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Becoming a mom is, single-handedly, the best thing that has ever happened to me. Without my son, I wouldn’t be here blogging, I wouldn’t have ever tried essential oils, I wouldn’t have quit drinking, I wouldn’t have started therapy (at least probably not anytime soon), and so many other things that all started with my son being born and ripping my crotch to shreds. He changed my life, as is the norm with anyone becoming a parent.
All of that is great. He’s amazing, the best, life-changing in the most glorious way. BUT, I also need to make time for myself, and something I love to do is read. So, if you’re looking for ways to tuck into a good book while navigating this whole parenting thing, I have some ideas that might be able to help you out.
I need to also be very clear that I am a fan of screen time, allow my child to watch television, sometimes have a tablet, and I feel no shame. I also am a major believer in doing things that make me happy and self-love, self-care, self-all-the-things, are very important to me. So, if you struggle with mom guilt when doing something for yourself, I hope that, by the end of this post, you maybe feel a little better about taking time for your own joy.
Parenting is hard. We see that all over social media, moms and dads alike are posting the raw and real details of how parenting is a challenge. I love this movement and I hope it continues, but another thing I see a lot of on social media is mom (or dad) guilt. This guilty feeling is unavoidable, for me at least, but also in order to be the best parent I can be, I need time for things that fill my cup.
In my personal development and mental health journey, reading has become my favorite hobby. You can find my list of personal development reads HERE. I love getting swept away in the pages of a fiction novel or learning something new in a self-help book.
If you’re wanting to take some time to read, here are my suggestions on how to find the time to do so.
1. Download the Kindle App on your phone
This app and reading on my phone are the main contributors to me finding so much time to read. Doctor office waiting rooms, I’m reading. Standing by the stove while I’m making dinner, probably reading. When I’m laying with my son at naptime, you guessed it, I’m reading. I do read him a few books on the app first and then switch to my own book for a chapter or two. KindleUnlimited is amazing, has a ton of books for adults and kids alike, and is cheaper than the cost of most single books. Get a free one-month trial by clicking the link below.
The app is free, and if you don’t want to try KindleUnlimited, you can buy kindle books or there are even some books included with Prime memberships.
If the idea of reading on your phone doesn’t appeal to you, I also love my actual kindle something fierce. It is so amazing and also eliminates the distractions that come on your phone, like social media, which we’re about to talk about next.
2. Set Screen Time limits for Social Media
OR DELETE THE APPS OFF YOUR PHONE.
Deleting social media apps off of your phone, or if you have an iPhone, removing them from your home screen, is a gamechanger. Think about all the little moments in your day where you find yourself thumbing through random posts from others when you could be reading instead. You pick up your phone to respond to a text and the next thing you know, you’re 15 minutes into a Facebook scroll.
Removing Facebook off of my phone and only having it on my iPad has been really great for reducing my time spent scrolling. I do have Instagram on my phone, but I keep it off of my home screen so it’s not a constant temptation anytime I open my phone.
If you trade your time spent consuming social media content for time spent reading, you might be surprised with how much time you do have to read. Example: In the past, I’d read Facebook or scroll Instagram in the morning while drinking my coffee, now I read a chapter or two of a book on my Kindle app. I don’t miss the time spent on social media, and an added bonus is my anxiety is less triggered when I spend less time on it as well.
This also applies to after-bedtime scrolling. I see so many humorous posts about moms being tired the next day from spending hours scrolling TikTok or Instagram reels, and while I LOVE that as well, I definitely am tired the next day from being up late reading.
It’s all about just swapping your social media time for reading time. But I am also in no way, shape, or form saying to never go on social media. I love “Bookstagram” so much it hurts. There are so many good book recommendations online. It’s just a time management thing.
3. Listen to audiobooks
This is not something I personally do. I listen to music or true crime podcasts. I have not branched out into the world of audiobooks because if I’m being totally honest, I have the attention span of a baby squirrel and miss chunks of my podcasts at times from my daydreaming. I just need to state that right out of the gate, this is not a personal habit of mine.
That being said, if you are trying to up your book count, audiobooks would be an awesome way to get more literature in.
I know there are readers out there who say audiobooks aren’t the same as reading a book, but I don’t necessarily agree with that. For busy parents or busy humans in general, an audiobook would be great to listen to while cleaning your house, driving your daily commute, a great alternative to music on a road trip, or even to listen to while working out or getting your cardio in. I actually love that idea. I might try an audiobook on the treadmill next time.
I’m not going to post a link for audible since I don’t personally use it. I don’t know if I’d like it, so I don’t want to recommend it with a commissioned link. If you use and love it, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Or if you listen to your audiobooks elsewhere, let me know that as well! Maybe other readers of this post can benefit from your audiobook knowledge.
One last tip, which I didn’t want to give its own number, is to cut back on your television time. I don’t want anyone to come for me over this, which is why I’m making it a bullet point lol
As for me, I love TV, as already mentioned. I love watching Friends and Gilmore Girls over and over and over again. They are my comfort shows. I also binged The Handmaids Tale and many other popular shows, and really, truly enjoy TV, so please don’t think I’m judging anyone for choosing that as their free time activity.
That being said, watching TV really allows my brain to wonder. I can be scrolling social media, working on something on my computer, browsing Pinterest, texting my friends, literally so much can be happening while I’m “watching” a TV show. And, again, like I’ve already mentioned, my attention span is garbage.
Something I really love about reading a book is that it is one of the only times my brain is truly focused on one thing and one thing alone. There is just nothing else that brings me a level of peace and contentment as being able to get 100% lost in a book. I especially love the kind that gripes me up so hard, when I look up from the pages, I have to blink myself back into the real world. sighhhhh. My fav.
Okay, so there you have it. My little brain nuggets of how to get more page time wisdom. ALSO….my son is almost 4. I’m running out of time to call him a toddler and I’m not okay. MY BABY IS ABOUT TO BE 4. HOW?! Ugh.
What are your favorite ways to steal away and read? Even if you’re not a toddler mama, gimme your reading tips, because everyone is busy. Kids or not. Finding time to read for most adults is a very conscious choice. Adulting, amiright?