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Moms - How do you keep interests going?

(2 Posts)
LPickers Sat 27-Feb-16 10:42:32

As a mother of two children (4 months & 3 Yrs), with no childcare help from relatives, I know how difficult it can be to fit any 'me-time' into the busy schedule of looking after children and keeping on top of housework.

I hear other mothers talking about the same thing. We feel as if we are losing our sense of self and 'moving backwards' in terms of our own personal development: "I'm not the interesting person I used to be!"
It can make you feel down, frustrated and disorientated, particularly if you are no longer employed or feel as if you are not achieving your full potential in the work-place.

If you do have any free time, its so easy to look at the mess/dirt in the house and start cleaning/tidying.

When I had children I was determined to carry on certain interests. I had a professional job before children, and a lot of creative hobbies. I now work part-time in a new role, but I have had to give up a lot of things.
- Singing in a band. Writing, learning lyrics, rehearsing, etc, takes up too much time.
- Painting artwork
- Reading time has redcued significantly
- A well-paid and respected career

However, I believe you can find time to do the things that matter to you if you are DETERMINED and organised enough. Having such little time, forces you to prioritise the things that really matter to you.

In fact, having to choose which specific activities you will to continue with, can tell you a lot about yourself - these are the interests that REALLY matter to you THE MOST at this point in your life. We all know that making time 'for me' is not easy, but is essential for mental health and will put you in a positive frame of mind when looking after the children/house/work.

These are some of the things I've managed to achieve/continue:

Passed my Grade 5 piano exam
I arranged lessons (30 mins per week). I practiced 30-45 mins per day. Think - Are there any qualificarions you want to obtain? Where can I fit 30 mins practice/hard work in per day? What routein can I establish that will provide me with 30 mins of time?

I read late at night before sleep, or whilst breast-feeding (older toddler involved in a task). You won't have time to read any old book that takes your fancy anymore. Put some thought into the books you choose because if it doesn't interest or benefit you enough, you either won't complete it or will regret the time you have 'lost'. It may be fiction (does creativity interest you?), history, or a particular area of non-fiction that interests you (so you feel you are still 'learning').

I listen to Radio 4 when I wash-up or clean the kitchen. I am therefore keeping up-to-date with current news and learning about interesting, educational topics. After all, I can't watch TV during the daytime anymore! The kids would never allow me to do THAT - but they won't notice the radio playing in the background when I am playing with them / doing chores.

Sewing and DIY
I love being creative, but instead of painting pictures, I've chosen to learn some new and useful skills. That way, I can get jobs done that need doing in the house (making me feel useful), which fulfill my need to be creative, and are 'new' to me (personal development). These activities are harder to fit in - when husband takes the kids to the park, for example.


jimijack Sat 27-Feb-16 10:54:37

It's true that I feel like me and my needs are at the very bottom of the pile.
It's too hard to fit in most of the time.

I work long hours in a job that I mostly enjoy.
I go out for tea with friends, maybe once a month in the evening.
I go to slimming world once a week
I can't read, it makes me sleep, used to be an avid reader pre kids.

Other than that I have no time for me. But then I knew that when I made the decision to have children.

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