“If you had a free hour or two, what would you do?”
This question was recently posed at a moms group. It was followed up with a list of option to choose from, things like ‘spend time with friends’ and ‘spend time in nature.’ And all I could think of was “no clue!”
I really felt like I was beginning to forget the things that I enjoyed doing. While my days were full of activity (life with two kids!), they weren’t necessarily activities that left me feeling recharged. And as we went from no kids, to one, to two, I found time for the activities I enjoyed getting squeezed out.
So I got to thinking. And it didn’t take too long to come up with some things that I really enjoy doing. Things that if given a chunk of time, I would totally take the opportunity to work on.
I love creating things, whether it be a craft or cooking a meal from scratch. But between the needs of a baby and toddler and the various other daily activities (like running a business and a household), it’s hard to find time to devote to these creative outlets. I realized that I needed to get creative in how I fit these things into my life.
First up was being realistic with my expectations. While I enjoy hunting for and trying new recipes, I simply do not have time to pour into that right now. So instead of trying to come up with new recipes each week, I stick to some trusty ones and occasionally try something new that looks promising (but that also won’t take an entire day to prepare!). In the last few months I’ve also taken to meal planning. By planning our dinners a week in advance and making only one trip to the grocery store each week, I’ve freed up time to do other more fun activities.
Second, around that same time I realized our daughter, who is two, enjoys cooking. Just like her mommy! So now cooking, or more accurately baking (you know, the safer thing, where no cutting is involved), is often a joint activity. Instead of only cooking to get meals on the table, from time to time we now bake together. Two birds with one stone: she’s entertained and we can make something!
It is still a struggle. But by finding ways to do things I both need to do and enjoy doing in one task, I’ve learned to feed my own creative needs a bit again. And now I know what I will do when those elusive one or two free hours emerge!
How are you making time for the things you enjoy?