Thursday, August 30, 2012

101 Hobbies for Mom

Before my first baby was born, I was an avid horse-back rider.  In fact, my Mom and I have been riding since I was 13 and we loved our time together.  I also read constantly and I finished my 2nd half-marathon a few weeks before I got pregnant.  You get the idea.  I had lots of hobbies.  I had an identity.

Suddenly after my daughter arrived, my identity vanished.  I had to give up horses while I was pregnant, I couldn't run for 6 weeks after she was born, and then I had a hard time getting back into it.  Worst of all, my baby was colicky so I scoured every parenting book available to man instead of reading my beloved novels.  Slowly I found myself feeling sad and I just wasn't myself.  And no wonder!  I wasn't passionate about anything anymore besides my baby.

I decided to change this and I forced myself to start riding again.  I also went to the book store and bought several good books and forced myself to read them before I went to bed every night so that my brain was free of babies right before I went to sleep.  I discovered that when I got back to my own identity, I became a much better and happier Mom.  Every Mom needs a hobby.  We need something we are passionate about, that can feed our individual souls so that we can embrace life.  Our kids benefit from seeing Mom have a special talent or interest.

So, if you're having trouble finding your identity, I have spent several weeks coming up with 101 hobbies for Moms (You might be surprised how hard this was).  Pick one.  Or three.  And nurture your talent and get out there and enjoy a life that is separate from your children!

