Mamafierce | boredom
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Gardening

And look at those wellies! Cute.

Being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t grant you all the free time in the world but there is a certain amount of flexibility in some of our schedules that does create occasional gaps where we don’t even know what to do with ourselves. And I don’t know about you, but my go-to things to pass the time aren’t necessarily all that great for me. Online shopping, daytime TV watching, and stuffing my face, in about that order, are what immediately come to mind.

These things aren’t very productive but on the same token, cramming relatively unimportant chores and errands into every last unscheduled minute of your day isn’t exactly healthy either. Seriously, unless it REALLY bothers you, cleaning the dust and grease off the top of the fridge can wait until moving day LIKE IT USUALLY DOES.

The best hobbies for moms at home should offer a balance of “me time” and productivity. Here are a few criteria you should consider when selecting your new favorite pastime:

1. Use Your Skills

If you already have special talents like a grasp on music, a great sense of taste and smell, or a knack for fixing things, think about how you can use these attributes to their full potential. If this pep talk sounds familiar, it’s the same conversation you may have had in high school or college with a guidance counselor. And back then while you might have been terrified to choose a single career path to follow for the next 40-50 years, this is a much better time in your life where you can focus on “projects” rather than grand plans for the future. You finally have the luxury of dabbling, so fucking go for it.

2. Learn Something

Hobbies are indeed most rewarding when you can learn new tricks and in this information age, learning has never been easier. You may not have the extra cash or hours in your day for a guitar lesson but YouTube has you covered! On demand and always for free, Internet learning is the answer. However if you do have the means, in-person classes will get you out of the house and socializing, making them totally worth it.

3. Think Practical

This is where the productive part comes in. You will get the most bang out of your buck by choosing a hobby you can put to good use for your home and family. Gardening will beautify your yard and feed everyone. And if your husband is anything like mine, sewing will keep him from looking like a hobo because god forbid he have to buy new pants.

4. Soothe Your Soul

If you are desperately in need of some R&R but still feel guilty even thinking about a spa day, it can be hard to enjoy time that is truly for yourself. I encourage any hard-working mom to try and work through those emotions but in the meantime, your hobby should definitely be a relaxing one. If you feel too challenged or overwhelmed, put it aside for another time and pick up something that comes a little more naturally. Personally I haven’t tried knitting but it must be relaxing if I see at least two people doing it in every single 12-step meeting I have ever attended. Seriously.

5. Must Be Sustainable

If your hobby is cheap, year-round, and easily accessible, you will most likely stick with it and cultivate a beautiful friendship. Hobbies really are like people. Sometimes it takes time to warm up to them. I have known people to suddenly get really into football and then at the season’s end they’re all sadface. Then they try to get into something else but nothing compares…noTHING compares…to youuuuuu. And now you totally have to download that song.

A complete list of my hobbies:

Singing (currently with a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band that is as of yet unnamed but my vote is on Freakapotamus)

Guitar (although I am very, very bad at it)

Paleo baking

Sewing

What are some of your hobbies and why are they important?

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Zune MP3 Player

Yes, that’s a Zune. Seven years old and it still works. Suck it, iPod.

I’m currently in month four of a whopping six-month maternity leave and before the baby even popped out, I found myself bored stupid and Googling “bored maternity leave.” If you’ve done the same, you will find many a discussion thread of great but generally repetitive tips on how not to kill yourself slowly with compulsive snacking and daytime television. So, in a series I will call FTM (full-time mom) Tips, here are some things that have kept me sane and entertained thus far.

Listen To Music That Makes You Feel Cool

Not guilty pleasure music and not necessarily your favorite music, but songs and artists that you feel give you a little street cred. You know what I’m talking about, don’t lie! There is that favorite music list you would put on an online dating profile, and then there is that secret list that would only be revealed if you chose truth instead of dare. Listen to the former as much as possible. Because you will spend more time indoors and basically alone, you will have more freedom to indulge in your dirty little secrets, and that’s totally cool. But don’t overdo it. You still have appearances to keep up–to yourself. Think about it.

And While You’re At It, Get Into New Music

Search for stuff you already have on Amazon. The suggestions that pop up afterward are usually pretty legit. Ergo the baby around a local record store that has listening booths are those little red…thingy machines. Think of it this way, you are going to eventually hang out with your friends again and it would be awesome if you had something other than red butt and reflux to talk about, particularly if most of your friends have yet to spawn (whole ‘nother can of worms entirely, but we’ll get to that in due time).