As parents, we ensure our children have a variety of hobbies, not only for entertainment and socializing but also to increase their confidence and allow them to try different activities. As parents, we understand the importance of hobbies for our children, but what about for ourselves?
As a Transformational Coach, I coach many women, primarily mothers, and I frequently ask them what hobbies they undertake. More often than not, they begin by telling me about hobbies they enjoyed as a child or a young adult and end with, ‘but I don’t have time for that anymore’. Why do we emphasize (and pay generously) for our children’s interests but feel they are irrelevant to us?
Hobbies are just as important for us as our children. Practicing hobbies helps us to socialize, develop skills, be more productive, and gives us much-needed time to ourselves.
There are many benefits to taking time to practice hobbies; I have listed a few main advantages:
Engaging in an activity outside the daily humdrum of life gives you a minute to declutter your brain and focus on something else. Taking time out from the stress of organizing the household and managing your children’s activities allows your mind time to breathe and recharge.
Enhances your social life
There are many online and in-person clubs such as sports leagues, language classes, crocheting, or joining a choir. Being in a group with people who have the same interests is a great way to meet and get closer to some new friends. Giving gifts or donating work from your hobby is another great way to enhance and show appreciation to your social network.
Increases confidence and self-esteem
By developing any skill, big or small, new or old, we increase our abilities and capabilities and, with it, our confidence. The rewards of completing a project or achieving something you felt impossible improves your confidence immeasurably.
Learning something new takes time. We fail, we restart, we keep going. It challenges us. Patience is essential in this process, and it will be tested throughout your journey.
Makes you interesting
Hobbies are a great conversation starter and a great way to illustrate your identity. People are attracted to those with a great story, and it’s a great way to inspire others. How many cook-outs have you been to where the person who has learned a new language or someone who has just completed a triathlon has monopolized the conversation with questions and attention from everyone else?
Hobbies challenge us in many ways. They help us to identify what we are good at, what we are capable of, and what we enjoy. We realize that to succeed, we must practice, we must fail, but we will always get back up again.
Sets a great example for our children
Taking time for our hobbies is essential for our well-being. Our children seeing us continuously developing ourselves, will show them what they are capable of and help them to achieve a growth mindset. It also teaches them that time for ourselves is essential, even as parents.
Keeps us young
Learning and practicing a new skill keeps the neuropathways open and working. Certain hobbies, such as learning a new language or keeping fit, have been known to keep dementia at bay and enhance our mental and physical health. Being open to learning and developing will maintain a healthier and younger attitude to life.
So, now that I have stressed the importance of hobbies and you have been inspired to take up a new pursuit or reignition of an old hobby, what types of hobbies should you do? Only you can answer this question! Even as parents, it’s okay to explore hobbies you like, particularly if you’ve never really had a hobby before. Don’t be afraid to try a variety of things. Don’t be scared to start something and decide it’s not the right thing for you. Don’t be afraid to try something you aren’t very good at. That’s what practicing is for.
There are too many hobbies for me to list, so here are a few examples for you to try;
- Join a choir
- Learn a language
- Puzzles e.g. Jigsaws, Sudoku, codewords
As moms, we are taught to put ourselves behind our children and partners. Many of us struggle to justify the time or finances needed to undertake a hobby or fully understand the importance of hobbies. We need to start a movement where we schedule time to develop ourselves and don’t feel guilty doing that. Hopefully, this blog has inspired you to explore the possibilities of a hobby whilst creating a more satisfying and enjoyable life.