Mom Needs Recess Too


We know that children need time running around the playground or engaged in free play; it’s essential for their well-being and development. But then we get older, and suddenly, our focus is shifted to “adulting” and all the responsibilities that come with being a parent. Although we have aged and changed, our innate need for play hasn’t.

So why don’t we carve out playtime for ourselves?

It’s time that we take back recess.

According to Dr. Stuart Brown, the head of the National Institute for Play, defines play as “something done for its own sake. It’s voluntary, it’s pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome.”

There are 3 main reasons why adults engage in play: 1) building community, 2) keeping the mind sharp and 3) keeping close to the ones you love. These reasons are at the root of avoiding burnout and keeping life full of perseverance and joy.

Something to Call My Own

I didn’t know what to call it, but I have felt this urge to “have something for myself” since becoming a SAHM. I thought this constant and lingering feeling was my creative wheels turning and my gut nudging me to start a side-hustle from home. But recently, I had an a-ha moment. I realized that this want to “have something for myself” was a desire for me to have a hobby, something that I do for myself that brings me joy. At the root of it, it was a tug on my heart to give myself permission to play.

But, What is Fun?

So I started brainstorming. What is my hobby? What do I like to do for fun?


I’m embarrassed to say that it took me quite some time to think about what I truly enjoy. In another life, I played the piano, sang in various choirs, performed in theater productions, and got creative with painting and crafts. 

The idea of rekindling some of those hobbies and trying new ones that fit into my mom/wife life got me super excited! So I got to thinking and planning; I was eager to make play a priority.

So as of late, I am making time for play by playing the piano again, potentially auditioning for a local community choir (The Choral Society of Pensacola), giving myself permission to sing along to Broadway show tunes while dancing around the house (even when my kids tell me to stop…ha!), learning about landscape and vegetable gardening, and fine-tuning my watercolor painting skills.

Having fun admiring and learning about flowers at Bellingrath Gardens and Homes

Recess in Pensacola & From Your Home

During my playtime, I also want to connect with others and the community! Here are some places and businesses that I plan to play at:

Plants & Flowers Arrangements

Go to Fiore in Pensacola and have a petite party with your girlfriends! Fiore has fun crafting and flower workshops that you can schedule and have a fabulous time with your friends while you learn a new skill.

You could even pick up some cut flowers from the store and make your own arrangements for a centerpiece. If you want to spruce up your front porch or back patio, go to the local nursery, Bailey’s Produce and Nursery, or B&C Nursery, to find the perfect plants for an outdoor container. Pinterest is full of inspiration and tips!

Creative Arts

First City Art Center offers classes and workshops in glass blowing, glass bead making, stained glass, sculpture, pottery on the wheel, hand-built pottery, drawing, painting, and various other mediums.

Going to a Painting with a Twist event requires no creative or artistic skills! Painting with a Twist is all about connecting with friends over a glass of wine, your favorite snacks, and a night of laughs.

Do you have an art or craft project you’ve wanted to try but haven’t made time for?  There is probably a tutorial video out there to help guide you. Get the supplies that you need and make time to start. Let the creativity begin!

Do you have a musical talent that has been left untouched? Whether it be singing or an instrument, think outside the box as to how you could rekindle this hobby. If you like to sing, it could be as simple as singing along to music with a dance party at your house or as structured as joining a community choir or attending a performance. If you used to play an instrument, do you still have it? If not, maybe you could purchase one and get back to making music!

Opt Outside

Take a hike! Get creative and find a guide about local species to help you learn a new kind of plant or animal. Here is a guide to some of our favorite state and national parks in the area.

Play a Sport 

Get as low-key or creative as you want! Some ideas would be: bowling at Cordova Lanes, play disc golf at Hitzam-Optimist Park, or plan a pick-up game of kickball or softball with friends at Roger Scott Athletic Complex.

Make Movement Fun

We won’t call this exercise because sometimes that word makes me cringe. So we’ll call this ‘movement’! I always feel refreshed after moving my body in an intentional way. If you need motivation or want to find fun in your workout routines, join the PMC Fitness Club. You can connect with other women and get together to exercise as a group!

YMCA Northwest Florida has group classes and fun games like pickleball! They also have a swimming pool to swim laps and a Kidzone for the kids to play while you play. Fitness Impact Training (FIT) downtown Pensacola also has some great boot camps, personal training, yoga, and massage or physical therapy. I’ve heard Lorenzo is great to lead workouts! 

Fun in the Kitchen

Cooking for your family while everyone is hangry is not a pleasant experience. But playing in the kitchen to learn a new recipe or cooking technique would be so fun! Bodacious in Pensacola offers cooking demonstrations on occasion, so keep an eye out for those.

You could also carve out some time to make a new recipe from your own kitchen! The first step is to make sure the kids are occupied or out of the house, then find a recipe that you want to give a try, then turn up the music and get to whipping up your yummy dish.

Chit-Chat About Books

If you enjoy reading or it’s something you want to do more of, join the PMC Book Club. In August will be discussing the new novel from Elin Hildebrand, Golden Girl. Join the Facebook group if you want to join the conversation or see what book we’ll be doing next! 

I love to browse book stores; I could get lost in there for hours. Once you’ve picked out your book, make time to actually open it up. Ha! Put yourself in a comfy spot next to the pool or on the beach! Make sure you check out our Poolside Essentials so you can play in style.

So, Mama, it’s time to schedule your recess!

What fun and liberating hobby are you going to rekindle or try out?

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Casey was born and raised in small town Illinois and moved to the Pensacola area. She is a Navy pilot wife, mama to all boys, and a speech language pathologist. She is currently putting work outside of the home on hold and following her calling to stay home with their 3 young boys, Callan (4), Benjamin (2), Kolbe (10 months). When she’s not making snacks, you can find her hiking a trail with her boys and husband, Brandon, reading about how to grow herbs and vegetables, listening to parenting podcasts, or drinking copious amounts of coffee. She is excited to combine her love for family and motherhood with her love for writing.


  1. Great article! Recess is a need for all people. When I retired people tried to tell me that I would be bored. But the opposite happened because I did what you advise and got my sewing machine cleaned and started quilting again for lap robes to be given to nursing homes and friends. Playing and planting in the yard gave me the exercise and some fresh air. Thanks for the tips even though I am no longer a young women!


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