Cheerios, sippy cups, diaper changes, play dates, nap time, bath time, reading time, laundry, groceries…as a mom to three I get it. Life is FULL.
Who has time to read an entire book that isn’t Dr. Suess? Or the brain capacity to do anything except binge on Netflix once the little people are finally quiet? Well, for a long time I felt the same way. That changed when I read a poignant article about the importance of becoming a mother who reads, and one who reads consistently.
The biggest motivating factor, I gleaned, to cultivate a reader in myself was HOW to read:
30 minutes a day + three or four books of varying subjects at one time = SUCCESS.
By implementing this recommendation I could actually finish a book. Finish. Because I finally had the freedom to choose what I wanted to read. You know, instead of getting stuck on one book that isn’t what you thought it was going to be. Then giving up all together and then remembering six months later that you were trying to read a book…anyone? or is that just me?
For me, four books in four different subjects hit my sweet spot and has totally given me the break through I needed to get back to my love of reading.
So, at any given time I now have four books started and my subjects generally fall into these categories:
- Non fiction
However, the big picture point of reading regularly is developing within yourself a “Mother Culture“.
Basically besides being an expert in household management, meal preparation, and pediatric care we need to be, dare I say have to be, experts in our own opinions and interests.
Personally, this really hit home to me as a full time stay at home mama (SAHM). I found it so easy in the beginning years as a full time SAHM to come to the end of the day and wonder what the heck I did with my brain. Then I would grow resentful of my “job” and wonder why the heck I wasn’t working like so many other moms. It was truly a heart probing process to find worth in being *just* a SAHM and figure out how to cultivate myself in the process without an external forcing factor (like a career).
But, SAHM or not it I still think it is frighteningly easy as mothers (especially during the all-consuming little years) to be so caught up in the basic needs of our children that we forget about our own mind’s needs. Then, all of a sudden when our children are teens and NEED us to have a bank of information to pull from we are unfortunately depleted.
Our children need us to have alive opinions in order to learn how to have their own opinions. Our children need us to set the example of being life long learners. Because eventually the “why is the sky blue?” question will turn into “how did we get to the moon?” and “do you really think its possible to colonize mars?” and then “what do you think of artificial intelligence, mom?”
So, this summer go buy a book (or 4) and join me this year in taking some time to cultivate yourself as an individual and simply read 30 minutes a day. It totally helps me fall asleep at night 😉
So far this year I have read (and recommend):
- The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty; highly entertaining and the quickest 500 pages I have read since The Name of the Wind.
- Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice , by Curtis Sittenfeld; also highly entertaining and a breeze to read if you like Pride and Prejudice, but if you’re a traditionalist & a diehard Liz and Darcy fan you might be disappointed at the end.
- Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs; this is a completely Christian perspective on marriage BUT AMAZING discussion on the deep needs of men and women. Id’ highly recommend if you’re a Christian or not. My husband finished this book before me and he is NOT a reader, which I think says a lot.
- All The Light We Cannot See,by Anthony Doer; hauntingly beautiful. It’s fiction, but quite possibly could have been true. Even if you’re not a history buff, read it.
- The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen; I’m ALMOST DONE with this VERY intellectual, but delightful, and also disturbing novel……can something that’s intellectual and disturbing be delightful? When it has to do with the Vietnam war, double agents, and assassins, I think so 😉
- Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse; if you didn’t read this as a child READ IT NOW. It’s my favorite ever.
Are you a voracious reader? Or are you stuck (like I was!) wondering what motherhood has done to your brain?
I’d love to know, and would love to know what is in your reading pile!