I’m more than three years into motherhood. When I think of myself in the last three years, it’s blurry. I have several vivid memories of my daughter, and I remember the most minute details. Myself, though — I’m not sure what I was doing. I think I was just surviving. I was figuring out how to be a mother, and that’s okay.
The things I used to love to do fell by the wayside, as is somewhat typical. I didn’t read a book for almost three years. I stopped playing trivia weekly with friends. I stopped watching beauty YouTube tutorials and collecting makeup (as much). I even found myself blogging and writing less.
A few months ago, my daughter started going to preschool for four days a week. FOUR DAYS! I have sixteen glorious child-free hours a week to run errands, get all the things done without a kid slowing me down, and… and what? After I spent a few weeks of doing all the things, I wanted some down time. But, I realized, my down time was looking different now, too.
In the thick of early motherhood, my down-time included sitting down, watching Netflix, scrolling through Instagram, and not thinking about anything (even though my mind is really never not thinking about all the things that need to be done).
But now, I’m (somewhat) well-rested. I already did everything that needed to be done. Now I want to do something for me, something I can feel accomplished and satisfied with.
I went on a quest, of sorts, to find my new hobbies. It took months, some trial and error, some failures, and now I’m reading daily. I finished a book for the first time in three years! I picked up an inexpensive ukulele for fun, and am very slowly learning some chords. I haven’t made music since I quit marching band junior year in high school. I also learned to cross-stitch, and this is probably my favorite new hobby I hope I will continue for years.
Having my own hobbies makes me feel accomplished, and gives me back some of my own identity outside of motherhood. But I think it adds to my parenting, too. My daughter sees me enjoying reading, practicing, creating, and being patient — all things I want her to do, too.