I’m a word lover. I love to write, and I love to read. But it’s hard to fit both into my already jam-packed schedule. And, unfortunately, due to the volume of daily life, reading is what usually gets pushed down farther on my to-do list as the days fill up.
There was a period of time when I only read when I was bored and there were large chunks of time available. But I’m better, happier, more relaxed when I’m reading, so I have started to be intentional about doing it, because that period of life is over for me. (Because motherhood.)
So I'm a hard-spun advocate of reading -- especially as a mom, and I have 3 main reasons why:
1) It's relaxing.
Holding still long enough to read a whole or even just a few pages is good for you. We moms are always on the go, so make sure you take the opportunity, or excuse, to relax - whether on the couch, in bed, or even in the car. It settles the body and puts the mind in a receptive state.
2) It's inexpensive.
The average new book costs less than $20, which is not a lot in comparison to other luxuries many of us indulge in from time to time. (I'm looking at YOU, massage and nail salons that took my money last month.) Books, if bought used, can cost next to nothing. Not to mention they can be read over and over. And companies like Amazon have options for unlimited books per month.
Or -- best yet -- walk into your closest library and sign up for a library card. Most of the Memphis area libraries need proof of residence to issue a free card, but once you get it, you can borrow physical copies, audio versions, or even digital ones to read on your device.
3) It pops our little bubble of the daily grind.
As parents -- especially if you are in the season of littles -- daily life is all-consuming. We get caught up in the diapers, the naps, PTA and school schedules, doctors appointments, and homework deadlines. Allowing our minds to immerse into a story, will remove us from our own little bubble ... even if temporarily.
Okay, so you want to give reading a better shot in your weekly schedule.
But you may be asking, "But Kristin - how am I supposed to get any reading done with all this chaos around me, from the children to the chores?"
My answer is a simple one. Find places hidden away in your day you can use to read. Below are 3 of my favorites:
1) In the scrolling.
Replace phone scrolling with page turning.
Confession: this one is hard for me. Social media is a part of my work and a way I connect with friends and family, so I have to be careful. If I truly want to focus on a book, I have to be intentional in using my phone or other device to do exactly what I need, then nothing more. I get online to check in on my family out of state, but once I do, I need to turn it off before I get lost in the scroll.
The same goes beyond just scrolling social media, but also answering texts/emails or doing some online shopping. We have to get on, do our thing, then get off. Use those extra minutes you'd still be scrolling to read and relax.
2) In the waiting.
Keep your Kindle or paperback in your purse and/or in your car. Because did you know that the average person waits anywhere from 45-60 minutes a day? Do you know how much reading you can get done in that amount of time? So keep a Kindle, the Kindle app on your phone, iBooks, or audiobooks with you to fill this time. (Be careful that this doesn't become your scrolling time!)
I find these pockets of "waiting" time standing in line at the grocery, sitting waiting for a gas pump to open at the gas station, in line at Taco Bell, and at the school in car line pick-up or waiting for the bus.
3) In the car.
Audiobooks are my jam. I drive a lot between work, carpools, church, small groups, and errands, so this has upped my reading amount quite a bit over the past year. If the kids are loud (which they always are) I pop in my earbuds and tune into my own little audiobook world for a little while. Audible is an audiobook service I use, and I can't recommend it enough! It's worth it to try for one month (that's one free book!) and if you don't like it, simply cancel. 🙂
Interested in reading along with friends?
Memphis Moms Blog hosts a monthly(ish) book club called Read Between the Wines.
Check out the group on Facebook. Haven't read the latest book, but want to come anyway? COME ON!
Parts of this post were originally published on KristinFunston.com, but adapted for Memphis Moms Blog and may contain affiliate links.