  1. Reading
  2. Horse-back riding
  3. Bike-riding.  This is also great for getting back into shape!
  4. Walking
  5. Running.  You can just go run a few miles, or you can get really serious and start a marathon club.  Nothing feels better than completing a long race you've trained months for.
  6. Join a book club
  7. Join a Bible Study group at your church
  8. Scrap-booking.  They even have scrap-booking "weekends" where you can sit around with your friends and chat and scrap-book!
  9. Garage-saleing
  10. Art.  This can even be turned into a way to make money.  My friend Carmen has used her talents to create an amazing business painting murals.  She paints childrens' rooms and her talents have even morphed into an oustanding photography business.
  11. Volunteering.  Find an amimal shelter or homeless shelter.  Anything that makes you feel good.
  12. Baking.  My friend Michelle has become a phenomenal baker and she started her own business and makes the most amazing cakes and cookies you have ever seen.
  13. Playing the piano
  14. Gardening
  15. Photography
  16. Crafting.  Just get on Pinterest and you'll find more ideas than you know what to do with!
  17. Illustrating.  This could even turn into a career for illustrating children's books!
  18. Sell something.  I have a friend who sells amazing Designer Jeans .  She just does it as a way to earn extra money, but really enjoys it too.   She says some people really can earn a great living this way.  And if jeans don't appeal to you, you could sell all kids of things like candles, cooking stuff, jeans, jewelry, etc.
  19. Raquetball
  20. Jazzercise (Or any dance/exercise class)
  21. Home Decorating.  This can even become a way to make money.  Offer to decorate your friends' houses to get started.
  22. Learn to speak another language
  23. Karate
  24. Raise a litter of dogs (Sounds crazy to me, but some people are very good at this and passionate about it)
  25. Collect something.  Stamps, dolls, anything you find interesting
  26. Cooking.  Take a class.  Learn to be a truly amazing cook.  Then blog about it!
  27. Cross-Fit.  This is a life-style.  They do have gyms all across the country you can join, but it's even more than that.  Trust me, my husband started it a few years ago and it's a real hobby.
  28. Painting.  If you were good at art in school, buy a few canvases and try to paint something.  I can't paint at all but I'm told it's very liberating.
  29. Knitting
  30. Become a spin-bike instructor to earn a little money
  31. Yoga
  32. Go back to school, whether just to take one class, or finish a degree.
  33. Golf.  This will likely make you very popular with your husband
  34. Swimming
  35. Shopping.  This probably won't be good for your finances, but shopping with friends can be quite good for the soul.
  36. Sailing
  37. Hunting.  Again, if you have a hunting husband, this hobby will make you very popular.
  38. Politcs.  Get involved.  Volunteer in a campaign.  Now would be a great time to do it.
  39. Become an old movie buff.
  40. Learn to sew and then you can make your kids' Halloween costumes!
  41. Join your church choir.  Or any choir if you're good at singing.
  42. Kayaking
  43. Surfing
  44. Become a dog-trainer and/or dog-walker.  This is also a great way to a little extra money.
  45. Teach a yoga or exercise class.  Great way to earn a little extra money and they often let you join the gym for free.
  46. Go antiquing.  
  47. Camping
  48. Become a realtor.  Great way to earn extra money and you might be surprised how fun it is to shop for houses.
  49. Do a triathalon.
  50. Organize a consignment sale.  This is another way to earn extra money.  Rhea Lana is a great company with franchise sales all over the country.  I have worked with them several times and they are very professional and their sales are always a huge success.  You can contact them directly about starting your own franchise.
  51. Become a high school swim coach.  This is what my Mom did when we were growing up.  She always said it kept her sane because she got out of the house for a few hours and had a great time with the high school girls.  Plus she got to earn a little extra money.
  52. Take up Tennis
  53. Organize neighborhood Bachelorette Watch Parties.  These are a great way to spend time with friends.
  54. Become an expert couponer.
  55. Become a writer/blogger.  This has been a great way for me to earn a little money and I truly enjoy doing it.  
  56. Get a side job in a bookstore or coffee shop.  Again, a great way to earn a little money and get out of the house.
  57. Make candles
  58. Make jewelry
  59. Become a tennis coach for high school girls
  60. Hiking
  61. Start a bunko group
  62. Go to Bingo.  I remember doing this with my grandma as a kid and there is nothing more exhilerating than screaming, "BINGO!!!"
  63. Become involved in your local alumnae group, for your college, your sorority, or even your high school
  64. Re-finish old furniture.  Again can be a good way to earn extra money too.
  65. Calligraphy.  If you have good hand-writing, this could be a great side business for you.
  66. Make hair bows for kids and sell them at craft fairs.
  67. Make home-made jam (and possibly try to sell it).
  68. Join a local MOPS group (Mother of Preschoolers), usually available at most churches
  69. Tutuor kids in math, science, or a language
  70. Learn some basic graphic design
  71. Become a bird-watcher.  You laugh, but some people really enjoy this and have special binoculars for this.
  72. Tail-gating.  This wil also be a fun hobby for you and your Hubby.  People can get really serious about this, and spend lots of time making food and organizing for the weekend tail-gate.
  73. Pottery
  74. Bowling
  75. Fishing
  76. Become a museum-buff
  77. Do puzzles
  78. Start or join your neighborhood welcoming committee or home-owner's association
  79. Volunteer at your kids' school.
  80. Start a bridge club
  81. Become a high-school chearleading coach.
  82. Start a poker game.  If you've ever seen Desperate Housewives you will understand how fun this could be.
  83. Teach English as a 2nd language
  84. Teach Sunday School
  85. Squash
  86. Weight-lifting
  87. Become a Twitter queen
  88. Rock-climbing
  89. Sky-diving
  90. Needle-work
  91. Play guitar
  92. Pilates
  93. Fly a helicopter
  94. Fly a plane
  95. Ballroom dancing
  96. Shoot guns
  97. Snorkeling
  98. Scuba-diving
  99. Chess 
  100. Teach Piano
  101. Become a secret shopper
I hope that you have a hobby you love.  Tell me what you love to do!

    If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read more about how to be a happier Mom in my new book, The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn.  I co-wrote it with former Kindergarten Teacher and best-selling Author, Susan Case.  We give hundreds of ways to keep your kids busy, but in productive ways so that you get more free time with your child is actually learning!  Then we have a chapter as well on how Moms can nurture themselves so that they can in turn nurture their children. 

