I love to read so much, but as a busy mom I often can’t fit it in. I feel like my days are spent doing chores, running kids around town, helping them with homework, and taking care of church and civic responsibilities. Where am I supposed to find time to read? We are told that reading is important to keep our minds healthy and to develop empathy, etc.
I’ve done the obvious things: joined book groups, have books ready to read, even let all the chores go so that I could just sit in bed and read all day. But I can’t count the times I haven’t read the book of the month for book club, simply because I couldn’t make time to read and didn’t feel it was okay to slack off on housework.
But I’m back to reading at least one book a month, because I’ve found time in my day that works for reading.
How Busy Moms Can Find More Time to Read
1. Listen to books
Listening to books while driving your kids around in the afternoons or doing chores is the best way to find extra time to read. I was very stubborn about doing audio books for a long time. To me that wasn’t reading. But a few years ago, I went to the library and checked out the audio CDs for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and I listened to it while doing the dishes or folding laundry. I realized that listening to books is a perfectly wonderful way to read, and I’ve been doing it more and more ever since.
I often just check out CDs from the library, but Audible is a great way to get digital files so you can listen on your phone or iPod.
2. Read while waiting
I love having my Kindle in my purse because I find that I am waiting a lot during the day. Whether at a doctor’s office or in the car while waiting to pick up my children, I spend at least an hour each day just waiting. I could use that time to play on my phone, or I could use it to read.
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can also just put the free Kindle apponto your phone and read that way. It’s not my favorite, but I have the app on my phone just in case I need it!
3. Turn off notifications
This is a big one for me. When I don’t have notifications turned on in my phone, I am less likely to waste time on Facebook or other apps. I can’t believe how much time I sometimes waste just reading stupid stuff on my phone, when I could have been enriching my mind reading. Turn off notifications and don’t let them distract you from what’s important—reading or otherwise!
4. Read before bed
Again, I could choose to play on my phone, or I could choose to read before I go to sleep. I try to keep a nice pile of books on the nightstand so that I encourage myself to get some reading done. Even if I only read for 15 minutes before going to sleep, I can usually read one book a month that way.
But if you add in all of the above, you can easily read one book a week. And for me, that is so worth it!
Small Habit: Read daily.
Big Difference: Expand your mind, increase empathy, stave off Alzheimer’s.
This post is part of my Small Habits That Will Make a Big Difference 30 day challenge. To see all of the posts in this series, click here. Or, join the challenge and receive a daily email with a new small habit that can affect your life in a big way.
To join, enter your email into the form below. If you are on a mobile device, click here to see the form.
This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.