A conversation over a glass of wine

Former hobby

Former hobby

The other day I was chatting to my husband about something that I had something to sell on Craigslist. He said “Ooooh, you should get a good few dollars to sink into a hobby with THAT”.

I grinned. Then I paused and said “I don’t have any hobbies anymore….”.

“Seriously Wes, you have a little bit of time in the day, and your evenings. I get up, have breakfast and go to work. I come home, cook dinner (which it is my choice to do), eat with the family, and then because I have missed Sam all day, I insist on doing the bath-play-bottle-bed routine. Sam goes down at 8, I clear up and it is 8.20. I am too tired to think about a hobby, plus, it is time I want to spend with you! On the weekends, I like to take Sam on a playdate Saturday mornings, and Sunday mornings are church… on both days, I get home at 1, always have some work / chores, and then by 5 it is time to be thinking about dinner again. I don’t have any hobbies! I barely maintain the aquarium that I have, and there is nowhere to go hiking or biking in Houston. I can’t make the gym and get back to lifting and if I bake there is no one to eat it because I don’t go out anymore!”.

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Another pause.

“In those few hours that I do have, I like to do Sam’s scrapbook, and his baby book, but I don’t really need much for that”.

Wes looked at me and said “Well… you really wanted a baby. I guess your hobby is your baby”.

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New hobby

I guess so.

It is not quite accurate – I do have a hobby of voluntary work: volunteering weekly at MD Anderson, sponsoring a child ton whom I write to regularly, and helping with the church childcare once a month. And I chose to cook the evening meal because I enjoy cooking and like to do that. But I used to do so much: video games, reading, hiking, a tonne of sports, travel… I feel like the old Lekki is gone.

My sponsored child

My sponsored child

It is not a bad thing, but it is certainly a ‘I-am-glad-that-I-really-lived [and I think I really lived]-before-kids’ thing, and it is a ‘this-is-the-life-I-wanted-and-I-love-it thing’. But it was a bit of a revelation and a bit of shock, and perhaps not something I had appreciated when I chose the ‘I want an involving, demanding, uncertain career – a vocation – and a family’ .

I don’t think it will change, and I don’t think I want it to change. In fact, I made the decision I would try not to fit my kids around my life, but to drastically change my life to them. But, it is still a shock to realize, and I am just learning to appreciate the new normal.

Anyone else feel this?

I came across this cartoon today which sums it up.

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4 thoughts on “A conversation over a glass of wine

  1. Paula Chandler

    I feel ya…a while back I decided that work was going to have to be my hobby and my “me” time for these child-raising years. My son and family are my priority, but I love research and it’s really cool that I get to do that each day. I’m finding though that the balance does get a little better every year 🙂
    The other thing I like to do is to keep a running list in my head of the things I want to do when our son goes off to college (as much as I dread that day)…but it’s a long list and I still have at least to decade to go….I’ll need a lengthy sabatical.

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  2. Lekki Frazier-Wood

    I *love* that running list idea. I do that with things I want to buy – put it on a ‘Christmas / Birthday’ treat list. Helps me avoid temptation!!
    I am trying to get to the ‘work’ is ‘me’ time. Just figuring out how – (1) I am currently changing changing my research focus to better reflect my passion – that will help. But I think I also need to think carefully about what tasks I save for night – I tend to save the crappy ones like journal reviews, but maybe I should save more fun ones?
    Loved your thoughts 🙂

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  3. Hope

    Our life is incredibly different then before we had Eric. From our waking hours, to our food choice and how we spend our free time. I have happily given up most tv, movies, magazines, and books (they will be there later). I previously had an obsession with finding new music, this has also faded out. Marriage is much harder once we became parents, but I think we are dedicated to keeping our family. Working is still a lot of my time, but trying to keep my career going I am not sure of a way around that. My husband comments that he can’t remember life before Eric. I only wish I still got to choose what time I got up on weekends. But I know I am blessed to have my little independent, rambunctious munchkin in my life.

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  4. Lekki Frazier-Wood

    I love that you wrote this. I think it is wonderful to share stories. I guess I fought the ‘obsessive mom’ stereotype so hard. I did not want to become someone who was all ‘my kid is all I have time for’, but I am giving into it (not necessarily by choice). I also feel enormously blessed. Both to have a child, and to have the child that I had. But, I do – what is the word? mourn? miss? remember? the girl who was also into new music, who saw every new movie, who would go out at the drop of a hat.

    A new girl joined work – 3 months older than me, but single and childless. She texts ‘I am having a great party in 2 days time – come!’ and it’s like ‘no… I need more time to plan’ or ‘no, I am preparing for Sam’s first birthday’ or just ‘no, I have not seen my baby for a week – it is HIS time!’. I know what I thought about those responses before I had Sam…

    Thank you so much for your honesty, I just love hearing that people are going through the same thoughts as me x

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