Your new parent’s guide to having hobbies
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with parenting responsibilities? Miss your old life? Find out why it’s important to do things you love, and how to have hobbies when you have a baby.
The hardest part of being a new parent is finding time for yourself, whether you’re desperate to relax bubble bath or to rekindle your old passions and hobbies.
In this article we take a look at how to balance your own interests around your new life. We’ll consider some of the steps to take beforehand and some of the activities you can do with your little one.
How to rekindle your old hobbies
If you’re not sure how to start diving back into your old hobbies, you’ve come to the right place. These are some of the things to keep in mind during this time.
Take your time to feel ready
The first thing to remember is to take your time. If you’re a new parent, it might take a while to adjust to your newfound life and responsibilities. And that’s okay! So if you want to live your life a day at a time and take every experience as it comes, that’s quite alright.
Look at your schedule
When you’re ready to start exploring your interests again, make sure you have a solid understanding of your schedule. Newborn babies require a lot of care and attention. They need between 15–18 hours of sleep every day, and they feed anywhere between 8–12 times in-between these snooze sessions. So you need to think about where and when you can make some time for yourself – as you should!
Ask for help from your loved ones
If you’re struggling to find the time to connect with your past self, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the people around you. Your friends and family are here to lend a helping hand during this time. Plus, they’ll be happy for the excuse to spend some time with your newborn!
Try not to feel guilty
The most important thing is the well-being of yourself and your newborn. Often, parents feel guilty for taking time for themselves after having a baby, but you shouldn’t let these feelings stop you from living your life to the fullest – even if your hobby is something very simple and calming. You should take time for yourself to be the best parent you can be.
Know you have the right to do things you love for YOU
Leading on from this, it is important to remember that you have the right to do things you love for you. You’re not a slave to your baby or your family; you are a human being with needs and desires.
In fact, by ensuring your emotional, social and physical needs are met, you will have more energy and resources to give to your family. Put simply, by prioritising yourself sometimes, you’ll be a happier and better mother and partner.
Don’t be afraid to try something new
To get back into your old hobbies, you can always take things slowly and start with the basics. Whether you’ve always had a passion for home cooking or casual macramé, try to find a few minutes during the day to get started. And if you can’t think of anything, don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith and try something new.
Hobbies to do with your newborn baby
It’s normal for new parents to want to spend as much time with their babies as possible. So rather than wait until they’re a little more independent to reignite your passions, you may want to choose activities that you can do together. Here are some recommendations.
Explore the outdoors
There’s no doubt that spending time outside is good for your mental and physical health. The good news is your newborn baby probably enjoys spending time in the outdoors, too. They might even drift off into a soundless sleep while being pushed in their pram, so you’re likely to benefit from this exercise.
If you’re eager to take a breath of fresh air, remember to be prepared for any situation and bring a baby changing bag and carrier.
Once your baby is a few months old, they’ll start to become more active and benefit from tummy time. This is the perfect excuse to practice yoga together. This can be something as simple as a few stretches or it can become a form of exercise for yourself. But baby yoga is great for more than stretching their muscles, it’s also a fun way to bond with your little one.
Learn how to play an instrument
You can also learn how to play an instrument. This will probably take you a long time, but nobody is saying you have to become the next Jimmy Hendrix overnight. If you choose a calming instrument, such as the piano or an acoustic guitar, your newborn will love spending time with you while you play soothing lullabies.
Reading your favourite stories out loud
Reading is a calming activity. In fact, research shows that 43% of people think this makes them feel less stressed. So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take up this hobby, reading out loud and consuming their attention while you captivate your imagination.
There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to this. You should always work towards finding the right hobby for yourself, considering your interests and the responsibilities of being a new parent. There’s always a little time for some fun, after all.
Photo by Jonathan Borba