Back in the day when I was child-free and slightly clueless, I used to think of hobbies as activities geared towards young boys and grandparents who had too much time on their hands. Fortunately, I’ve lived long enough to learn otherwise.

I’ve heard this quote attributed to several people, but I might just claim it for myself; “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” It’s strange, but true; and I think most of us already know it. If we don’t drop all of the “important” stuff once in a while and just do something for the sheer joy of doing it, we’re in danger of losing our patience, our perspective, and quite possibly our sanity.

When I decided it was time to consider a hobby for myself, I tried to find hobbies that were affordable and convenient. I also wanted a hobby that I would likely stay interested in. Using these simple guidelines, I was able to eliminate things like scuba diving, amateur astronomy and furniture restoration.

After eliminating the unreasonable or uninteresting, I narrowed my list down to three hobbies; gardening, scrapbooking and playing the piano. After that, I just needed to find which of these three hobbies would suit my needs yet leave me time for both of my full-time jobs.

Gardening for Working Moms

For centuries, people of both genders and all economic classes have used gardening as a way of relaxing. This should have been my first clue that it’s a pretty good idea. The advantages of gardening for 21st century working moms, though, are as follows;

  • Gardening is a great way to be outdoors enjoying the fresh air.
  • Gardening helps us develop both patience and persistence.
  • Gardening is a great reason to go shopping for flowers.

Of course, vegetable gardening could have the added advantage of producing some healthy food for our table, but I prefer flowers, so I’ll stick with that.

Scrapbooking on a Shoestring

I can already hear the screaming; “You said you wanted to find hobbies that were affordable! Scrapbooking isn’t cheap!” Actually, though, it can be a very affordable hobby if you do it right.

Yes, there are plenty of expensive papers and embellishments which could cost a bit of money, but I can purchase more affordable supplies and simply rely on my creativity. In addition to being affordable, scrapbooking has a few other benefits;

  • I can scrapbook year round because it’s not dependent on the weather.
  • Scrapbooking doesn’t require a lot of space as long as I’m willing to store my supplies somewhere between projects.
  • Scrapbooking will be a fun and creative way to organize the pictures in my closet.

There also is a somewhat practical application in that I would have some very personal heirlooms to hand down to my daughters.

Piano the Easy Way

Like scrapbooking, piano is a hobby which most folks presume to be expensive, and learning to play the instrument can be very time consuming. As a matter of fact, when I was in high school I tried learning the piano, and those were the problems I ran into right away.

Not only were my parents paying a lot of money for an activity I really wasn’t excited about, but I felt that it took too much time away from other, more important things. Fortunately, my parents no longer have to pay for my lessons, and more to the point, neither will I.

You see, I figured out how to learn the piano online.

Yes, there will be the initial expense of buying the program, but that’s nothing compared to the ongoing cost of hourly lessons. In addition, after I pay for the program once, I’ll be able to schedule my lessons to fit my own calendar, not someone else’s.

I will also be able to choose how I learn to play. I could be traditional about it and spend years and years memorizing and doing drills so that I could learn how to read sheet music for the piano.  On the other hand, I could opt to simply learn the piano chords, which would allow me to play most popular songs “by ear”.

Find Hobbies that Meet Your Needs

When I began this quest to find the perfect hobby, I forgot to take one thing into consideration; there is no such thing as a perfect hobby. Fortunately, there are some combinations of hobbies which could suit my needs perfectly.

For instance, I could garden during the warm weather months, scrapbook when it’s cold, and play the piano whenever I please. That way I could choose which hobby to pursue on a given day based on my circumstances as well as my mood.

I think I just found my perfect hobby. All three of them.

How about you? Do you have a hobby you would like to recommend to our readers, or are you looking for one at the moment? I’d love to hear some other suggestions for myself and other working moms.

About the Author

Melissa Cameron is a working wife and mother. She has developed a lucrative career out of researching, writing, and blogging while still leaving time to spend with her family and, occasionally, sleep.

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