Last year, ’bout this time, in between Miscarriage #1 and #2, The Daver sat me down and said something to the effect of, “blah, blah, blah..You need to get a hobby…blah, blah, blah.” At least I think he said that. I wasn’t really listening. I was too busy lobbing a lamp at his head.

He wasn’t trying to be unkind in anyway; he’s a lot of things (patient, kind, infinitely tolerant of His Old Ball And Chain) but never unkind. He was merely trying to get me to “expand my horizons” and “do something for myself.” Come to think of it, he sounded a hell of a lot like my High School Guidance Counsellor. All he needed to add in there was an “apply yourself” to make the comparison fail safe.

But telling someone that hasn’t slept for more than 1-3 hours at a stretch in close to two years (a very hearty thank you to my youngest son and my predisposition to that old bitch Insomnia) or taken a shit without the watchful eyes of half of the family in as long isn’t really a wise idea. Of COURSE I needed to do something for myself, who doesn’t?

Problem is, and always has been, my decided lack of free time. Well, that and the fact that I’ve been pregnant and/or nursing for the past 3 years, both of which obscure my normally sunny disposition (shut UP.).

I mean, yeah, I’m home with my kids and all that stuff and I do have the time to occasionally sit down and plop out a blog post, but I normally have a kid on my lap while I do it. See I can’t very well open a bag of Cheetos and turn on Lifetime and leave the kids alone. For one, Cheetos stain like a mother-fucker and for Part B, no one, not even the baby likes Lifetime. Not that I would know or anything.

My God-Almighty Plan has always been that I would go back to school once my youngest was in school herself. It’s been indelicately suggested that I try and go back sooner but honestly, I juggled the school/work/child thing when I had Ben and it was gruesome. I won’t do it again unless I have to.

See, I got my degree in nursing not because I am a Caring People Person(tm) (stop snorting. I can hear you laughing at me!) but because I was a slave to the almighty dollar. Single parenthood and undergraduate degrees in Biology don’t exactly scream I’ll Be Able To Support Us, Honey, And We Can Move Out Of Grandma’s, now do they?

And while I strongly considered becoming a Trophy Wife, I didn’t think that my child would really sweeten the deal for someone who likes silicone and bleach blonde hair.

The compromise always was (to myself and later to The Daver) that I would eventually go back to school and pursue my PhD in microbiology. No, seriously. I’ve been lucky enough to know what I really, really love and what I’ll really, really be good at. I know this doesn’t happen for everyone.

But I’ve got some time before this Plan Of Action will Come To Fruition. Time that I desperately need to fill with something. Anything.

I write here and sometimes elsewhere and I do it because I don’t know how not to anymore. It’s weird to me because I never was A Writer. I tried in the 3rd grade to keep a diary and it ended up sounding so incredibly stupid when I read it back to myself that even back then I knew it sucked.

I can’t write a fictional story to save my life unless the main characters name is E-Becky and she has three kids: E-Ben, E-Alex, and E-Amelia. I’m not creative like that. But now I write because I have to. I just have to.

So from now until I’m able to rejoin the ranks of smelly stoned college students once again, I’m afraid that my only outlet and project is to write. Here, there, everywhere (okay, so mostly here. Where else?).

Any other suggestions for things to do for myself? What do you do just for you?

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

55 Responses to Or I Will Surely Burst Into A Gooey Splat

  • Maria says:

    I actually think knitting is pretty fun. I have some friends who do beadwork and enjoy the hell out of that too.

    Lately I’ve been collecting cloth diapers. Oh wait. That’s not a hobby, that’s just FUCKING CRAZY.

    Sigh.

    But the knitting, it’s nice. And unlike baking it doesn’t cause you to eat entire pans of awesome, awesome brownie goodness.

    I’m hungry.

  • Heather R. says:
  • fidget says:

    i take pictures (one day i WILL have a Dslr)

    i (use to) draw and paint, waiting for hubs to move furniture so i can reach my supplies again

    i tried school but suddenly and fiercely remembered that untreated ADD and college are not a healthy mix, hence why I have enough credits for 2 4yr degrees but cant cobble them together into even 1 2 yr degree

  • swirl girl says:

    does drinking wine, eating good food, catching a quick nap when possible and hitting Vegas a few times a year to give the degenerate in me some ‘she time’ count?

