.
Nursing: Any time that I haven’t been involved in the nursing world, I’ve missed it! These days, I volunteer one evening a week at a crisis pregnancy center performing ultrasounds. This allows me to keep my license current and work in a ministry I’m passionate about. When I’m working, I’m reminded that there’s a bigger story that just my crazy life at home. I get to partner with amazing women to love our community well and extend the love of Christ. However difficult it is to get out of the house, however much of a train wreck home life is when I get back, it is worth it to step outside the mom bubble and be refreshed by my work.
I know how hard it can be to find time away from the kids. I really, really know. I’m running a full-on circus with five kids, four schools, two kids with special needs, and the activities of all the stages from infant to teen. Finding time for my own hobbies requires me to work hard when it’s not “me time”, be incredibly organized so that other people can step in and help, and have my husband’s buy-in. It costs money for babysitters, it costs sleep, it costs other good opportunities. In spite of the challenges, it’s absolutely worth it for me to develop interests outside of my kids, which in turn helps me be a better mom.
Two wonderful resources on this topic are The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst and The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner. In your copious free time (ha!), these are great reads.
What hobbies that you make time for? How do you find the time to pursue these hobbies? Or are you struggling to do so? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook!
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