Side Hustle or Hobby? It Was Just Supposed To Be for Fun!

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Love baking? Decorating cakes? Painting? Quilting? Monetize it! You’ve got skills, talent, interest. You should become a momprenuer! That is what it constantly feels like the world is telling moms. “Oh, look at the adorable nursery you decorated for your baby, you should start an interior decorating business.” “Oh, sweet cupcakes you made your child for their birthday, why don’t you sell them?” “Do you love to cook? You should write a cookbook and self-publish on Amazon!” The pressure is never-ending.

Am I the only one who feels like anytime a mom creates a labor of love for their kids, the world (social media) makes them feel like it has to be converted into actual labor? Since when was a hobby only worthwhile if it could be monetized? What happened to the days of sitting around the living room knitting scarves for friends and family as gifts? A tangible token of how you passed the time?

I believe the message moms are getting today is that their talents are only valued if they bring in income. Otherwise, it is just a waste. Tags like #sidehustle and #bossbabe fill my news feed. FOMO and feelings of inadequacy steal my joy. What happened to creating for the fun of creating? To do something to learn a new skill?

Why is it not enough to do something just for your own satisfaction?

Because yes, you might be really good at making something, but as soon as you go to sell it, it suddenly becomes work. Do you love painting little pictures of wildflowers? Great! But wouldn’t it be better if you made those into a little card set and sold it? People would love it. And they probably would, but now you are no longer creating something for the joy of it, you are working. Working to build a social media following, working to create an inventory, working on advertising, on shipping, on taxes, etc. Suddenly that thing you loved to do is no longer something you enjoy because of all the work that comes with it.

It is like you are made to feel like unless you are buying those art supplies for your business, buying art supplies is frivolous. Unless you are making money, your hobby is costing money. Well, so what? I have decided I don’t care. I already have a job. It is because of that job that I have money for hobbies. But I am done feeling like I have to justify my free time. I love to make messes and create things. It is a losing investment, I’ll admit. I never get my money back. But I don’t care. I wish to spend my free time doing things I enjoy. Creating to add beauty to the world, learning to increase my knowledge on a subject, and just doing something fun!

What do you think? Do you have a hobby that is just for fun, or do you feel pressure to prove it is worth your time?

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Rachel is a native Coloradoan, though originally from the Western Slope. She followed her husband Chris to his hometown of Colorado Springs after having met in engineering school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Together they have four beautiful children, Tommy (2011), Tazzy (2014), Zach (2015) and Zinny (2018). Having a young and active family keeps Rachel on her toes trying to find ways to keep the ship sailing while still meeting all the demands of motherhood. Though Rachel loves her most important role as Mommy most, she also works full time outside the home as a Water Resources Engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources. This role helps keep her life centered, bouncing from detailed and complex discussions relating to Colorado Water Law with her husband ( a mechanical engineer) to daycare and preschool drop off and pick up schedules, while being constantly interrupted by the equally complex musings of her 4 year.

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