Posts tagged with reading:
I got this in an email:
As a married working mom with a young child, when do you find the time to read?
I’m a married SAHM with a 6 month old and almost 3 yr old. Once we put the children to bed it’s mommy/daddy time but I miss reading a good book!
For me, it’s not about how long I read or how many pages I get through. It’s a routine for me. Reading is the way I gauge how much I’m feeling like myself. It’s the way I wind down. It’s my silence and my comfort after hours of standing, moving, cooking, cleaning, working, talking, typing.
It’s a rare night that I’m too tired to read even a few pages before turning off the light and falling asleep. Reading helps my anxiety. I have a hard time turning off my brain at night. (Did I send that work email? Am I imagining it? Crap, I need to do Iz’s laundry. Speaking of Iz, her lunch! I haven’t gotten groceries in…how long has it been? What am I going to pack for her? Do we even have bread? Brandon—he can go to the store in the morning. Or maybe I should go after the gym. DID I SET MY ALARM) Reading helps this. (Sometimes it doesn’t—sometimes it keeps me awake but staying up late to finish a book is the best kind of insomnia.) I will catch a few minutes of reading during other times too. I love reading in the morning with my coffee. I grab a few minutes here and there during the week while I’m eating my lunch. Occasionally I’ll lay in Isobel’s room on the floor with my Kindle while she “reads” her books or snuggles beside me or plays with her toys. She’s started to take a book to bed with her now. I want to believe it’s because she has already discovered something really important: There is no comfort like a book close at hand.
The motivation to read has a lot to do with the books that we choose for ourselves. I used to force myself to finish books I didn’t like because it seemed like the right thing to do. I rarely do that now. A good book helps you find the time required to read it. Don’t read something you’re tepid about just because a lot of other people seem to love it. Read something in a genre that YOU love. Romance, mystery, nonfiction, self-help. Everyone has a guilty pleasure genre that they always come back to time and time again. (I love true crime.) Read the books you know you’ll love first. If you find yourself glancing over at it through the day or thinking about the book and wishing you had a quiet moment to yourself to read it, you’ve chosen the right book.
Reading is also about taking care of myself. It’s one of a handful of truly relaxing activities for me. Sometimes I tell Brandon I just need 20 or 30 minutes to myself to recharge and become a decent person again. 99% of the time this means I retreat to our room and read.
One of my biggest fears is losing the motivation to pursue my hobbies as I get older. A hobby seems like a childish word, but that’s the point. Children pursue things because they are just fun. Kids lose themselves in their hobbies. It is full-immersion joy. As more and more responsibilities take hold, I fight to keep hold of the bits of what I find truly fun to do. My child is not my hobby. Neither is my husband. They are people and I love them, but they are not hobbies. Reading is, though. It has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I stole flashlights to read underneath the quilt. How many miles and miles of forest flew by my parents’ car window while I was in the backseat, legs splayed out past my sister’s, with my nose deep into a book?
It’s true—my reading time could be better spent elsewhere. The dishes, maybe. Or an extra hour of work. But I need to read and the dishes can wait.