Free time isn’t exactly something moms know well, but everyone deserves the occasional chance to devote some time to doing something they enjoy. For busy moms, that means finding hobbies that you can incorporate into your everyday routine or that you can squeeze into shorter amounts of time. While you may think that that limits the possibilities, there are plenty of great hobbies that busy moms can enjoy throughout the day.
Gardens can be as simple as planting a few potted herbs or as elaborate as the mind can imagine, but the wonderful thing about gardening is that it is done at home -- so moms can spend time in the garden while little ones are napping or playing outside. Not only is gardening a great creative outlet, but it can also be very relaxing. Bonus: Nice gardens add value to your property and provide an abundance of fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables when well-planned.
There’s no doubt that moms spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but instead of dreading meal prep, look at it as a hobby to make this otherwise mundane task much more enjoyable. Learning about different flavors, trying new techniques, and experimenting with ingredients makes cooking (and grocery shopping) a much more fun and exciting endeavor each day.
There is beauty in the everyday, and capturing that beauty on film (or digitally) can be inspiring and rewarding. From snapping pictures of the kids that will be cherished for years to come to taking a detail shot of a flower or an architectural element seen on a morning walk, photographing the moments in your day gives you big rewards with a small time investment.
Challenging the mind is not only a great way to stay sharp, but it’s also fun. Crossword puzzles are an ideal hobby for busy moms because you can work on them in small increments of time: Keeping a crossword puzzle book in the car, your purse, or on the nightstand makes it easy to squeeze in a little mental exercise while idling in the carpool line, waiting at the doctor’s office, or for a few minutes before bed.
With so many moments to cherish throughout childhood, scrapbooking is a great way to organize memories and experiences while also releasing some creative energy. It can be done while children play underfoot or while winding down in the evening after they’ve gone to bed, and the result is an album of favorite moments that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Knitting isn’t just a hobby for grandmothers anymore: It’s a trendy, creative outlet that can be picked up and put down over and over again until finished. It’s easy to work on while sitting at soccer practice or watching television at the end of the day. As your knitting skills improve, you can tackle an endless supply of patterns so you’re never bored, and the results are beautiful handmade clothing and gifts for family and friends.
A quick walk or jog is not only good for the body, but it’s also good for the mind and for stress relief. Plus, it can be done just about anywhere: While the kids are at sports practice, walk or jog around the adjacent fields. Put little kids in a stroller for a cruise around the neighborhood or to do errands, or if they’re too big, let them ride bikes alongside you. All you need is a comfy pair of shoes to make walking a hobby you can take wherever you go.
Nobody is expecting Picasso to be living next door, but putting paint to canvas is a fun way to create artwork to use at home or to share with friends. Because art is truly in the eye of the beholder, creating a finished product can mean anything from splattering paints across a canvas for an abstract landscape to carefully attending to the minute details of a floral still life. Many artists create their paintings from photographs, so take a picture of a favorite scene and then attempt to recreate it later at home.
Sewing is not only a fun hobby -- it’s also a frugal one. From clothing to home furnishings to dolls, the items you can make instead of buy are nearly endless when you know how to work a sewing machine. Mixing and matching fun fabrics and turning them into products that are useful is not only enjoyable but also productive, which is always a good thing when time is at a premium.
Sometimes the best way for busy moms to relax is to decompress by putting their thoughts into words and starting a blog. Whether it’s specific to your family or features recipes, crafts, general thoughts on motherhood, marriage or any other topic, blogging can be an excellent release as well as a great way to connect with people who have similar interests.
HowStuffWorks learns about the free-range parenting philosophy and talks to the movement's founder Lenore Skenazy.