We had a Secret Santa at my part-time job this past December. Because I don’t have enough going on with my life, and because I wanted someone to give me a gift that I didn’t buy for myself, I decided to join in. First, I had to answer a few questions:
What is my favorite color? Red
What is my favorite drink? Booze or coffee depending on the time of day.
What are my favorite hobbies? Anything that gets me away from my kids.
Ignore my first two responses, I want to talk about my third. When I hear the word, “hobbies,” I, like most Moms, snort, roll my eyes and think, “Ha! what are those? You mean what do I do in my SPARE time? I don’t HAVE ANY SPARE TIME!” Hence, my snarky responses to the Secret Santa questionnaire. But my responses were not helpful to the poor soul who picked me this year and left him to wonder why I have six kids if my hobbies are in fact getting away from them. I also wonder if he worried about my second response in conjunction with my third, but he played it safe and got me a Starbucks gift card instead of booze. Smart man.
I LOVE my children. They are my FAVORITE. When you ask me who I am, my very first response is, “I’m a Mom.” It unequivocally defines who I am. But when I am home, I am the default parent. Every. Single. Freaking. Time. My husband may be sitting in the room with them and they will walk out of the room, up two flights of stairs to find me in the master bathroom on the toilet to ask me to help take apart two Legos.
Apparently, I am also the only one to contact by text as illustrated below:
I have been told that I have more energy than average because people see me pursue my interests while balancing a larger than average brood. I do not believe that is true. Instead, I believe that I am highly motivated to do extracurriculars on the regular so that I can be loving to my humans when I am home. This is how I take care of me, so I can take care of them.
I have a part-time job.
While many weekends are filled with sports and fun, there is also downtime at home. And when nothing special is happening, I am on. On weekends such as these, I’m breaking up fights, feeding people, denying Xbox use, doing a few loads of laundry and nagging my teenager to get off of his phone to see the light of day. Since most of these things also happen during the week, I have found that I don’t get what people consider to be a weekend. But, when I am at work, I get to hang out with some really positive and fun people (customers and coworkers) while my husband is in charge (which is good for everyone-they CAN survive without me!). And when I get home, if I’m lucky, dinner is made and the house is mostly intact.
Sometimes I run a lot. Sometimes I run in freezing temps or record heat just to get out of my house. But, I am amazingly pleasant once I’m done, so I have learned it is worth braving the elements and losing some sleep. Not only am I benefiting daily, but my kids see me putting myself out there. This past summer my oldest, who is in the Navy, told me that he had a really tough nine mile run with his group and he wasn’t sure if he could do it. Then he told himself, “If Mom can run marathons, I can do this.” I like to think it’s a compliment, but he could be saying, “If Mom can do marathons then pretty much anyone can and I need to stop whining.” Fair enough. Either way, my kids see me doing something I love and I think it’s a good thing.
I teach and practice yoga.
An hour of peace and quiet on my mat, and I am a changed woman.
I read books.
Once the littles are in bed I’m on the couch reading. Books have changed my outlook on life and have given me much to discuss when I see other adults. And, when the kids were tiny, I had something to focus on besides potty training, dishes and drool.
It should be noted that while my “hobbies” include time away from my kids, spending time with my family is the most precious thing that I can think of. I just need balance: time for me, time with them in order to give them the best version of myself that I can give.