    In fact, here is what one of my readers said about the book: 
    Love your book! Seriously, I rate it up there with my heroes Elizabeth Pantley and John Rosemond in terms of day-to-day usefulness. Bravo! ~Dawn@Prickly Mom

    You can download the first chapter for free on Kindle to make sure you like it or see us chat live about it so you can get a feel for whether it's something you want to spend your money on!

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    1. I really like this post! It took me a while to feel like I regained my identity after my son was born. I think you are just so focused on that child that you lose all sense of self. Its jarring and somewhat depressing.
      One of my favorite hobbies is photography. So I didn't lose that when Darius was born, I just had a constant subject for my pictures.
      But I also love drawing and wasn't able to do that for a couple of years. That bummed me out.
      I also am very involved in my church and do a lot of volunteering and Bible study. That defiantly helped me maintain my sanity and feeling of self.
      Thanks for posting this! Gives me some ideas to try for new hobbies now that my son is old enough for me to have some free time.

      1. Thanks Angela! It's so interesting to hear what other people love to do!!

    2. Loved reading this post! I went through the same thing when I had Emma and it took a while to figure out what brought me back to happy me I used to be but I actually do a few things you listed up there! <3 It's great!

      1. Jennifer, I'm so glad you have figured out what makes you happy! Thanks so much for the support!

    3. Replies
      1. Hannah, nope, it was #55! :-) But I did put "become a writer/blogger" so it was easy to miss :-)

    4. I had the same issue when my son Kaleb was born. I was a stay at home mom and was going crazy. When he was 19 months old I put him in daycare for the first time! Now I can do everything I love to do! I get to work out, ride motorcycles and read!! Its amazing. when the semester is over I will make some pillows ( Im a nursing student that sucks up most of my time)

      1. Wow, ride motorcycles! Darn, I missed one!! :-)

    5. I think the biggest "hobby" for me was my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)group. I loved learning from the speakers, connecting with friends, and having childcare for my kids. When I became a leader in the group, it gave me purpose and fulfilled a need I had for leadership and service. Love connecting women to MOPS! They've been going strong for almost 40 years and recognize the needs of women - especially those who have just had kids.

      Other things I've enjoyed: Thrifting, coupons, and I also learned a new craft and started a handmade jewelry business. Tons to learn about and classes to take. Great list I hope it's inspiring to women looking for their "thing".

      1. Kristen, those MOPS groups are totally amazing!! And I agree with you...I sort of wish I could be a student forever! It's amazing how much there is out there to learn! Thanks for swinging by!

    6. As a realtor, I have to say - that's not a "hobby" - it's a career! Sorry....just defending how hard I've worked! It's like saying nursing is a hobby. Other then that - I liked most of your list! Thanks for sharing it! It's hard to find an identity after kids. I know I struggled for a long time! (hence changing careers to realtor) Good luck to everyone finding their way!

      1. Kelly, great point! I have definitely known some over the years that got into being a realtor mostly as a hobby, but you are totally right! For some it is a great career...congrats to you! Glad you liked the rest of my list though! :-)

    7. I am soo stoked that I've discovered your blog! I'm just glad that I'm not the only mom who feels like being a mommy has made my identity just a "mommy". There's so much more to us moms than just being a parent and that's what I'm trying to get across in my blog as well. Thanks for being another mom I can actually relate to!

      ~XoXo Jess

      1. Thanks so much Jessica! That is so nice of you and I will definitely check out your blog too. Have a lovely day!!

    8. Play roller Derby! One of the best things I've ever done for myself.

    9. Play roller Derby! One of the best things I've ever done for myself.

    10. Very nice post for me - I have too many hobbies already! atv rental

    11. After I had my second child I realized that I wasn't doing anything fun just for me. So, I started back to something I'd been doing off and on since high school. My hobby is researching my family history.

    12. It took me years after my kids were born to finally give in to my passion for photography! I now work on improving my skills and continue teaching myself from the ground up. It has taken me hours upon hours to find information and how-to's on everything photography. I recently began a website, , just for moms interested in photography that includes much of the information I spent weeks finding. I am still working on the content, but feel free to take a look if you would like.


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