In this post, I am going to share some of my ideas on how to find a hobby when you’re a busy mum.
Are you struggling to think of what you could do to tap into your creative side? Or find out what you’re passionate about?
And on top of that, you have a family, a busy life and that feeling of not really knowing who you are anymore?
When I started Hannah Hand Makes, my hobby (cross stitch) quickly became my work. Cross stitch definitely helped me on the road to finding myself again after becoming “mum”. And although I am so passionate about it I knew I needed another hobby/outlet/way to relax.
I always recommend cross stitch as the perfect creative hobby for a new mum. It’s easy, you can pick it up and put it down, you can move it around the house easily, it doesn’t require much brain juice. And as reader/customer/stitcher, Eilidh, said: “it’s practical for family life”.
If you want to try and cross stitch, I have a free guide which will help get you started.
But maybe you are like me and have turned cross stitch into a business for yourself. Or you just don’t fancy cross stitch. Well, this post will help you tap into some other ideas of hobbies for yourself.
6 Tips to Find a New Hobby
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1. Think about 10 year old you
In Summer 2018 I read a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin* and quickly fell in love with her and all of her wonderful advice.
One part of the book really stuck out at me…
“do what you do. What you enjoyed doing as a ten year old, or choose to do on a free Saturday afternoon”.Gretchen Rubin | The Happiness Project
I loved this idea! So I started thinking about what I did when I was 10 (because let’s face it, how many mums have a free Saturday afternoon, especially in the early stages).
Rollerblading (that could probably be dangerous now); playing Polly Pockets; reading; scrapbooking; drawing; writing; looking at old photos; cross stitch.
OK, so I was already channeling my ten-year-old self a little bit. But this idea intrigued me and I decided to make some small changes.
For example, I wanted to start reading paper books again instead of just ones on my kindle, so set up a library date every Thursday with the kids. But instead of just getting books for them, I got myself one too. You can make it even easier on yourself and sanity by reserving books online to pick up in your local library.
If you want to try reading more I have a post with 7 tips on how to do that when you’re a mum.
I’ve started a cross stitch scrapbook full of designs I have stitched but never done anything with and stuck in any patterns from magazines I had, which also meant I could clear out my magazine stash – win-win! (If you want more tips on decluttering your craft supplies, head over here).
I read the Princess Diaries series again. I loved those books and films and still know the words by heart. Did I feel a little silly reading these books in my 20s? Actually, not at all! They made me feel so nostalgic but in a good way.
I got an adult colouring-in book. And a sketchbook. And allll the pens.
I started this blog. I was already blogging a tiny bit, but I decided to really go for it. Which is also kind of business-y but hey, I’m still counting it.
And of course, I still cross stitch!
Now it’s your turn. Grab a notebook, a journal, a scrap bit of paper. Your phone if you have to but I always find brainstorming works better with a pen to paper.
Write the question “What did I enjoy doing when I was 10 years old?” and jot down anything that comes to your mind, no matter how silly.
Is there anything on that list that you can turn into a hobby for yourself now?
If this doesn’t work, or you want to try something new, don’t worry, I have a few other ideas for you.
2. Use Pinterest
Pinterest is like a dream come true for finding your perfect hobby. From needle punching to weaving, to writing, to beauty, you can find resources for almost everything on there.
You might need something to start your search; an idea you have that you think could turn into a hobby. Start broad and general, for example, “knitting” and see what Pinterest suggests for you.
At the top, just under the search box, you will find tiles of all types of things. Using the knitting example, if I type that into the box, I get “for beginners” “patterns” “projects” “men” “inspiration” “blanket” and so many more.
If you are really stuck and can’t think of anything to start (baby brain is real, I’m with you) the have a look at some of my boards.
Maybe there’s a holiday coming up that could help give you some inspiration; Christmas and Easter being huge new hobby opportunities.
And you can use Pinterest to search some of those hobbies from your journalling question.
3. Listen to podcasts
There are so many creative podcasts out there is can get a little overwhelming. I highly recommend Chasing Creative for some creative/hobby advice.
I also have my own podcast which is mainly about cross stitch but I also talk a bit about other types of creativity.
Elise Gets Crafty is a great podcast about making and goal setting. She also runs 100 day challenges on making.
And there is Tea and Tattle. Miranda interviews mainly authors but her conversations are just bursting with creativity. She even interviewed the lovely Joanna Basford; the illustrator behind many adult colouring in books. Which could be a new hobby for you 😉
4. Go to workshops/classes
If you can leave your kids I highly recommend looking up if there are any classes running near you. Near us we have regular wreath making classes and local writing meet up.
You can think outside the box here too! What about a beauty course? Or just go the the library for an hour on a Saturday. Read your own books or look at the crafty ones. Or what about joining your local gym or something similar?
When my first was around 1 I joined a pilates class on a Friday night. There are also many online options to learn something new.
5. Ask your friends
How many times do we ask another human what they do as a hobby?
Everyone knows my husband plays football. It’s what he does. When I first met him he played NINE times a week. NINE. And when we had kids he carried on playing (just a moderate twice a week now though). It wasn’t a question for him; he was always going to carry it on.
Do you know what your friends do? Most of us fall into 2 camps: 1) We feel guilty so give up doing what we love and feel that we don’t have time to do it anyway or 2) We are still doing some of our hobbies but also still feel guilty so keep it quiet that we are actually taking time for ourself.
NO. Just no. I’m so glad the conversation is starting to turn and mums are actually talking about what they do for self-care. But let’s face it, this is mainly happening online and how often do we have this conversation face-to-face?
Your challenge is to start that conversation with a friend. Magical things will happen when you do.
For example, 2 minds are better than 1 and sometimes you talking out that you’re looking for a new hobby will actually inspire you with some ideas.
Or your friend will have a hobby that you find interesting and you can either join her or start doing it yourself. And if she doesn’t have a hobby for herself because she’s feeling guilty/busy/tired, you might just give her the permission she needs to start one.
Once you’ve started that conversation, why not start your own craft/hobby group? Get your friends together, the kids can play and you can too!
I urge you to take Gretchen Rubin’s advice and really think about what made/makes you happy. How can you infuse some creativity into your everyday? Let me know in the comments!
I hope this post has inspired you to make a little room for creativity in your life. And if you’ve decided to choose to learn how to cross stitch (amazing choice btw), then I have tons of tutorials you can dive into. Start here with my how to guide for beginners.
And remember, a creative hobby doesn’t always have to be the typical arts and crafts; it could be writing, podcasting, photography, graphic design, problem-solving, puzzles, and so much more.
Think outside the box and what would work for you and your family life. And enjoy your new-found hobby!
- 5 Ways to Find More Time to Cross Stitch
- 7 Tips to Read More When You’re a New Mum
- 20 of My Favourite Podcasts