How to Find Time for Hobbies as a Working Mom

how to find time for hobbies as a working momWhen you become a mother, your sense of self goes through a major transformation (which we’ve discussed — from body image to overall identity), and one part of that is figuring out how to find time for hobbies as a working mom. Have you found ways to continue some (or all) of the activities that you enjoyed in your pre-parent days, and if so, how do you do it? For those of you who have gone through the “small kid” years, did you eventually find time for your hobbies? 

We’ve rounded up five tips on how to find time for hobbies as a working mom, below. Note that for all of these, if you’re struggling with mommy guilt, focus on what you get out of the hobby and how that end result helps your family. For example, if taking photographs helps you de-stress, your family gets a less stressed mom — win-win!

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The Easiest Family Vacation Resorts for Working Moms

The Easiest Family Vacation Resorts for Working MomsWhich family vacation resorts have you tried and enjoyed? Are there any you’ve tried that you wouldn’t? Which is your kids’ favorite? When you want to have a fun family vacation but don’t want to do a lot of planning, where do you go? Which do you think are the easiest family vacation resorts for working moms?

Before my husband and I became parents, I wouldn’t have considered an all-inclusive and/or resort-type of vacation. We valued flexibility and spontaneity: the opportunity to have our full pick of hotels and B&Bs, the ability to choose any restaurants we wanted and also to discover some by wandering around a new city, etc. Why would we want to limit ourselves by taking a cruise or staying in a resort, and why would we want to stay in one place?

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Sun Protection Strategies for Kids

Ladies, let’s talk about sun protection strategies for kids — do you sunscreen them up before daycare or school? Only if told to, either by policy or special direction?

I was just thinking about this a week or so ago: does anyone else feel guilty if your kid gets a farmer’s tan, i.e. bronzed forearms and lily white upper arms? I have my own anti-sun agenda, but I feel particularly, perhaps excessively, protective of my fair-haired, pale-skinned boys. We all wear rash guards and sun hats whenever we’re outside, and no one’s gotten burned yet (which is good because multiple childhood sunburns greatly increase your risk for melanoma). Still, their forearms are all deeply tan right now, and I feel guilty, like I’m not doing enough to protect them. So let’s hear it, ladies: Do you slather your kids with sunscreen every day? Do you get their ears and neck and forearms, or just, say, their nose and cheeks? What do you use yourself, and what do you use on your kids?

For my $.02, I’m kind of odd for myself: I just bought some tank tops so that if I go out on a 20-minute walk I can get some vitamin D and avoid a farmer’s tan, but I’m also that weirdo on the beach with the long-sleeved rash guard, huge hat, and probably a too-white face because I haven’t blended my serious mineral sunscreen. With my kids, if I know they’ll be out in the sun for 30 minutes or more, I sunscreen the heck out of them — but on the flip side, if I’m not expecting a lot of sun exposure, I just send them out with hats.

How about you guys? Are you serious about sunscreen for your kids and/or yourself? Which products are your favorites? Are you a fan of any particular brand of rash guards or hats?

Image source: Stencilsun protection strategies for kids - image of sun and blue skies

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How to Find Time to Work Out As a Mom

Ladies, what are your best tips for how to find time to work out as a mom? In our survey I noticed that a lot of women, like me, were struggling to find time to work out. For my $.02, I know that I tend to have an all-or-nothing approach to exercise, and it isn’t doing me any favors! In addition to it being a bad idea from a calorie/consistency/crazy perspective (I like to do cardio to “keep the crazies away”), it turns out my mom body really does not like to do nothing for weeks and then try to do a kickboxing workout or a dead lift. I have a few ideas on how to find time to work out as a mom (below), but I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

In just the past few weeks, I’ve made a huge shift in my thinking. I’ve always thought of exercise as something to do to help my mood and to look better in clothes — I liked high intensity things like running, kickboxing, spinning, swinging kettlebells, lifting heavy weights, and more. Since getting pregnant with my second son I’ve been in and out of PT for years — first to mitigate my SPD pain while pregnant with H, then postpartum PT for my hip flexors, then PT again after my ACL surgery for general knee rehabilitation. I’ve now found myself back in PT because of lower back pain, which turned out to be because of weak transverse abs. (I also kept making my hip flexors angry after I tried to go running, possibly because one knee is still weaker than the other.)

how to find time to work out as a mom - the shortest workouts!I’m now realizing my core, trunk, and back are huge priorities for me just for general health and happiness — not something to think about as a “last 10 pounds bikini body push” — and I’m making sure I do exercises every day to support those. (I’m also hoping it will help improve my posture.) I know that as I get older, weight-bearing exercises like walking are more important (and, dare to dream, maybe one day I can get back to running), and I also know that strong muscles are very important, so I’m going to be trying to work in bodyweight exercises like squats and pushups since I don’t trust myself with weights right now. In theory, I have time for all this, but forming the habits (like planking after I brush my teeth, or doing wall squats while I’m waiting for water to boil) is tricky.

If you’re already feeling great postpartum (or you have older kids) and are just struggling with a timing issue, know that there are a ton of short but GREAT workouts you can do in under 20 minutes. I know readers have noted that even Peloton has classes that are 5–20 minutes! (Just be careful not to overdo it as a newbie.)

Some of the short workouts that I’ve looked into include:

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4 Free Apps for Privately Sharing Photos

apps for privately sharing photos Many, many articles and essays have been written about the potential dangers of posting photos of your kids on Facebook and other social media. Whether or not you agree (that’s a topic for a whole other post!), there are some great alternatives out there for sharing photos of your children with family and friends. (Psst: We recently did a post on apps that help working moms stay connected to school/daycare, and we’ve also talked about how to organize family photos and make photo projects.) Sure, you can safely use platforms like Instagram, Flickr, and Google Photos to show off pictures of your kids (as long as you adjust the privacy settings carefully), but there are some great apps for privately sharing photos on the market right now — and all of them have a “free” tier for pricing.

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4 Apps That Help Working Moms Stay Connected to School or Daycare

Apps That Help Working Moms Stay Connected to SchoolDoes your child’s daycare or school use any apps that help working moms stay connected to school (and dads, of course, and parents in general)? It’s helpful and reassuring to get regular updates when your kid is too young to tell you about his/her day, and when yothe best apps to help working mothers stay connected to daycare or schoolur kid is older, you can get around the “What did you do at school today?” non-answers. (My son’s favorite is “I forgot!” when I ask him about certain things that happened during his first-grade school day.) It’s especially nice if you don’t have time to volunteer at school and don’t ever get to see what goes on during a typical day. Today we’ve rounded up some parent communication apps that you can consider recommending to your child’s school if they don’t currently use one (before the year is out).

With various features and options (and prices), here are four apps that help working moms stay connected to school:

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