Navigating through life away from the library.
Navigating through life away from the library.

Life After Kids: Find a Hobby

Life After Kids Find A Hobby {Living Outside the Stacks} #EmptyNest #Marriage #Parenting

“Jazmine’s mom…”

I look at the little hand tugging at the hem of my shirt, smile, and respond.

For the past 22 years, I’ve been “______’s mom”, “Tony’s wife”, or some variation there of. I will always be their mom and I will always be “Tony’s wife”, but I’m also “Daenel”. Daenel is who I was when I came into this world and Daenel is who I’ll be when I leave it. Somewhere in the middle, I became this person whose identity was dependent upon the people I was caring for. Now I’m at that time in my life when I should be remembering who I was and discovering who I want to be.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to tell stories and change the world. I wanted people to read my words and think I’ve got to fix this… I don’t think I ever really lost the desire to tell people’s stories; I just changed the way I needed to tell those stories. When I was raising my kids, those stories were told with the voice of a mother who wanted to encourage her children to explore the world around them while still staying safely nestled in her arms. Gosh, there’s so much conflict in being a mother.

Now that my kids are exploring the world on their own, it’s time for me to get back to the art of storytelling. Only now I’ll be using my camera.

Making pictures is cathartic for me. And frustrating. But I enjoy it. I like that there’s a moment – good or bad – that has been preserved. There’s something about having an image in my head and then seeing it come to fruition.

Burfordville Covered Bridge Bollinger Missouri {Living Outside the Stacks}

Fungus {Living Outside the Stacks}

There’s also something to be said for those candid moments.

Little Boy with Attitude {Living Outside the Stacks}

Life After Kids Coffee {Living Outside the Stacks} #EmptyNest #Marriage #Parenting

I’ve found that having a hobby is one of the easiest ways to stay in touch with who you are as a person. The act of doing something that you enjoy because you want to and not because you have to is renewing. There are no expectations, you’re not meeting anyone’s needs but your own. For a half hour or so, your focus is on making yourself happy and doing something that you enjoy.

Trust me when I say that this time that you take for yourself will not only make you a better {and, dare I say, more interesting} person, but it’ll also make you a better wife, and, yes, mother.

What did you want to be when you were a kid? Now that you’re older, have your dreams changed? Have you found a new passion? How are you maintaining or creating your identity?

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}



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