This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how they stay centered and find balance. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
With my older daughter, I began working from home while I was pregnant so that I could stay with her. I studied every choice before making parenting decisions and my entire being was centered on motherhood. In hindsight, I am not so sure that was the healthiest choice for her, for me, or for my marriage. I remember that just 3 months after her birth, I received cash for Giftmas and was told to spend it on something fun - no bills! I had been interested in making chocolates and used the money to start that new hobby. I vividly recall the first time I made candies. It was so great to do something just for me! Still, I was an obsessed mother and think I may have been too attached. I nursed for 3½ years and homeschooled through second grade.
Now I am older and (perhaps? hopefully?) wiser. This time around I am still doing extended nursing. Our nursing relationship is one year and going strong. I can not imagine not nursing at this point! My husband and I have decided to homeschool our daughter using a state provided service. The biggest difference is that I work full time outside the home. It broke my heart to go back to work after 6 short weeks with my new Starshine, as I liked to call her. On days when she especially doesn't want me to leave, it still breaks my heart to go. I still consider myself an attachment parent, but I guess that only applies when I am actually at home - or at least with my child. When I'm not at work, I tend to take her everywhere I need to go. I mostly don't go anywhere she can't go.
So between working full time and being completely attached to my baby when I'm not working... how do I find / make time for me? I share in the household chores. I cook for my family occasionally and lately even bake. But what about true "me time"? I'm not sure I've been doing much of that. I guess my "Me Time" is when my family is asleep and I'm surfing the web. I enjoy reading blogs. I like keeping in touch on Facebook.
There is a hobby I've wanted to have as well as an old hobby I'd like to renew. The new hobby? Geocaching. The hobby I'd like to renew? Photography. However, I don't have the technological equipment for Geocaching. And my really good camera needs to be cleaned professionally before I can take photography up again. I haven't had the money to put into either hobby. I don't know that I've had the time, either. I did try to find one Geocache recently, but flopped without the proper tools. The nice thing about that hobby is that I can drag my family along with me! I'd like to take up camping as well, but am intimidated by the start up and skill set required.
So I have some ideas of how I'd like to start spending more time on me... I just haven't gotten them going yet. I sometimes feel guilty about not spending enough time with my daughter, so I'm keen on "me time" ideas that can still be done together. What family-centered hobbies do you enjoy?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated October 12 with all the carnival links.)