I observed it a bit before becoming a mother, and I’ve confirmed it to be true now that I’m a little more inside the motherhood circle. It can be very easy to make motherhood a hobby. And if I may be honest, it really doesn’t make a good hobby for me.
I was slow to get in motherhood-type groups and conversations with other mamas. I hoped I wouldn’t be enveloped in conversations about cloth diapering and natural childbirth and baby food and potty training. I just don’t enjoy it. I wanted to talk about my favorite TV shows or the book I just finished or the new restaurant I just tried. These are really fun for me. They make me excited!
Do hear me say this: If you really enjoy talking about the ins and outs of the methods and products and experiences you have used and had as a mother, I respect that. If your experiences have more often than not been hard and unenjoyable, I respect that, and that may very well be me at some point. If mothering little people makes you pop out of bed each morning with vigor for the day, I really respect that.
But motherhood doesn’t make a good hobby for me. I find great joy in my son. I love being his mama, and I love watching him grow and develop. I don’t love dwelling on his tendency to take 45-minute naps. I don’t love talking about the types of diapers he wears (Kirkland Signature) or the types of baby food we feed him (whatever is on sale).
I have to remind myself of one fact in all of this: God has designed and equipped each of us differently. He has given us each unique passions and interests. Some of us like to widely share all our struggles and some of us like to widely share only specific struggles and some of us choose to only share struggles with our two closest friends. I sinfully struggle to offer grace to people who aren’t like me. At times I really struggle to offer grace to the mamas who are grumpy and negative and weary. I do think it will be me one day, though. And I hope to goodness you offer me grace when it is.
I want to remind you of one fact: Though we were all united under this common purpose and call on our lives as mothers, we all have so many other parts of ourselves to share. Treating motherhood as your ultimate hobby and finding your identity in it will eventually let you down and suck you dry. I like hobbies that bring me rest and fuel my creativity and educate me. So far, I’ve seen very little of that happening when my sole focus day-in and day-out is keeping this little man safe, rested, and fed.
Motherhood is a highly important calling, but it’s really fun and okay to immerse ourselves in other healthy interests and hobbies. So, if you’re feeling let down and sucked dry while you sit down to feed baby another bowl of turkey and rice pureed mush, remember you have so much more to offer to those who know you, and God has given you so much more to enjoy. There’s room for all of us and all our interests in the mom conversations.