1. SPECTATOR HACK: Incorporate hobbies into spectator activities.
Do you find yourself spending time watching yours children’s baseball games, ballet performances, or animated films (for the 20th time in a row..)?
Make use of that down time by developing hobbies that occupy your hands, while leaving your mind and eyes free to watch (at least the interesting parts).
Knitting, crocheting, and cross-stitch are great crafts that are easy to bring along with you. Some other ideas include: reading, writing poetry, drawing, whittling, card tricks, coloring, and photography.
Best of all, by playing with your crafts while out in public, people will often come up to chat with you about them!
Whether they also love to cross-stitch, or are just interested in seeing what you’re making, it’s an easy way to make friends with other parents at those soccer games!
2. SMART HACK: Use smart machines to save time.
Okay, a lot of us get to take advantage of dishwashers and laundry machines, those are pretty obvious.
And video baby monitors has made being a new parent SO much easier. But another realm where machines can make things easy...is crafting!
If you like paper crafts or quilting, then investing in an electronic cutting machine will save you loads of time, making these hobbies more accessible for those who are short on it.
You simply set the cutter to cut out your desired fabric pattern, and it does the work while you get time to spend elsewhere. Any time you can save is valuable.
3. ORGANIZATION HACK: Keep your hobby supplies organized.
As the ever-wise Benjamin Franklin said, “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”
By spending some time and effort keeping your craft space, cooking supplies, or even your digital drawings well-organized, you’ll absolutely reap the benefits later.
With a fun organization scheme, you can even enlist your children to help you by putting things away in their properly labelled bins, or hanging up their newly created artwork around the house. (A spoonful of sugar really does make the medicine go down!)
4. GRANDPARENT HACK: Give your kids to the grandparents.
No, not permanently!
But if you have any family around that has been asking to spend time with your kids, remember that you can kill two birds with one stone, giving them some valuable time with your kiddos while getting some extra time for yourself.
5. PARENTAL CARE HACK: Alternate weeks of childcare with your partner.
Sometimes you need more than a single evening to develop a hobby or finish a project. If you and your partner can alternate weeks where you have primary responsibility of the kids, not only will you develop a healthy, equitable partnership that’s a good model for them, you’ll also have time to dive deep into the extracurriculars that you love.
You’ll have the time to actually finish reading a novel, writing a short story, or working your way through a dungeon.
Every relationship is different, so have some open conversations, and find a system that works for you and gives yourself some time to spend on your own activities.
6. SHARING HACK: Share your hobbies with your kids.
Whether you want to practice your painting, or get some time with a game controller in your hands, the best way to juggle kids with your hobby is to have them participate!
(Hey, this works great for juggling, too!) Spending time on hobbies with your kids has some obvious benefits:
- You get some quality hangout periods doing something fun and engaging.
- A shared interest provides an easy topic of conversation, about something both of you enjoy!
- As a parent, there is nothing better than watching your own passions bloom in your children. (But please don’t force them to keep juggling if it turns out they don’t really like it.)
From the newest iteration of Mario Kart to the entire realm of Lego games, there are plenty of age-appropriate video games that are still plenty of fun for adults.
If DIY or arts and crafts are more your thing, you can find plenty of inspiration for more hacks on how to turn your favorite artistic medium into a kid-friendly craft time.