Recently my best friend suggested I write about a topic that really irritates us. We’ve heard it often. We’ve maybe even said it ourselves a time or two.
This phrase: “I’d like to (fill in the blank) but I can’t because I have kids.”
(Photo by Alyssa Crawford Photography)
Her case-in-point was camping, a hobby she and her husband have loved since long before they became parents. When their now four-year-old daughter was born, they were determined to continue this hobby. And guess what? They have, even now with two children.
I remember being pregnant and people telling me I would have no spare time once the baby arrived. My biggest fear was no longer having any time to engage in my most beloved hobby: reading. With some time management and a little dedication to a hobby that is important to me, I read for pleasure even more now than I did before she was born.
But these things take effort, and it’s easy to get exhausted.
You can go to dinner with your spouse, but it will require changing out of your yoga pants, calling a baby-sitter, and perhaps dealing with a hysterical toddler as you leave the house.
You can work out, but it will require hitting the gym on your lunch break or when your spouse gets home from work.
You can take a vacation sans kids, but it will require saving money, lining up child care, and spending a few nights away from them.
You can take the kids camping, but it will require packing everything you own into your SUV.
You can finish reading a novel, but it will require making the most of spare moments here and there.
Sometimes it just sounds easier to stay home with the kids and make envious comments about childless friends and all the fun, fabulous activities they get to do. But get up. Do something that interests you.
Having a life other than just being a parent might not be easy, but a little effort goes a long way. It’s not selfish to continue your pre-parent interests. In fact, it is a great example to our children when we show them that hobbies are important. We do not have to completely let go of our pre-parent selves. Instead, let children be enhancements, not excuses.