What Do You Do for a Hobby?

Updated on August 31, 2017
G.T. asks from Canton, MA
18 answers

I feel like I don't do anything for myself. I get up at the crack of dawn and workout in my pajamas. I scramble to get myself and the kids ready in the morning, I work full-time, then scramble to get the kids to their after school activities (or the coordinate with the sitter) them come home and collapse!
I hear from people at work who play guitar or paint, or act, or do SOMETHING. Granted most of them don't have kids, and I don't have much time, nor do I have ANY idea what I would do.
But I would like to do something - some sort of hobby.
What do you working moms find the time for?
I probably should clean my house, LOL, but hell, that's boring!

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answers from Baton Rouge on

When Spawn was little, I took up needlework as a hobby - knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch. It was something that I could work on any time I had a few minutes to myself (like when she was napping or busy playing with her toys), or even while sitting watching tv, and was easy to put down quickly if the need arose.

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answers from Boston on

I knit. It's a very portable hobby so I knit in dr office waiting room, while watching tv, basically anytime anywhere. When my kids were younger I'd knit in the car waiting for them to finish their activities. Worked out great because I never had to buy mittens, gloves, scarves, hats or socks.

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answers from New York on

I don't think it is as important to have a "hobby" as it is to do something small for yourself every day. Even when I was in the "thick of things" with all 6 kids at home, playing sports, 2 are special needs, band, orchestra, choir, my full-time job, their jobs, etc., I found time to read EVERY DAY even if it was only for 5 minutes. Now I don't have quite so many kids at home, I have expanded to golfing and running.

You can journal on your lunch hour, take 5 minutes in the morning to meditate, go for a short walk after dinner, anything at all. The last thing I ask myself each day is what did I do for ME today - believe me, it is sanity restoring and energy boosting.

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You're taking care of everyone but yourself. You're not alone. But I hope you can find time for what you WANT and not just what you SHOULD DO.

I do crossword puzzles and similar things (I get those variety puzzle books in the magazine aisle of the supermarket every so often). I remind myself that stress reduction and mental games are good for keeping cognitive functioning especially later in life.

I work out in a class 3 times a week - it's social and affirming, and we've become friends, holding pot luck dinners a few times a year. We figure, we can lift weights 3 times a week and therefore life a wine glass and a fork now and then! We sing some of the songs while working out - we're just goofballs about it - and it's really fun (we forget we're lifting weights). For example, if the instructor puts on oldies like "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do," we'll sing "working out is hard to do" instead. Anything silly that makes you laugh is a good thing!

I sing in a women's chorus that rehearses every week and then does concerts in nursing homes and memory care units 4 times in December and 4 times in May. We occasionally do another performance at a town celebration or arts festival. With my own mother now in the final stages of Alzheimer's, I see how important it is and how music can sometimes reach someone who's largely lost in that haze of dementia.

I garden a little - not enough to get exhausted or feel overburdened, but enough to enjoy the color and the pleasure of blooms. I have a large pot of mixed herbs on the porch - sometimes just cutting fresh rosemary or parsley to make a marinade for whatever I'm putting on the grill (potatoes, mixed vegetables, chicken....) makes me feel connected to nature and less tied to the supermarrket.

I read - a real book - before bed to be sure I get off the screens and the to-do lists. When I was overburdened with a child and 2 stepkids, I found goofy books like the Janet Evanovich series of "detective" type novels (Stephanie Plum is the heroine), but with absurd silliness. They aren't complicated and their largely implausible, which makes them fun. You might try something like that, with a character you can follow from book to book so you don't have to focus as much when you're tired!

I have a friend whose husband has Parkinson's and just drains her totally every day. She tries to do one thing for herself every day and she has a rule that she does not allow herself to feel guilty about what else she's not doing at that moment.

You know the flight attendant safety speech that goes, "Put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting those around you"?? They know that, if you pass out from lack of oxygen, you're not good to your child in the next seat. Good advice for woking moms and everyone else too! Make that your at-home motto.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

What brings you happiness when you do it? I guess I dabble in a lot of hobbies. I love making art but it's hard to find time...so i am often doing small projects. Or I will sign up for a one time class. Every couple years or so I take a 6 week long art class in the evenings to learn a new technique. I love hiking, kayaking, skiing, rock climbing. I do them occassionally...when I can fit it in. My husband and I have had one mountain climbing date which I will never forget! The babysitter had to arrive at 5am and stay all day...bless her. I love working in my small garden boxes and trying to beautiful in front with flowers. I love to read. I love farm animals...they make me very happy...but I have no chicken and goat hobby yet. I tend to help my neighbor on Saturday or Sunday morning with her goats/sheep/chickens/turkeys. So I get my fix that way! PS - Many of these hobbies are things I can involve the kids with so I just incorporate them. I've swapped kids with a friend to get time to do something I wanted to do. I sometimes will even just be selfish and do what I want and let them watch movies or whatever!

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answers from Norfolk on

I spend time in my garden.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think you need, and deserve, some time to yourself.

You can find local ladies groups, bible study groups, book reading clubs, exercise classes at the Y, going to a painting night once a month or so, go audition for a community play, go see a movie by yourself, lock the doors and go take a bubble bath!