  • melanie says:

    I just got my first dslr camera so I spend time taking, adjusting the settings and taking more and more pictures…….I am enrolling myself in some basic courses here soon…..I cant wait!!! Mostly I read blogs for my “hobby” LOL or read real books.

  • RhoRho says:

    I too write because I have to. I now know it was always my thing, despite the fact that I once thought Fashion design and art ( i suck) and psych (my BA) were. I may not be makin’ a killin’ but i know I should be doing it. maybe not in the right place but doing it. You can become a writer at any time in life! Embrace it. You are one of us , the discontent, the passionate, the neurotic. Love it.:)

  • Lexi says:

    I took a cake-decorating class at Michael’s. It was great because it was 2 child-free hours a week playing with icing. Plus it ended with cake!

  • giggleblue says:

    teach myself how to take pictures with the DSLR i don’t know how to use, make crafty things, cook and read books about cooking, and right now i’m entertaining the idea of picking up an expensive diving habit.

  • Jenn says:

    Other than writing (which I haven’t been doing lately), I’ve been dabbling in cookie dough eating, lacing various juices and sodas with vanilla vodka and Mario Kart.

    But that’s just me.

  • Sara says:

    I rearrange furniture. And knit. Because I am an old lady.

    I also knit, but don’t consider that a hobby I do for myself, because I have yet to complete a project for MYSELF!

  • Sara says:

    And I obviously leave comments that don’t make sense. That would be my second one this week!

  • Mrs.spit says:

    Umm, well I knit. . . and I scrap book, and I garden. I’m also short on the children bit, so I have loads more time too.

  • hope4grace says:

    I am not really sure that “me time” exists. Maybe in some strange fairy tale but I consider my down time as one of three things:

    1. Shaving my legs. Honestly, this is like a vacation for me.
    2. My online school to pursue higher education, done with lots of Dr. Pepper, ciggies and late nights after kids are in bed.
    3. Painting horrible pictures that The Man won’t hang in our livingroom.

    So I’m pretty sure I have nothing to offer you, sigh. Sorry. You could take up knitting…..people still knit right?

  • Meghan says:

    Myself??? I have time for me??? I have to schedule it in months in advance and threaten Neil with death for me to scrapbook…and I’m years behind….

    Oh and now I sorta sew….you’ve seen the progress no??

  • Sarah says:

    I knit and I’m learning how to play gee-tar. And I write and when I get tired of all of that I make chainmail.

  • Valerie says:

    yoga tapes, just for fun. paint a mural on a wall. watch all the bond movies. paint ceramics… hmmm. all things i want to do too!

  • baseballmom says:

    HMM-get pedicures, wish I had the motivation to put the baseball pics in a scrapbook, READ, sing in the car, have lattes.

  • Badass Geek says:

    Well, it normally involves some soft music, dimming the lights, and pulling that magazine out from under the mattress.

  • Ames says:

    I spend most of my “me” time knitting…I’m so glad that I took it up while I was stuck on bed rest, it helped me keep my sanity. Other than knitting, I take pictures and I bake…and hence why I can’t get rid of this damn baby weight.

  • Cathy says:

    Pre-baby I used to crochet, play in the darkroom, read endlesslly, teach the dog tricks.

    And plaster walls.

    Now I stare at the ceiling that needs painting and shrug. What? It’s a valid hobby. I also specialize in carpet cleaning and stain removal.

    I think I need to pull out the plastering skills again though. Sick baby + Irish temper = hole in wall. Oops.

  • Jenn says:

    Pictures. I take lots and lots of pictures. Of course they are mostly of my kids and when I edit them they are usually close by. But hey.
    Sex is a good hobby too. ;) With your husband, of course.

  • Inna says:

    I’m in a PhD program – molecular biology in the biomed sciences. But since I work with e. coli, I guess its sorta microbialish. I thought your post was awesome! I have hobbies from my schoolwork (don’t know how its gonna work out when I have kids and stuff). Knitting, sewing, baking, starting a blog…

  • Kristine says:

    I don’t have any real hobbies. I do some sewing and it’s vaguely rewarding in the sense that I can actually finish something. But most of the stuff I make means I have to wait until someone gets pregnant or has a baby. Which, there are lulls in my circle that can last 2 years.

    Oh and I’m a Girl Scout leader for my niece’s troop, which means that twice a month I get out of the house for a couple hours and once a year I take an overnight trip with them. Which might be more fun if those 11 year olds could hold their liquor.

