15 Moms' Secrets for Making Time for Their Personal Passions

Wendy Robinson | Aug 1, 2017 Being a Mom

woman painting

Once upon a time, I had hobbies. Reading was always my number one, but I also loved to scrapbook and paint, and I was even learning how to sew. Now, I don't have hobbies. I have children. 

Between working full time and dealing with two kids, I've gotten seriously out of the habit of carving out time for myself. Somehow I find time to get the kids to birthday parties, swim lessons, soccer practice, and playdates, but my stack of books that I want to read is now taller than my 9-year-old, and my sewing machine has dust on it. 

So how do other moms manage to find time for themselves to do the things they love? I found out. These are some totally doable ideas that prove I just might learn to sew yet!

  • Take a Class


    "I signed up for adult ballet lessons! I've always wanted to learn ballet and I was drowning in the mom life. I finally told my husband that I need every Wednesday night off or I'm going to lose my mind. Now I go to ballet class and then take myself out for coffee. It keeps me sane." -- Lindsey T., Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Use Nap Time

    iStock.com/Eva Katalin Kondoros

    "I work on my stuff during my kids' nap time, and only if more pressing chores are done. I also am forever lugging around a bag of needlework that I keep ignoring." -- Yesenia A., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Make It Your Job or Volunteer


    "I kept pushing [my passion] -- interior design -- to the back burner. There is always laundry to do or an errand to run before I can do things for myself. I ended up stumbling into a part-time job doing what I was interested in. It doesn't always fulfill my creative passion, but I do get to practice my techniques and learn more of the craft. I also have been able to use my creative energy by volunteering my time to do displays at our elementary school. That's like two birds, one stone." -- Trisha W., Chicago

  • Skip Some Chores


    "I think it's similar to exercise -- you have to make time for it. No matter the state of my house or how big the laundry pile, I have to make something. Because my sanity is more important than clean dishes and floors. I worked really hard to get here in therapy and I will be damned if I go back there. So if I feel inspiration, I take that moment and make whatever it is I need to make." -- Mary S., Ankeny, Iowa

  • Don't Ignore Your Urges


    "I indulge my hobbies during nap time or when I'm feeling like I need the rush of creating something or having the balance in my life that makes me happy. It's amazing what being creative does for your soul!" -- Lindsay L., Saint Paul, Minnesota

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  • Work It into the Schedule


    "I used to figure skate competitively but stopped when I was in college. I hadn't skated in over a decade and then I realized that I could take adult lessons while my boys were in hockey practice. A little bit of schedule magic is reconnecting me to my former self. I even signed up for a competition in a few months!" -- Annie P., Rochester, New York

  • Take the Kids Along


    "My passion is hiking and camping. Anything outdoors, really. I wasn't sure how that would work once we had a kid, but after we got through the infant stage, I realized we just needed to strap on a backpack carrier and take her with us. Basically I've decided to make sure my hobby is her hobby! Hopefully she'll grow up loving the outdoors too." -- Kristy D., Phoenix, Arizona

  • Don't Underestimate the Power of Sleep


    "For me, I couldn't tap into my creative side until I started getting decent sleep. I basically didn't write at all until my kids started sleeping through the night. Now, if I'm stuck on a scene on the novel I'm trying to write, I take a quick nap first. I get the kids down, grab 15 minutes, and then write until they wake up. It works for me!" -- Helena W., Des Moines, Iowa

  • Do It During Screen Time


    "I totally use screen time to get my own time. I work on my photography blog while my kid plays with his apps next to me. I get at least an hour every day, and he is happy to get screen time." -- Jules W., Birmingham, Alabama

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  • Get Some Childcare


    "My YMCA allows for two hours of childcare per day for members. I pop my son in there and then work out for an hour and then spend the second hour either reading, writing, or knitting. I love my YMCA SO HARD." -- Allison R., Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • Start a Business


    "I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, but I basically made my hobby my job, so it forces me to find time to do it. I've always loved photography so now I get paid for it! I think I need a new hobby though." -- Sarah H., Northfield, Minnesota

  • Get Organized

    iStock.com/Petar Chernaev

    "I sew a little, cross stitch, read, scrapbook (which I'm organizing) and blog (once upon a time). Time is scarce now, but I am actually getting my crap organized so I can DO STUFF when school starts!" -- Elsha V., Kansas City, Missouri 

  • Make Space for Your Child


    "I love to make art, so my husband built me a little studio in our backyard. I had him make a kid space in it, so my daughter can paint while I do. Sometimes we paint and get messy together. I think it's important that she sees me doing stuff I love so that she knows I'm not just a mom, you know?" -- Perry D., Denver

  • Get Help With Housework


    "I signed up up for a weekly housekeeper and now I use the time I spent cleaning to do crafts and knitting instead. I regret nothing." -- Bella D., Duluth, Minnesota

  • Take Turns With Alone Time


    "My husband and I have a standing deal that I get Saturday mornings to do whatever I want and he gets Sunday mornings. He takes the kids grocery shopping or whatever, and I get time to work on a project or read a book. It feels good to be a reader again and I love having time to myself. I feel like I can make space for a bigger project like the quilt I want to start." -- Denise D., Santa Fe, New Mexico 

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