I’m a wife and a mom with a three year old and a one year old. Both children are very active and inquisitive, and enjoy actively inquiring into my cabinets and the fridge, experimenting to see what happens if they pour water on the floor, and if they hit each other. They keep me on my toes.
I also cook pretty much every meal from scratch–what exactly is scratch anyway? Does anyone know? I bake my own bread, and don’t own a dishwasher. I do the grocery shopping, keep track of endless piles of laundry–or try– and I go on playdates, by which I mean that I try to hang out with other moms while my kids hang out with other kids.
I have a lot on my plate.
But I make time for reading. I have read at least 2 dozen books since the beginning of the year. Sometimes I use audiobooks, some ebooks, but mostly I check out print books from the library.
So with so much on my plate, why do I prioritize reading?
It Keeps Me Sane
When I was pregnant with my first child, I quit my intellectually stimulating job as a middle school history and literature teacher to stay home and take care of the baby. I need intellectual stimulation, and babies, delightful as they are, don’t provide much of that. Reading gives me new things to think about, and is, incidentally, amazingly compatible with breastfeeding. It’s also easier to do with jumping toddlers next to you than just about any other hobby. So basically, reading is a major part of my self care and self-development routine.
It Gives Me Something to Talk About
There was a period of a few weeks where I had stopped reading, because I thought I was “too busy.” Not only did my brain feel dead, I also discovered that the quality of the conversations I was having with my husband was declining. I had nothing to bring to the table except stories about the kids’ naughtiness, or what I found at the grocery store. I decided this was not ok, and resolved to read something every day, just so that I would have something to bring to the conversation. My husband married a woman who was interested in all sorts of things, presumably because he liked me that way, and I think I should try to keep being that person.
It’s an Example I Want to Set
When I prioritize reading, this shows my children, young as they are, that books are interesting, and that reading is something that people do. This will make them more likely to be readers and learners when they are old enough.
I also want them to see that I am a separate person and not just their mom/servant. I think it’s important for my kids to see me doing things that interest me. And for them to see me continuing to learn as an adult.
How do you fit reading into your life? If you don’t have a lot of time, here’s five books every woman should read.
Otherwise, here are some of the books I’ve read and enjoyed this year. I hope you enjoy some of them too.
This is a new one from one of my fellow authors over at Catholicteenbooks.com (Which you should totally check out if you have teenage kids or students, are a teen yourself, or just enjoy YA fiction.) It’s a hard-to-put-down dystopian story about faith, love, martyrdom, and a bunch of other stuff. A lot of fun.