Let’s be honest, as parents, it is hard to have time for our own hobbies. For goodness sake, I wake up at 4:30 in the morning just so I can workout without a child sitting on me while I try to do it. This got me thinking about the importance of hobbies and why I need to be more respectful of my husband’s hobbies.
I have a confession to make: sometimes I am jealous that my husband is able to participate in things that bring him joy, while I am over here barely holding my head above water. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about how much I have to do as a parent, because I want to be a parent more than anything else in this life. I want to watch my kids grow up. I want to see them play flag football. I want to help them with their homework. I want to stay up way too late finishing a picture prop for their first day of school. But, I also want to write, workout, take a baking class, catch a concert with a friend, learn how to play the guitar, and go kayaking! We all know that it is difficult to balance things in this life, so I am taking a new approach to how I view my husband and his hobbies.
He deserves this time too.
We all work hard as parents, maybe just not in the same ways. I have accepted that maybe, just maybe, hubby and I are better at different parenting skills. When it comes time for the things that require extra patience, I know that is my cue to step in with the kids. I also know that when it is a situation involving an emotionally difficult topic, like death, he is the better person for the job. Let’s face it, teaching a 5 year-old to tie their shoe is going to take longer than having a conversation about something important. That is no fault of my husband’s, but it feels just a little unfair that he can then immediately go do something with the horses, while I’m back here on step 3 of 567 steps to tying a shoe. But, just because his parenting duty took less time than mine, does not mean that it was any less important. I have to constantly remind myself that he deserves a little “him” time too!
Outlets are important.
Stress is everywhere, all the time. Life is full of hidden and obvious stressors, so it is important to our health that we have outlets for that stress. My husband’s outlets happen to be fantasy football and pool league. When I think about how any good relationship (marriage, friendship, teacher-student, parent-child) has to have stress relief built in, it only makes sense that I would want my husband to participate in his hobbies. I know we are all familiar with that saying, “happy wife, happy life,” well it goes both ways. If my husband doesn’t have that time to watch his fantasy football players preform or that one night a week where he gathers for comaraderie and plays pool, then life becomes only about work and home. I think we all know how important it is for the soul that we are more than just work and home. We need other connections. We need conversations about things other than paperwork that wasn’t turned in and the electric bill we forgot to pay.
Maybe try something together (or apart)?
I know lots of couples who do everything together. They live together, work together and they do all the same hobbies together. I just want to give a shout-out to those couples! Seriously, that is awesome and I commend you on being able to be THAT AMAZING that someone wants to hang with you every waking (and sleeping) second of their day. I realize that all relationships are different and that we all operate in different ways. As one of my other mama friends always puts it, “different strokes for different folks.” This has taught me that it is okay to accept that my husband may need some time on his own to do things that bring him joy. Instead of feeling like he doesn’t want to hang out with us, I need to be thankful that his hobbies don’t include anything that could be a health risk. Trying a hobby together can also be a good thing to curb my hobby jealousy. We like to attend high school football games together. I enjoy this because even though we take the kids, it gives us an outlet that allows us to forget everything else for at least four quarters. We are also going to attempt weekend workouts together. I think this could be an exciting new way to connect and explore hobby-bliss together!