Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fewer Hobbies but Greater Joy

There are a lot of things that Thomas and I used to do, before we had kids.  At breakfast, we'd have a cup of tea while we worked on our Sudoku puzzles and read a devotion.  At night we might play a game of cribbage or watch a baseball game.  We took dancing lessons, played tennis, and went on bike rides.

Before we had kids, I went regularly to a book club at our local bookstore, and I actually met someone who is now a dear friend through that group.  But because I spend so many nights already away from home for my work, I haven't made it to that book group for awhile.  Nor do I exactly seek out other opportunities to be/get away at night.

When people say that I should play with the city orchestra, join the flute choir, or come play tennis, I tell them that sounds like a whole lot of fun, but at this point in my life, it doesn't quite fit.  To make bedtime as smooth as possible, we've developed a family rule that, in general, if something starts at or after 6:30pm, our family is out.  Sure, this limits us in some ways, but Thomas and I have learned that setting limits is way better than having over-tired and over-stimulated kids.

Of course, we could still do many of the things that we used to do before kids, and Thomas and I could certainly have more extra curricular activities that we are adamant about attending, but then I'm pretty sure I would officially go crazy.  As it is, my brain rarely gets a rest and I'm always tired.  Packing more in a day or week just doesn't seem like a good idea.

Though there are some things we don't do that often anymore, and other things we don't have much time for now that we have kids, the interesting thing is that there are other things that we get to do because we have kids that I'm pretty sure we wouldn't do if it weren't for having Esme and Reid in our lives.  Some of these things include blowing bubbles, eating outside, painting and drawing, and simply playing-- inside or outside, dress up or trains, for long or short periods.

And what I've found, and didn't exactly expect as a parent, is that bubble-blowing, slow family walks, and playing on the playground are not only fun, they are also more rewarding than finishing a Sudoku puzzle or nailing a serve.

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