After my previous post ' What Is Mummy Reading? ' I got a few questions about how I manage to fit in so much reading with a todd...

Finding Time to Read as a Busy Mum

Saturday, May 26, 2018 BookBairn Blog 17 Comments



After my previous post 'What Is Mummy Reading?' I got a few questions about how I manage to fit in so much reading with a toddler and a baby. So I thought I'd write a little blog post about it with some tips for reading when you have little children.

Bedtime

The way that I unwind at the end of a busy day is to escape into a story. I find it hard to fall asleep as soon as I go to bed if I don't read something. Even a couple of pages. And if I'm too tired to read I often pop an audiobook on my phone and listen to that whilst setting the sleep timer (both audible and my library apps have sleep timers). But most nights I go to bed at 9.30 to read for at least half an hour before falling asleep.

Books over Buttons

When naptime reading meant
 watching this cute one sleep.
In the past, I wasted far too much time on social media. And don't get me wrong, I really like social media but when I consulted my battery usage app on my phone it told me I was wasting up to three hours a day on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I got a real wake up call for how I could be using that time more productively. So I cut back. I check Facebook twice a day - once in the morning with my cup of tea, and once again in the evening once the kids are in bed; I hop on Twitter to promote blog posts and message my friends but don't usually spend more than a couple of minutes a day on there anymore; and Instagram, which is my real weakness, I pop on throughout the day and save photos using the 'save for later' function and then in the evening just scroll through these saved tabs and check out my favourite accounts as well as preparing a few posts for the next days to share. And I cut my time wasted in half. So there's at least an extra hour I was wasting now repurposed for reading.

The Ten Minute Rule for TV

My husband and I have really cut back on TV shows we watch. So now something has to be really good to capture our attention. We have a ten minute rule (and we use this for films too) if we watch something and in the first ten minutes it hasn't grabbed us, or we feel it has gratuitous sex or violence in the first ten minutes (a sure fire sign that they have had to add that to boost ratings) we switch off. There are so many better things to do than to waste time watching boring or monotonous TV shows and films. Honestly, I'd rather read a good book.

Audiobooks

I find sunshine always makes
 me want to read outside!
The Wee Page Turner is still too young to command the radio in the car, so after we have dropped BookBairn off at nursery and are driving to and from his swimming or yoga class I put on an audiobook. That works out at over an hour and twenty minutes of listening time for me in just those two return trips. So I try and choose something that I don't mind him overhearing and have been re-reading the Narnia series and started Harry Potter as I don't think these have content that is too worrysome for him to overhear.

I also listen to audiobooks whilst doing some chores. I don't always listen as I need to be concentrating on the story so I can't do that when I'm doing something that requires my focus. But I can listen whilst doing the washing up, sometimes when cooking, when folding laundry, whilst ironing and whilst doing general tidying up. That's a lot of listening time.

Quiet Time

One of the best parenting tips I got was when BookBairn stopped napping was to introduce quiet time. So every afternoon, when The Wee Page Turner naps, I also put BookBairn in her bed, read her a story and let her choose a selection of toys to take with her. Sometimes it only lasts half an hour, but other times she accidentally takes a nap and I get two hours peace and quiet. So I usually do a few chores, sometimes some blog admin and emails and then I put my feet up and read a few chapters until they wake or until it gets too close to the danger nap time zone when I wake them up and cross my fingers that they will still go to bed on time.

Hiding

Sometimes if a book is really good, I hide from my kids to fit in ten extra minutes reading. I put on CBeebies (or something that I know will keep them glued to the spot for 7-10 minutes), tell them I'm going to the bedroom to put washing away, or in the kitchen to do dishes and I sneak off and read until they eventually come and find me. I'm sure this is not the best parenting strategy but it's a great one for fitting in an extra chapter.

Finding Time for my Hobby

Having a snack always helps!
But in short, I love to read so I make time to fit it in. When my husband looks after the kids at the weekend and says 'go and take some time for yourself', I pretty much always run a bath and read a book. If the sun is shining I desperately want to sit in my garden and read my book. That's my favourite thing in the world. So I find time to fit it in.


Ultimately, if you want to read, you will find time to fit it in.

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Hope you found a little tip to help you read more!
Kim


2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
BookBairn has read 37 books toward her goal of 48 books.
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17 comments:

  1. Busy! Busy! Busy! Lots of great tips..... but sneaking away to hide from the weans. Honestly! (joke).

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    1. Thanks! I only do that every once in a while 0 usually when I've had enough of Hey Duggee!

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  2. Some great tips, kids or no kids, especially re:social media!
    I'm not sure I want to know the answer, but did you find you managed/had the energy to want to manage any reading at all with a newborn (particularly first time round)? Trying to prepare for a potential book drought when our first makes his appearance in a couple of months...

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    1. Emmmm with my first I didn't read a huge amount but mostly I tried to choose books well so that I wanted to read. Both my kids liked to sleep on my shoulder so I always made sure I had a book handy rather than my phone and that helped me read more. Also try audiobooks and headphones so that when you are lying in bed and not able to sleep, because your sleep pattern goes kind of wacko, you are doing something for yourself. Hope that helps. But also don't beat yourself up if you don't manage to read. Just enjoy and relax!

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  3. what a lovely blog! I particularly like the idea of hiding (hiding behind pretend housework!) in order to read. And in answer to Rachael about reading with a newborn - I read VAST amounts while breastfeeding. I made sure I had a book and a bottle of water beside all the possible places I could end up sitting with a babe in arms, and that way I could always be sure of plenty of reading time.

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    1. Me too! Not so much whilst feeding but when they feel into the post-feed snooze!

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  4. Ooh, thanks Lori - that sounds promising 🤞!

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  5. Great tips. I read kindle books on my phone at the bus stop, whilst waiting for the kids to return on the school bus. And please tell more about the "save for later" function on Instagram. I haven't found that #readwithme

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    1. It's a little symbol under photos - looks like a banner - and then in your profile there's the same one. And it saves them all there for you. Allows you to comment on everyone's posts but you can wait until a more convenient time.

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  6. Some fab tips, I tend to not sleep hence how I find time to read so many books lol #readwithme

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  7. I now make time to fit reading in after it started taking me months to read a book. I was just reading 2-3 pages a night before falling asleep. Now I read while eating my breakfast (my children are older now so can sort themselves out) and I try to grab an hour in the afternoon before they come home from school :)

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    1. It's about finding out what works best for you isn't it? Sometimes I only manage 2-3 pages at bedtime too!

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  8. I have heard a lot of people rave about audio books but I've never tried them, maybe I should!

    We always had quiet time after lunch once my daughter gave up napping and we still quite often have half an hour reading time at the weekends if we have no other plans. I am a great believer in children seeing parents read too, role modelling reading is one of my favourite jobs as a parent :)

    #ReadWithMe

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    1. Oh the love of quite time. I started with a free trial of audible and my library has an app so you can borrow them on there too. And now I've subscribed because I love it. Has to be the right sort of book though!

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  9. Ah this is brilliant! I love the idea of quiet time on an afternoon and I have definitely done the hiding with the help of Cbeebies trick to read a few chapters!
    #Readwithme

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