I'm not talking about reading aloud to your children or one of the many books sitting on your nightstand that you never finished. I mean when was the last time you read a book from start to finish? With working full-time and caring for my son I've found it challenging to read books the way that I'd like. More often than not I'm reading something for work or something online. However, this summer I've decided to engage in my own reading challenge. I’ve decided to make reading a priority and invite you to join me.
Revisit your free time
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as "free time" when you are a parent. It's those minutes you are waiting in the doctor's office or while your kid is at gymnastics or soccer practice. I usually carry a book in my bag or make a note to bring one when I think there will be an opportunity for me catch up on some reading. I’ve heard about people who keep books stashed around the house or in their cars so they are never without reading material.
I know folks who read at least 10 books a month. My eyes become saucers as I try to wrap my brain around how I could make that happen every month. Then I have to remind myself that doesn't work for me, nor is it a desire. I am very intentional about the types of books I read and want to truly enjoy each book. So right now, reading two-three books a month is a great goal for me. When I’m looking for something to read I try to alternate between fiction and non-fiction so that reading doesn’t become boring. I also check out the library or bookstores’ reading lists for books I may otherwise overlook. My local library also has a variety of adult book clubs. Even if I can’t attend their monthly gatherings, I can follow along with their suggestions on my own time.
Unplug with a book
I've shared before my desire to become a hands-free mama and live more in the moment. I find this to be true as I try to get more reading time. There are days when I find it easier to check social media on my phone or check email on my laptop than to sit quietly with a book. Then I am reminded that my son is watching me and is learning about the world through my actions. I can't help but smile when he asks me if he can sit in the cart and read while we go grocery shopping. He could just as easily ask for one of his gadgets to pass the time; instead he wants to read. It's a beautiful reminder to me unplug and read.
Family reading time
During the school year my son had to complete a reading log every night documenting that he had read for at least 20 minutes. When my son would sit down to read I would often rush off to complete some task before he was done. It never occurred to me until recently that I could use that time to sit with him and read something on my own. Not only would it allow time for me to finish a book, but it's another way for us to be together as a family.
How do you find the time to read?
Laila is the creator of Only Laila, a site dedicated to sharing simple solutions for single and working moms.
See more of Laila's stories here.
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