I love hobbies! As a current member of the tired-mom-club, I have more of a need for hobbies and “me time” than I ever have before in my life.
I also have lowered my standards quite a bit in order to make it all work. In this post, I’ll share how I’m getting the most out of my hobbies at this current stage in life.
I’ve always been a hobby person! Since I was a young child, I’ve been collecting hobbies and obsessions.
In junior high, we learned to sew pillows for our first sewing project and I sewed dozens of tiny pillows (all with sunflower print fabric- lol) to give my entire extended family for Christmas.
One year, I made dozens of birdhouses. I spent my weekends baking cookies and muffins.
My astrologist recently asked me, “Did you feel old when you were very young?” and I was like, “Yes! Oh my gosh- YES!”. I was the most grandma seventh grader of all time.
Through the years, I’ve tried almost any hobby you can imagine. Many of them have made appearances here on the blog. I’ve been obsessed with jewelry making, scrapbooking, and I tend to have a painting phase about once every five years.
I’ve had fashion phases, e-courses, baking, making cocktails, thrifting and decorating, art journaling and sewing.
I grew up as one of those kids who could never run a whole mile in PE class, but as an adult I taught myself to run and grew to love it. I’ve had epic fails and surprising successes. The joy of hobbies is one of life’s greatest joys!
Currently, I’m learning to make pasta, writing a book, and taking a painting class in my spare time. I’m a mom with two businesses and two kids at home for the summer, so I don’t really have “spare time” but I squeeze it in because it’s essential for me.
Here are my three tips for getting the most out of adult hobbies.
1. Lower your standards.
One of the most common questions I get is how I have time for *insert anything here* as a mom of two young kids. Let me first say that if it looks too good to be true on the internet, it probably is.
The truth is, I am very tired. A lot of days I am not caught up on my to-do list, and I cry from being overwhelmed pretty often.
In my perfect world, I would block off whole days (or even half-days) to work on my creative projects. As a working mom, I have lowered my standards WAY below that.
At this phase in my life, I squeeze in creative stuff whenever I can. It’s a half hour here, an hour there, and a half hour here. I try to keep the attitude that anything creative is better than nothing.
The 30 minute mini sessions add up and are sustaining me for now. I know that someday I’ll have more free time, and at that point I will do things I can’t do now.
If you are in a busy season of life, don’t pressure yourself to do more than you can. Just enjoy the little bits of hobby time you can! It’s so much better to have small scale hobbies than to go years without any hobbies.
2. Remove guilt from hobbies.
Maybe you start a new hobby and then don’t work on it for six months. Maybe you buy supplies and don’t use them all. There are so many reasons you could attach guilt to your hobbies, but I have found it so helpful to remove guilt all together.
The point of hobbies is usually not some kind of end goal, it’s usually a creative experience. It helped me to think of my hobbies as an ongoing lifelong project.
If I don’t achieve the goals I set, I make new ones and move on. My biggest goal is to live a creative life— not to bake cookies for every single party, or to do a craft from scratch with my kids every day. It’s OK to be sporadic and imperfect with your hobbies.
3. Keep learning, keep making.
As we age, it’s likely we will have more time for hobbies and more time alone. In my current tired mom phase of life, it’s easy to feel like that time will never come (what is alone time?).
One of the reasons I keep my hobbies alive during these really overwhelming years is that I want them to still be there later in life.
We’ve all heard stories of people who retire and immediately have a diminished quality of life because they realize having a job was giving them a sense of purpose. As I get older, I hope to continue adding more hobbies and interests to my life.
I don’t want to get out of the habit of learning, making, and trying new things. Keeping it a priority in my life now is an investment in that future.
If you’re feeling like you can’t make time for something that’s just for you, I encourage you to take small steps. Get your supplies prepared, set up whatever space you can, and find those thirty minute lulls where you can sneak away.
You don’t have to finish anything big. Instead, simply focus on giving yourself a little bit of creative time as it become a part of your life again.
If you have tips for cultivating new hobbies as an adult, we would love to hear them in the comments! xx- Elsie
P.S. If you love this post, check out our podcast episode, The Importance of Hobbies as an Adults, with Elise Blaha Cripe.