Q: Can you have a serious hobby that you're passionate about while also raising children? Are children, in terms of time management, the One Hobby to Rule Them All?
I'm about to turn 30 and newly married. In my free time I've been pursuing dance, an interest I came to in my 20s but am just now able, physically, to really explore. It's honestly the first time I've been truly passionate about something besides my friends, family or city. It doesn't seem possible to have a serious artistic pursuit while being a mother, at least for the first five (10?) years. If I'm going to have kids, do I need to be prepared to say goodbye to what has become an important, fulfilling part of my life?
A: It depends on how many hours a week your dance habit needs to remain viable and fulfilling, and on other variables in your life, like how time-consuming and stressful your and your spouse's jobs are, how close you live to family and/or how able you are financially to pay for help.
Someone with a houseful of high-need kids, tight budgets, few local relatives and a high value on being available to your kids won't be popping out to the dance studio four times a week, not unless your spouse is willing to absorb those absences. If instead you have a small easygoing family, access to affordable child care, and flexible work schedules, then you can have kids and barely dent your dedication to your hobby. Some of these you can control and some you can't, so concentrate on the ones you can, anticipate the ones you can't and see how you feel. The main thing you want here is not to be unpleasantly surprised, since that's early-stage resentment, something no kid deserves.