How To Read More When You’re A Busy Mom
Are you a bookworm? Do you enjoy reading for fun? Let me guess…you used to devour books! Binge a good book in one long sitting, buried in the pages for hours at a time? Got so attached to the characters that you found yourself tearing up at the end, not wanting to say goodbye?
All that was before motherhood. Before you were so busy raising tiny humans, managing the meals and the housework and the playdates.
Now you’re lucky to get time to read your email, or scroll through Facebook for 5 minutes before someone is calling “Mom?!”
But you long for those lazy hours of being a bibliophile. Caressing the pages of a real book. Inhaling that particular scent of paper and binding.
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Why Reading is Important
If you’re worried about justifying the time, remember…making time for your favourite pastime is good for you! Research has shown time and again the benefits of reading.
- Prevents memory loss
- Can delay the onset of alzheimers and dementia
- Workout for your brain
- Stress relief
- Can prevent depression
- Helps with sleep
How do you find the time to read? You’re reading this blog right now (thanks by the way!), which means you’re online. If you can read this, then you can also make time to read books. How much time do you spend surfing the net, scrolling through Facebook or Instagram? Clicking on the tv? Binge-watching Netflix?
Although those are sometimes enjoyable pursuits too (I’m already planning my Game of Thrones re-watch before Season 8 drops next year!), if reading is important, you need to make it a priority.
Read for short periods of time
Start small. Set a timer for 15 minutes (30 is better), grab a book and get comfy. Try adding it as part of your nightly routine. Just be sure to read a good old fashioned book, not your electronic version. If you have to use your iPad or Kindle, try changing the settings to “night”, on the warmer end of the spectrum. Blue light can interrupt your circadian rhythm, affecting sleep.
Challenge yourself to read every day. That 15-30 mins really adds up!
Challenge Yourself To Read More
There are amazing books to read. A quick search of the interwebs can reveal all kinds of lists of the best books…Best novels to read, best non-fiction books, best books to read at the beach, on vacation, at the cottage, in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s. There’s even best books to read during divorce! (See what I did there?)
Make a list of books you want to read, and set a goal for how many books you want to read in a year! You can keep track on paper, or try the Goodreads Reading Challenge. You can also type in books you have read to get recommendations for your next read!
Carry a book everywhere you go. Waiting in line, for your dentist appointment, picking up the kids from school? Pull out your book! Kids appointments are the best for built-in reading. I get almost an hour twice a week in the car while my kids are at Kumon!
Join a Book Club
Get social! Join or start a book club. Many communities have a “One Book, One Community” program, hosting event that bring people together to discuss a single book. Check out your local library for other book themed programs.
Reading as Family Time
This is one of my favourite ways to get more reading time. Now that my kids are older, even if they aren’t “bookish” boys, we make time to read as a family. Sometimes it’s reading out loud from our favourite Harry Potter series. Other times we just set a timer and have 30 minutes of quiet reading.
Even if they grab a magazine, newspaper, or their favourite kids book off the shelf, every bit of reading counts. And by showing them how much I enjoy reading for pleasure, I’m hoping it sparks something in them too!
It’s a struggle to find the time to really pursue your passions when you’re a busy mom. But with some planning and focus on what is really important to you, you can carve out the time to read more. It’s something that can benefit you, and your whole family!
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