Don’t Ask Me If I Have Hobbies {Surviving, Not Thriving}


“Tell us about you. What are your hobbies?”

I stared at the relatively innocuous question on a recent form and started to feel angry.

Hobbies. HOBBIES?

I don’t have time for hobbies. I hardly have time to brush my teeth. I am currently counting grocery shopping without the kids as “me time.” When am I supposed to have an opportunity for these “hobbies” people talk about?

Look, I know that I am taking this question way too personally. Still, I can’t help but feel that there are a number of people in my shoes who might also be feeling a little pinched for space.

There are seasons for everything in life, of course, but I’m not currently in the season that affords hobbies.


In a time with many fewer children and much more free time, I had quite a few hobbies – baking, running with friends, volunteering, traveling… That’s all been replaced with the daily day-to-day maintenance of running a busy household with four young kids, two of whom are schooling virtually.

I used to read blogs that promised to help find “me time” – the elusive 30 minutes of self-care a day where I could have a hobby and return to my family feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. I eventually gave up because, call me crazy, but dragging myself out of bed at 4:45 a.m. (the time I’d have to get up to get 30 minutes by myself before my 18-month-old twins get up) after another night of six broken hours of sleep just doesn’t sound worth it, no matter what the hobby. Even if it could be the “eat as many Oreos as you want without gaining an ounce” club, I still would not get up to join it. Okay, maybe I’d consider setting an alarm for that one.

So could we find a new question to ask to get to know each other?

Maybe, “Tell me five things that you love right now.”

1) I love to fold laundry while I watch old episodes of my favorite TV shows.

2) I love to talk to my sisters for hours on the phone while I tackle chores that I’ve been putting off.

3) I love to play UNO with my kids when the babies nap.

4) I love to order takeout from a place the kids don’t like and watch a movie with my husband after all of the kids go to bed.

5) I love to sit in my backyard in the sunshine when we have it, even just for a few minutes if that’s all I can get away.

There. Five things I love and none of them are really hobbies, but I bet you know more about me than if I had listed “walking, baking, and drinking coffee,” which are my usual go-to answers for the hobby question.

I know we will never get rid of that question totally, but could we try? If we really want to know one another? I know that life will change again, and maybe I’ll have time for hobbies, and maybe you will, too. But until then, I don’t have hobbies. Okay, I guess I have one. After all, I do write for this blog.