We deserve to have time to ourselves. We are first and foremost a woman with needs that has to have time to restore ourselves or we will burn out and be worthless to everyone else.

Make time for you. Tell hubby or grandma or best friend that you need a certain amount of time and that you're asking them for their support.

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answers from New York on

Diane made the "oxygen mask" analogy first, but I was going to say the same thing - it is important to keep yourself balanced in order to be able to effectively help people around you (including your family).

I think there are two general "types" of hobbies you can do - hobbies that can be done alone, at home (like at the "crack of dawn" time you mention, or late at night after children are asleep), or, hobbies that get you out of the house with a group of people (book club, etc). The latter can be a lot of fun and a way to develop nice friendships, but might require more childcare maneuvering than the alone-at-home hobbies.

You should definitely give some thought to what sounds like a fun activity to you - lots of great ideas in the posts below!

Also - it sounds like you *do* have a hobby now, you work out at the crack of dawn every day! That "crack of dawn" is a window of time that many working people use for hobbies (waking up an hour early to read a good book, etc).

(One good way to squeeze "hobby time" into a busy workday - think about "hobbies" that can be done on your smartphone/computer, which is always with you during the day. Reading a book digitally, crossword puzzle apps, etc. Any downtime, even a quick commute to a meeting, can be a minute to pick that up.)

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I am part of a book club. It meets monthly, and I miss at least half of them because of schedule conflicts, but I read all the books and I really enjoy it when I do get to go.

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answers from Boston on

I so get it! I loved my work and I love my children, but had zero time for myself for years. Both work and children were avenues for lots of creativity, so I never felt too bad with not having a hobby.

I hope you find time for a hobby, and if you get a lunch hour (I did not), I would think that might be a time to take 15 minutes to do "your thing".

Now I enjoy visiting family and sick friends, reading, painting..... I enjoy just about everything!

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answers from Honolulu on

I research our family genealogy online. It's interesting and relaxing. And I create digital photo pages and digital scrapbooks. That way I don't have to worry about getting supplies out (paints, paper, yarn, craft supplies, music sheets, etc). All I need to do is open my laptop. What I've learned about our ancestors has been really interesting. I've joined a couple of sites (ancestry.com, Fold3 which is a military records archive, etc). Sometimes I just read about what was happening when Great-great-grandfather fled his country - the wars or famine or whatever the political climate was at the time in his country.

I also love cooking and for me that's a great stress reliever.

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answers from Kansas City on

Don't your pajamas smell??? I'm sorry, but I really can't get past that! LOL!

I don't work, so I'm not really your target audience, but I do think it's good for the soul to get out of the house and be with other adults! I am part of two book clubs actually although traditionally I have only done one so we'll see how this goes! I know some ladies who do Bunco and other people who play on a co-ed softball team. I do think it's important to find something for yourself. I love reading and sometimes life gets so busy that it's an easy thing to push by the wayside but this helps keep it in the forefront.

We just moved into a new subdivision and there's a group here that meets every month or so at the clubhouse for various activities, you might see if your area has something like that.



answers from Boston on

I'm in the same grind as you - I'm out the door at 7:20 AM (and when school starts next week, the kids will be too) and home sometime between 6:30 and 7:30 PM. Evenings are spent at hockey rinks, school events, tutoring, studying and walking the dog. Then I collapse into bed and start over again.

Right now my only hobbies are reading books for pleasure and playing piano. I'm not very good, but I have a lot of music books and try to learn a new, easy song every few weeks. It's something that I can just sit down and do when I have 10-15 minutes free and doesn't require any setup or cleanup. And it's not a hobby per se, but I do try to make time to go out with friends for dinner or drinks or even just have a friend come with me when I walk my dog. It's a good way to socialize when doing something I have to do anyway.


answers from San Francisco on

I think a "hobby" is just spending time doing things you like. Of course your life is pretty full with work and kids right now, but as the kids get older (and especially when they start driving themselves to school and activities) you will find more time to explore your own interests.
My personal interests/hobbies include:
cooking/baking, photography, travel, reading (on my own and with my monthly book club), DIY home decorating/gardening, local hikes and yoga



answers from Amarillo on

You have to make time to do things for you. You become a bit selfish for you. Plan a time for you and do it whether it be reading, sewing, cooking, painting, etc.

I love to sew and do it most of the time. Hubby says he knows when I don't feel well because I don't sit and sew and get into the zone in the evening or weekends.

Besides having a hobby is a great way to prevent the empty nest syndrome when kids leave home as you have something to do with your time for you.

Good luck on finding your hobby.

the other S.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm going to recommend knitting or crochet. You can do it while watching TV, in the school pick up line, or at the doctor's office. I feel crocheting is cheaper but it is in the look you like. A lot of libraries offer free or no cost classes and groups.


answers from Springfield on

i crochet, embroider by hand, quilt, sew purses and doll clothing. and when the weather is just right i garden. my kids start school at 9 i go to a workout class at 930 so that gives me several uninterrupted minutes of sitting in the car to relax and crochet. after the kids are in bed i work on other things too. when they are in school i take care of the garden, can the harvest and clean the house.


answers from Los Angeles on

I go to the beach. Sing.go shopping on my hoveround with my grandkids.

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