Motherhood is pretty all-encompassing, isn't it? I don't think a few minutes goes by when I don't think about my kids. I've become used to this notion by now, with a 6 year old and a 4 year old under my roof.
One thing that took me a while was to remember that having a family doesn't need to replace our other goals, and I don't just mean our careers. When I had my son, I quit my teaching job to stay home with him. I didn't have any help available, so it made sense that I would be the one to care for him. We had our ups and downs that first year.
Then I had my daughter, and again, my life was flooded with childcare-- feeding, diapering, napping-- you know, everything.
Image is not me, but it's pretty great!
But within that insanely tiring and overwhelming period, I did manage to carve out a tiny bit of time to do one thing for myself: blog. You're reading the fruits of that labor right now. I started Frantic Mama when my son was one, and it slowly transformed my life.
Even though only about 3 people (my mom and husband included) read it at first, writing still felt wonderful, and I soon found myself connecting with others about the trials and tribulations of motherhood. It has since led to publishing and a part-time freelance career.
Then, when my daughter was two, I carved out a little more time to pursue another passion-- riding. Why not? I realized. Life it short, after all, and I wasn't getting any younger. There was pretty much no reason I couldn't carve out 2 hours a weekend for myself (though, sure, we moms are very good at coming up with a list of 20 things we "must" do). You have to make the time. It was up to me.
Though I felt guilty for a while, I stuck with my Saturday riding sessions, and doing so has opened up other doors for me (writing about horses, in particular-- a perfect career fit for me) as well as meeting new people, gaining new skills and experiences, and exercising in an awesome environment. I no longer have to look back and wish I had done it-- because I do it.
[Side note: try not to let money get in your way. It's easy to say, "well, I don't have the money to do it." Yes, some hobbies are expensive, but others aren't: my blog is free, going to a museum is free, reading at the library is free, joining a running club is free, drawing and painting are (almost) free. One of my favorite activities, volunteering at a therapy riding program, is also free.]
I wrote about my experience on Parent.co here, and I would love it if you gave it a read.
Perhaps my story will even inspire some of you to try something new and to make time for yourself (other than torturing yourself on a treadmill or wandering Target for an hour-- those are not the passions I'm encouraging, ladies! Think bigger!).
There is more out there. I hope to keep finding it, and I hope you do too.
~Julia @ Frantic Mama
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