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Finding Time for Hobbies As a Parent

Back in the day when I had all the time in the world to run!

I spent some time last week picking out and putting together our holiday card. We don’t do the whole family letter thing, but the card I picked had a text area that allowed for a few yearly highlights. There was a section titled “things we did in 2012″ and I filled it out with the obvious things; vacations, special events, buying a house. And then I got to the part where there were a few lines for each of us as individuals. Cullen’s was easy – what didn’t he do this year? But then I found myself just staring at the blank spaces next to Emily and Casey.

In years past, I would have talked about all the running that we did. Or I’d mention that I had started knitting, learned photography, or fallen in love with hot yoga. I racked my brain to think of anything I’d done outside of normal things like work, parenting, cooking, and dog-walking. I didn’t come up with much. Truth is, with young children in the house, sometimes it’s hard to even cover the basics of each day. Extra time is spent sleeping or zoned out like a zombie in front of HGTV. After a long day of chasing a toddler and wrangling my two crazy dogs, I find it hard to feel motivated and inspired to work out or get crafty at 8 PM.

But I’d really like for that to change.

My husband has been feeling the same way. A few months ago, he decided he needed something outside of working (and commuting, his second biggest time allotment), so he began learning to play the guitar. Every night he plays for a bit, and it gives him a mental break and a way to relax, but also feel personally fulfilled. Our new Xbox 360 + Kinect has a YouTube app that allows us to play YouTube clips through our TV. He uses this a lot so that he can watch guitar tutorials and lessons on the big screen. Much easier than before, when he was trying to play while balancing a small tablet or iPad on the coffee table.

I’m still playing around for what I want to try next. It’s harder for me to find the opportunity for hobbies outside of the home. I’m looking into using our Xbox 360 to try out some new yoga DVDs and games, and see if that might be a way to work out early in the mornings. Now that Cullen is (finally!) sleeping through the night, there should be more chances to squeeze in a few hours to myself. I’m making it my New Year’s resolution to pick something – anything – and am forcing myself to carve out the time to just do it. Because a happy mom who feels more like herself, is a better mom in the long run.

Thanks to Xbox for sponsoring this campaign. Visit xbox.com to learn more. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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