Wondering how to read more books? So you’re a busy mom with a baby to take care of, piles of laundry, dishes in the sink, and toys and diapers scattered around. How do you find time to read? Or why even bother?
It’s easier to sit down and watch a video or skip the continued learning altogether. But there is so much wisdom we can glean from books and from parents that have gone before. And we’re being an example to our children. They do what they see us do so if we want them to read we need to be readers too.
Not only does reading help us gain needed knowledge but it also improves our focus and memory, things that can be lacking in our fast-paced distracted world. Reading also improves the empathy and communication skills that we pass on to our children.
But how? How can we make reading a priority when we’re so busy? Today I’m sharing with you a few of the things that have helped me read more books even with our little busy bee.
Wake Up A Little Earlier
This can be hard if you are in the midst of nighttime feedings and already not getting enough sleep. I know there are some night owls out there but I think most of us can benefit from a little earlier bedtime and a little earlier waketime. Having some time to yourself in the morning to start the day quietly can change your whole day and make you feel so much more relaxed.
This is the time when I read my Bible and write in my prayer journal. It truly does start the day off better. When I miss this time and try to read when our little one is already up I’m way more distracted and there is just not the same amount of peace in my day. If I can start the day quietly reading I find that it is easier for me to be patient and kind too.
If you want to start waking a bit earlier but are struggling here are a few tips:
- Know why it’s important to you.
- Think of a small pleasure you can include in your routine that makes you want to get up. It could just be your favorite tea.
- Keep a glass of water beside your bed and hydrate when you wake up. It makes it easier to come alive.
- If you can, move from the bed to a cozy reading spot like a comfy chair by a lamp.
- Try getting up just 15 minutes before you currently get up and gradually increase the increments until you reach the time you want to rise.
- Get in the light. If you have a therapy light to sit in front of when you get up that really helps. It can help you wake up but can also help you sleep better later and regulate your sleep.
Keep Your Social Media Usage in Check
This was a big one for me. I would find myself mindlessly scrolling through social media throughout the day when I was at home with our baby girl. Mommas, we’re tired and it is so tempting to do that. Plop down on the couch to breathe for a moment and start scrolling. Sometimes I wouldn’t even realize I was doing it and then all of a sudden I’m like, “What am I doing? This is adding no value to my day, I’m not even paying attention!”
Instead, I started committing to reading on my Kindle app instead of starting the social media scroll. As a reminder to think before just hitting those social apps, I moved them to the second page on my phone so they are not right on the home screen. When I had to hunt for those apps I was more aware of the time I was about to waste. I kept the Kindle app where I could see it easier and started reading more. Even if I could only read one page each time.
Think About Your Day And Look For Small Spaces of Time
I mentioned that I use the Kindle app. I have it on my phone so I can read easily throughout the day. One way that I fit in reading is while I’m breastfeeding our baby girl. I can still look at her, and snuggle her but can also fit in a couple of pages while she eats. I just keep the phone out of her sight in one hand. Also during nap time. Usually, there are many tasks to get done during naps but you can set aside just 10-15 minutes to fit in some reading.
You could create a game out of it. See how fast you can fold the laundry so you have a few minutes to sit and read. Remember you are improving your mind and focus which can make you a better parent. It’s valuable.
Read More Books With A Morning Basket
If you want to read more physical books and get rest from looking at a device consider a morning basket. It does not have to be just for mornings. Keeping a basket of books and things you want to read makes it easy to move around the house. You can have it by your bed in the morning and then carry it to the living room in the afternoon, etc. It sits there as a reminder to read instead of zoning out with tv and social media. You can keep paper and pens in there too for notes and journaling. Think about other things you could add like chapstick and tissues so you are not distracted when you get dry lips or have a runny nose. If you are like me something may bring you to tears too and those tissues come in handy.
Read To Your Baby
It does not have to be a baby book. Babies love to just hear the sound of your voice. You can share the books you are reading out loud sometimes with your baby, It may even put them to sleep. This is a great way to read more books.
Reading to your baby helps their language development and is also bonding. It can help them develop a love of books. They may not understand what you are saying but it is working their brains in so many great ways. They learn rhythm and cadence from our voices. And they start learning how words and sentences fit together. Including your baby is just another way to fit in a little more reading time.
If you have a toddler it can be a bit more challenging. They are on the go little things. But you can still read to them as they roam around the room and play.
Bonus Tip: Don’t read what you don’t like and is not adding value! As a Type A person I feel compelled to finish a book no matter what. But if a book is not adding value to your life and you are not enjoying it, then let it go and read something else. No book police are going to come after you. Your time is too valuable to waste.
Being a busy mom can cut down on personal time but by continuing to grow as a person you are showing your children what they can do. You can do it, Momma!
This post was all about how to read more as a busy mom. What tips would you add?
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