Dear Carolyn: Are kids just an uberhobby?
OK, that line was intentionally provocative, but it’s a crude way of asking my real question. Which is: Can you have a serious hobby that you’re passionate about while also raising children? Are children, in terms of time management, the One Hobby to Rule Them All?
I’m about to turn 30 and newly married. In my free time I’ve been pursuing dance, an interest I came to in my 20s but am just now able, physically, to really explore.
It doesn’t seem possible to have a serious artistic pursuit while being a (present, not selfish) mother, at least for the first five (10?) years. If I’m going to have kids, , do I need to be prepared to say goodbye to what has become an important, fulfilling part of my life?
The superficial answer is that kids don’t wipe everything off your calendar and priority lists.
The more practical answer is that it depends on how many hours per week your dance habit needs to remain viable and fulfilling, and on the other variables in your life.
Someone with a houseful of high-need kids and tight budgets and few local relatives and a high value on being available to your kids during scarce non-work hours – one extreme scenario – won’t be popping out to the dance studio four times a week. If instead you have a small family and/or an easygoing one, and access to affordable child care, and one or both parents can be flexible with work, then you can have kids and barely dent your dedication to your hobby.
Some of these you can control and some you can’t, so concentrate on the ones you can, anticipate the ones you can’t and see how you feel. The main thing you want here is not to be unpleasantly surprised, since that’s early-stage resentment, something no kid deserves.