A few months ago one of my children noted that I don’t have any hobbies.
Then a couple of weeks ago, my 6-yr-old asked what I did in my spare time. I wasn't convinced he understood the concept so asked what he did in his free time He replied that he enjoys playing tag. Clearly, he did understand. Considering I don’t have an abundance of this “spare time” he speaks of, I was left thinking hard on an answer. To buy some time, I asked what he thought I did in my spare time. He suggested perhaps I knit once everyone is in bed. Knitting – alrighty then.
Last week,during a beach holiday, the kids were having surfing lessons and I thought I’d give it a crack. As I walked towards the waves decked out in my wetsuit ,surfboard in arms, my 13-yr-old looked at me and said “This is SO weird…you never actually do anything except take care of us and work at Mabel’s Labels”.
And he was right. Whenever our family does fun things, I’m in the background taking care and organizing. While everyone is downhill skiing, I’m in the chalet with a baby, organizing lunch. When everyone is swimming in the lake at the cottage, I’m putting a baby down for a nap and prepping for dinner. When everyone is swimming in the backyard pool, I’m poolside with my laptop trying to get a bit of work done.
Although I’m generally opposed to New Years’ resolutions (based on the fact that I suffer enough), those incidents made me realize that my kids are interested in knowing I do things other than take care of them and work.
So the time has come and there is no better moment than now. You see, there are no more babies that need naps or are too young to participate. My youngest will be four in a few months and is now an active participant in all the fun family activities. It’s about time I become one too. Also, come September, all my children will be in school. Perhaps this will allow more working “normal” hours and less working poolside.
I suppose I never worried about hobbies because I love my work and enjoy my kids so much. I don’t feel like there is anything missing – but maybe it is important to THEM that I do something else. Do you have hobbies? Do you think it’s important for kids to see you have a life outside of them?
Now, off to find those knitting needles…