  • pat says:

    Simply awesome. Tried knitting, that sucked. I did use the needles as chopsticks one night because I was too lazy to get up and get the chopsticks that came with the dinner. The remnants of the merino wool did make the shrimp with lobster sauce taste better.

  • Cassie says:

    I have actually been wondering the same thing lately, trying to find a new hobby or something. I like to read. I like to bake but I am trying to diet so I’ve been staying away from that one for the most part. I hate to exercise but lve been trying to force myself to do it. Really I end up spending most of my me time sleeping or blogging.

  • Kendra says:

    Hm, what stops me from going crazy?

    Reading: silly fiction, less silly nonfiction, and blogs. Crocheting: fortunately I’m bad enough at it that it can eat up a lot of time. For example, I just finished a short-sleeved cardigan that looks great in the picture but is just big enough to hang on me like an oversized paper bag. If I decide to rip it apart and reuse the yarn, I won’t even have to buy more yarn! Also, I’m learning to cook. I can’t believe that I’m 33 and I’ve never learned how to cook properly. So I’m baking a lot and making real live meals out of ingredients, not just things from a can or box.

    And of course, I spend many happy hours speculating about all the things I would do, if only I had some time.

  • Betts says:

    I knit, make jewelry, make greeting cards and play djembe drum. But I don’t do any of them for very long or very often. Even with one kid who is in school, I don’t seem to have much free time.

  • I wish I knew. I used to write for a living. Now I sell other people’s writings. I write, too, but some days it doesn’t feel like a hobby. It also doesn’t feel like writing, either. I’m pretty sure I need an activity, too. I scrub toilets and dust furniture now. That never seems to end, but it’s not exactly fun, either.

  • a says:

    I believe that, in husband-speak, get a hobby means “please leave the house for something other than grocery shopping once in a while.” I am content with my life and don’t need to be seeking fulfillment – for some reason that irritates my husband. It’s probably because he’s a person who always needs to have a challenge. We actually have semiannual arguments on this topic.

    The funny thing is – I have hobbies. I read. I knit and crochet. I play silly computer games. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of drawing and calligraphy (with crayons, if you get my meaning). For some reason, those do not fit my husband’s definition of hobbies.

    I don’t think husbands realize quite how draining it is to be the main caregiver for your children. Even though I have only one child, and she’s pretty easy, it’s hard for me to muster up the energy to find other things to do. She’s my main focus, and that’s just the way it is right now.

  • kbrients says:

    I had this conversation with my husband recently… My photography is for me… It is my passion (other than my kids & family), and I am thankful that I re-found it b/c I would be going nuts with out it!

    Everyone needs something to do for themselves, something that is selfishly theirs…

  • Susan says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Swirl…

    “does drinking wine, eating good food, catching a quick nap when possible and hitting Vegas a few times a year to give the degenerate in me some ’she time’ count?”

  • Jeanne says:

    I read. When my kids were as little as yours are, I read things that were easy to understand in small bits–YA fiction, romance novels, short stories. I just read Ayelet Waldman’s Bad Mother (out May 5) and recommend it to all mothers of young children. Because we all need to know that other people feel like we do. (If you’re interested, here’s my review: http://tinyurl.com/cjffw6)

  • SCY says:

    Hmmm not having kids might skew this a bit cos I do have more time to do things for me – I read – A LOT, I also paint ceramics and glaze them, and I’m doing my damdest to get back into my running…

    Enjoy whatever it is you decide to do for YOU Becks!

    xxx

  • Amanda says:

    Drinking, eating, and sleeping. That’s what I do. I suppose lab time could be the same as Me time, but…

  • lady lemon says:

    Why not? It’s as good a hobby as any? Plus you have a following and that makes it even more rewarding.

  • Coco says:

    I bake and read trashy books. Not at the same time, because hello? You can totally get a nasty burn if you try to check the cupcakes with your bare hand because you just got to a juicy part of your book.

  • Danielle says:

    Masturbation? Just sayin….

  • amy says:

    You really don’t know how lucky you are to know what you want to do for a career. I am clueless in this dept. Yes, I work for my inlaws and the hours are flexible, but the pay isn’t what it should be for someone with my degree and I am really starting to despise the whole lot of them! I am essentially stuck at the moment. Working.For.Family.Is.Hell.

