Mamafierce | hobbies
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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


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

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Self defense class

Good form. BAD outfit.

For those of us moms who are married or in a long-term relationship, it hasn’t been “all about you” for quite some time but man, is there nothing like having a baby to drive that point home. I really feel like this was the the fire under my ass that got me to register for self-defense classes. Not to mention I live in Oakland which, as much as I love it, is not the safest city in the U.S. (aaaactually, it’s the third most dangerous out of cities with a population between 100,000 and 499,000. Eep).

When I started my Googling for local self-defense classes, a lot of martial arts popped up–krav maga, karate, kick boxing, etc. All of these sound pretty sexy to me, especially krav maga which is getting trendier by the second in the “hot girl” community. I think they are finally getting tired of the leering and Israeli street fighting sounds a little scarier than karate.

Anyhoo, tempted as I was to take on a martial art, it became apparent those classes spend A LOT of time on technique, precision, and conditioning before they even get down to what you should do if approached by an attacker.

Perfect example: My instructor told me to sweep his leg after stomping his foot and breaking out of a choke hold. My instinct was to swing my leg from the hip and take out his knee with my shin. Bad idea. MMA fighters have the luxury of ultra-strong shins from kicking the bag all day. It not only builds muscle, it creates tiny fractures in the bone that heal and harden over time. So basically my unconditioned shins could snap like twigs if I tried this in real life. By hammering his knee with the bottom of my foot, I magically skip months of bag kicking and still bring down my attacker. This is the real difference between self-defense and martial arts. We don’t have a lifetime to prepare for shit to go down.

My self-defense class is based in Brazilian jiu-jitsu but it is very basic. Blocking, kicking, gaining leverage, these are all very un-fancy concepts. Still, I of course felt pumped after the first lesson. But my adrenaline immediately made me scared.

I feel blessed to have a very “shit happens” attitude about life in general. It also literally keeps me sane as a parent. And anything that gives me an illusion of control immediately frightens me. Because deep down, like all people, I like control. My subconscious begs to be in the driver seat for all situations. But self defense is not a guarantee against victimization. It merely increases the odds, however marginally, that you may walk away from a potentially very fucked up situation. So that’s my final reminder to you. Take the class. Cross your fingers. Shit happens.