How I Make Time to Read as a Mom

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Ever since I was was old enough to hold a book, reading has been one of my favorite hobbies! Throughout my childhood, if someone in my house was looking for me, I could usually be found in a quiet corner with a book. I looked forward to weekly trips to the public library when I could restock my stash and lose myself for hours in make-believe worlds.

This love of reading continued into early adulthood, through college, and at the beginning of my marriage. Then two kids came into the picture, and suddenly my bookshelves consisted entirely of board books and short, repetitive stories with colorful illustrations, giant popups, and silly rhymes.

Not only was my book collection looking different, so was my time. Instead of having plenty of opportunities to pick up a novel, my days were spent breastfeeding, changing diapers, chasing curious toddlers, potty training, cleaning up messes, and taking trips to the park, zoo, or children’s museum. And by the time my kids finally chose to stay in bed at night, all I could do was collapse under my own covers in an exhausted slump.

Now my kids are four and six, I’m finally at a place where I’ve been able to resume my hobby. They’re more independent and I find myself being able to carve out moments to read a chapter here and there with few interruptions. Reading makes me feel more like my own person and is a source of relaxation in this stressful world. I’m so glad that I’ve been able to do more of it lately.

We all have limited time during the day, so you have to make a conscious choice to use it wisely. If you’re trying to fit reading into your busy life, here’s how I make time for it.

In the Car

The great thing about books is that you can stick them in a bag and take them anywhere! When I’m sitting in the school carline or waiting for kids to finish dance class and gymnastics, I pull out a book.

While The Kids Play

As I said, my kids are far more independent now. If they want to play in the yard with our neighbors or ride their bikes around in the driveway, I’ll grab a book to read while I supervise outside.

Less Screen Time

Social media has the potential to take up a lot of time without you even realizing it. Instead of scrolling aimlessly for hours, you can put your phone down and read.

The same applies to television. These days, we have unlimited access to thousands of shows and movies, and could easily fill our free time staring at a TV screen. If you want reading to be part of your routine, resist the urge to pick up the remote and grab a book instead.

I also think this sets a great example for your children to moderate their screen time and prioritize reading.

Nighttime

My kids finally respect their bedtime and generally stay in bed all night, so I’m able to fit in a couple of chapters before I go to sleep. It’s such a peaceful way to unwind after a full day! 

Audiobooks

I haven’t been able to get into audiobooks, but if you like to multitask, this is a great option. Just turn on an audiobook and listen while you cook, clean, or drive.

Read What You Love

The most important aspect of reading is finding something that you don’t want to put down. Maybe it’s classic literature, maybe it’s romance novels, maybe it’s sci-fi or murder mysteries. Richland Library is full of quality material that’s easy to access both in-person and digitally. I am mostly drawn to novels, but I also enjoy self-help and autobiographies.

5 of my favorite books that I’ve read recently:

1. Such a Fun Age

By Kiley Reid 

“Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.”

2. Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng

This book is…”a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.”

3. The Vanishing Half

By Brit Bennett

“A stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.”

4. Daisy Jones & the Six

By Taylor Jenkins Reid

“A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous breakup.”

5. Happy & You Know It

By Laura Hankin

“A dark, witty page-turner about a struggling young musician who takes a job singing for a playgroup of overprivileged babies and their effortlessly cool moms, only to find herself pulled into their glamorous lives and dangerous secrets….”

How do you make time for reading? What books would you add to the list?

 

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Tasheena is a California native who moved to Columbia in the Fall of 2018. She has been married to her college sweetheart since 2013 and together they’re raising two feisty little girls. Tasheena has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a minor degree in Child and Family Science. She worked as a kindergarten teacher until her second daughter was born in 2017 and she transitioned to life as a stay-at-home mom. Although being home full time has its challenges, she loves being her girls’ first teacher and experiencing the world their eyes. Tasheena enjoys yoga, impromptu dance parties, exploring the community, solo trips to the grocery store, and sharing pieces of her life on her blog, The Cinnamon Mom. With so many transplant families in Columbia, she hopes to share a newcomer’s perspective and connect with more mommies in the area!

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