However, as a parent, I can’t suddenly change my routine to accommodate my interests. I can’t move to another town, change my daily timetable of looking after little children, or ask my daughter to “hang on for a few hours while I finish this project.” Life as the parent of young children is often boring and repetitive – the exact things guaranteed to drive a multipotentialite crazy.
Here are some tips for those of you who are both parents and multipotentialites and would like to have more time in your life for your various interests.
1) Schedule “me time”
You can involve your children in your interests by taking them out with you or pursuing your interests at home but children, especially the small ones, get bored easily. They have their own interests and needs and you often feel like a servant, helping them with their interests but never getting time for your own.
I’m sorry if that sounds Scrooge-like but many parents will identify with this situation.
It’s important for parents to have time to themselves. Happy parents = happy children. I firmly believe that. So schedule in some precious ‘me time’ each week. Get your partner, mother, or anyone reliable to look after the children for an hour or two. Take a breather, use your adult brain, and take a break from children’s interests.
If during your time off you need to sleep, keep a notepad and pen next to your bed to write down any dreams and ideas you have while sleeping.
2) Nourish your mind
There are lots of great resources out there for entertaining and nourishing your mind during your free time.
- Iversity — Free education. This organisation teaches non-standard courses via video and MP3, so you can dip in and out whenever you like. They’re provided by a German university, in English, and are open to anyone who wishes to enrol. Did I mention this is free? Examples of courses are: ‘The Future of Storytelling’, ‘Designing Resilient Schools’, ‘Dark Matter in Galaxies’, ‘The Fascination of Crystals and Symmetry’, and ‘The European Union in Global Governance’.
- The Setup (from Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher) – Set up your interest in the corner of the living room or wherever you spend most time with your children. You can do anything that fits the time and place, for example blogging, researching vintage cars online, scrapbooking, or calligraphy.
- Facebook groups— Facebook is a great place to get inspiration, meet others in your situation, or just talk about multipotentiality. There are some scanner groups out there.
3) Get a multipod-friendly job
There are loads of jobs that suit scanners. Training courses also provide another a great way to learn and stretch yourself.
Try working as a teaching assistant in a school or college. I recommend working in college with students over sixteen years old because the subjects they take are more interesting and they can hold more adult conversations. Alternatively, for variety, work with children of a different age to your own children. You could also be a library assistant. The hours are flexible, you’re surrounded by information, and you’ll need to research a variety of subjects for your customers.
The multipotentialite parent’s life will go much more slowly than that of a multipotentialite who is single or retired with time on their hands. Every little thing you achieve will seem huge. But keep going because one day your children will grow up and you’ll have the time to finish the projects you started. Plus your children will have enjoyed living with a happy, more relaxed parent.
Are you a parent? If so, how do you find time for your multiple passions?
Catherine Chisnall is the mum of a delicate but very lively eight year old. She has worked in a variety of sectors including banking, education, charity, libraries, and most recently, writing and editing. She lives in southern England with her family, which consists of little daughter, busy husband, dotty mother, cuddly cat and an increasing number of goldfish..