    I guess the ONLY thing that I do for myself these days that I truly, truly feel joyful about is blogging. Now that I’ve typed that it seems really pitiful. But writing about the turmoil in my life somehow takes some of the stress away. And God bless you because having 1 kid has me totally frazzled! You are such a talented writer…You make me laugh everyday! Please continue the blog wherever your career happens to take you:)

  • Miss Grace says:

    You mean besides drink? Um…well…I…hang out? With friends?

    I spend most of my life at work, which isn’t for me, but also doesn’t involve a small child clinging to me, so, I dunno.

  • Mrslala says:

    Ummm, I like scrapbooking…ever try it? It’s quite addictive.

    I’m in the same boat as you with the school thing. I was planning on starting my Masters this fall, but now (with the Bean on board) that plan’s a bust. That’s ok though, becuase I was kicking myself for not having the juevos to apply for a PhD program, so now I will. In five years or so when they’re all in school.

  • Sarah says:

    I’m in with car singers and latte drinkers… if you do it long enough you can also be with the ass expanders. Hiking is what I do for me, but the kids get dragged along for the ride, and sometimes that kind of takes away from the overall happiness, but it’s still worth it.

    But, wait, you have to be bleached blonde and have silicone somewhere to qualify as a trophy wife? *damn*

  • Fiddle1 says:

    Computer. And for a wildlife biologist, that’s a sad and scary thing. It’s the only thing I have a chance to do, and I only have one kid! How do you do it with three? Oh, I did plant my first-ever vegetable garden last weekend, so I’m assuming computer time will be cut short and hoe-ing time increased soon.

  • PiquantMolly says:

    I need to quilt again. About 3 years ago I bought all sorts of fabric and started making quilts for three pregnant friends. One of them (Ms. Pru) actually received a quilt. Two did not, and I still have all of their fabric and various supplies in the closet. Both of those two women now have a child younger than the original child being quilted for.

    *smacks head*

  • deb says:

    I drink. But then again, I’m not in charge of 3 small people. I’m barely in charge of myself.

  • Madame Yu See says:

    I would suggest getting out of the house, once the weather lets you, and taking the kids to a park or playground. They’ll tire themselves out by running around and maybe you’ll make some friends.
    These are things I didn’t do when I was your age and had young children – but, looking back on my life, are things I wish I would have done.

  • birdpressw says:

    I have plenty of time but no money. I spend too much time on the computer, researching random things and reading blogs. I groom my standard poodle every three weeks so I can take her to the dog park or for walks around the neighborhood. I go through random phases with various crafts. I’ve been doodling and drawing cartoons lately.

    Have you thought about getting some college credits online?

  • Jerseygirl89 says:

    Uh, I blog. And read books. And watch Rock of Love. Before I had kids I also used to drink a lot and follow college football.

    I’m not a hobby type person, apparently.

  • Anjali says:

    I read, primarily. And I have close to $7 in overdue library dues. And I write.

  • KT says:

    I like to read. Depending on my mood I read fluffy chic lit or something with more umph behind it. I can recommend some books if you want.

    Cooking classes. I’ve really enjoyed those.

    Trips to the art museum, alone. Mmmm…..

  • Eva says:

    My husband has always been on me to get a hobby, but (formerly) computer games and (currently) blogging don’t seem to count for him.

  • Katy says:

    Get yourself a sewing machine and take a lesson or two on how to use it. It is so much fun to make cute outfits for little girls. I am dreading the day my daughter refuses to wear my creations. Actually my drive to have another child is primarily fueled by my need to have someone to swath in yards and yards of ruffles.

  • Lola says:

    Well, I never stopped having hobbies when I had the boy, so it’s not much different. I do photography for fun and for money, agility with the dogs, ride horses, ski, cook like I’m getting paid for it, garden like I’m getting paid for it, play tennis, blog, go for really long walks with my friends, and the list goes on. I just rotate them all around work while the boy is in school.

    Granted, my husband and I are both self-employed, and the boy loves to go work over at his dad’s business whenever he can. The kid’s got more money in his bank account than I do ;)

  • Fancy says:

    Photography is what does it for me, lately. I have to admit that I’m obsessed…

  • Jen Anderson says:

    I knit. Once you get the hang of it, you can do it without looking too much as long as you stick with simple projects. That way you can knit while keeping an eye on the kids. The same goes for crochet.

  • mumma boo says:

    Any free time I have is usually spent reading the books gathering dust on my nightstand. I knit or cross-stitch when I watch TV at night, mostly to keep my hands occupied so they’re not shoving food in my mouth. Honestly, those hands have a serious chocolate addiction. Damn hands.

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