Friday, March 25, 2016

6 Tips for Finding Time to Read With A Baby


Finding time to read with a new baby . . . is impossible!

Just kidding! You came for tips and I'm bound and determined to give them to you! I'm usually an avid reader. Most of the time I fly through about 40-50 books a year. But the years I've had a new baby, that number has dropped dramatically. But let's be real! That's totally fine and expected. I'm a big believer that there are seasons of life and that things go in an out of importance depending on the stage of life you're in. 

I have a five month old, a four year old, three teenagers, a husband, a dog and a cat--so life at my house is pretty crazy! There's always something going and someone always needs something. It's LIFE and it seems like it slips away in both slow motion and fast forward. You definitely don't want to miss out on quality time with your kiddos. But it's also important to fill your own bucket so that you can be the best woman you can be! 




6 Tips for Finding Time to 
Read After a New Baby



1) Audiobook-It!


(photo source . . .  my ibooks)
Above is a snapshot of some of the books I've audiobooked lately. If I'm being totally honest . . . for the last several years, I'd say 95% of the books I read are the audio version! This came about because after I had my son who is now four, I was missing reading but I couldn't figure out how to squeeze in the time! Someone had suggested audiobooks to me but I have to admit I was pretty leery. I loved the feel, the smell, the REALNESS of a book! I almost felt like I was cheating on Reading if I Audiobooked! BUUUUUT let me tell you a little something. Audiobooks have made it possible for me to read when I couldn't have otherwise. I listen while I'm cleaning, driving or working out and [CONFESSION] I'm obsessed. The audio version of newer books have come a long way! If you haven't given it a try recently, DO IT! Personally, I just download them on iTunes and then they're ready to go at any given moment! Many people also love Audible

Have a huge pile of dishes? No problem. Throw on The Girl on the Train and in no time the kitchen is sparkling. There are SIX loads of laundry? Easy-peasy. The Luckiest Girl Alive has me captivated with every little sock and shirt. Burpies? Are you kidding me? A Darker Shade of Magic makes it fly by (well . . . mostly! Burpies are freaking hard!)

Here are my audiobook tips:

HEADPHONES Use your headphones and have one side in and one side out. That way you can pay attention to everything that's going on around you. You can press the speaker or end call button on the headphones (at least on my iPhone headphones) to pause the book if someone needs something and then quickly get back to where you were in the story. 

DOUBLE-TIME Use the 1.5x or 2x feature! In the bottom right corner it will give you the option to listen to at at one and a half times the speed or double time. This allows me to get through books at a much faster pace. Unless the reader sounds like a chipmunk, I usually do the double-time!

2) Stash Books!


You're much more likely to pick up a book if its in a place that's readily available. Find your Cozy Spot. Is it in your room? On your couch by the fire in the living room? Maybe it's both. Stash books in several places for easy reading! I tend to like to go back and forth between heavier books and then something lighter or really funny. Break up your books and have different kinds around for different moods. Maybe when your baby is down for a nap you can steal a few quick minutes to reboot your soul. Curl up with that book--it will do you good!

 3) Reading While Feeding!



If you've had a newborn, you know the amount of time involved with feedings. Enjoy those sweet and precious moments! Bond with your little baby. Snuggle and look into those sweet little eyes. But sometimes for the middle of the night feedings, I needed something to distract me and keep me awake. I downloaded a few books right to my phone for easy viewing. I always  check my feeding app on my phone to help me remember where I am in my feeding schedule. (What did we used to do without our phones? Sometimes I feel like I can't sit down to feed my baby without my phone to tell me which side and when I'm done! I'm ridiculous!) Since I use that app, I always have my phone, and now I always have a good book at my fingertips. 

Or of course you can always just keep a book by your feeding station. The book featured above was written by our very own Robin King! She has two books out, Remembrandt (featured on my fireplace above) and this one, Van Gogh Gone.

Remembrandt Summary: Seventeen-year-old Alexandra Stewart is recruited by a secret orgianiztation - The Company- whose headquarters is at Brown University. She must use her eidetic memory to navigate the unexpected world of espionage and love while in search of stolen art. 

New moms--you know the drill! There is A LOT of feeding time and sometimes the struggle is REAL. Having a book on hand is always a nice way to pass the time while your baby is sleepily eating.

 4) Quiet Time


This suggestion has more to do with my toddler than my baby. Once my four year old decided he was no longer a napping kind of kid, I still wanted to have some down-time during the day. So for an hour in the afternoon we both have quiet time together. Reading books is a great way for one of two things to happen. The first is that we read books together or try out some fun new books from the library. Here are some more ideas of Fun Books to Read with Kids. The second option is my toddler plays quietly in his room while I do my own version of quiet time. Depending on what I have going on, reading is one of the few things I give myself permission to indulge in during that golden hour of quiet time. Now, this really only works when it coincides with my 5 month old's nap . . . which only happens every once in a while. Just keeping it real here. But on the rare occasion that the stars align, I've got a book at the ready!


5) Bonding with Your Baby



There is something magical about reading to your kids. I love reading books for me. BUT I LOOOOVVEE passing my love of reading on to my kiddos. My mom used to read us huge stack of books when I was young. We would each bring our piles of carefully selected books and then crowd around her and vie for the spot next to her as she read us the tales of my childhood. Kelly wrote an amazing post about 5 Tips to Raising Happy Readers on The Baby Cubby. It's so fun to see my kids light up as we read together. 

I love to read to my little baby. It's great to start them off early. He loves seeing the bright pictures and interacting with me as I give him lots of one on one attention.

6) ME Time

Well, in this pic it was me and Mark Watney. ME TIME may sound foreign to you if you're a new mama. What is ME TIME you ask? It sounds familiar but you can't place it? Yep. I know the feeling. It's easy to lose a bit of yourself in those first few months with new littles. And that's normal. It's the most amazing thing in the world to be able to give so much and love someone with such depth. 

It's also very important to make sure you're taking care of yourself and taking time to devote to YOU. Whatever makes you feel whole and replenished is vital. Reading a good book is one way to fill your own bucket so that you can take care of those you love the most with renewed vigor. Maybe you want to read some great parenting books. Maybe you need a break from all things kid-related and you want a thriller. Maybe you're into self-help books. Or sometimes you just crave a good romance. Whatever makes you feel at ease, gives you an escape, or renews your soul is the kind of book you should delve into. 

I hope that some of these ideas will inspire you feel like you can be a great mom and also cultivate your love for reading. As with all things, balance is key. We would love to hear any other tips you may have for moms with young kids! 

PS- in the picture at the top, my little boy is wearing two of my favorite products that I want to share! He's wearing what's called a bibdana. Have you guys heard of these?? They are soooo much cuter than normal bibs! For all those drooly months, these little bibdanas are shaped like a bandana but function like a bib! I got these from a local shop, Copper Pearl and I love them!

Also, his socks are my absolute FAV by Copper Robin, Bryn from our book club. They come up high on his leggies which is awesome because they NEVER fall off! And when his pants inevitably hike up, there's no skin exposed! I love them and I get tons of compliments on them! 

Total coincidence that the two products both have Copper in them! Anyway, I hope you're able to spend some time reading in one way or another! 

Your Writerly Ranter,

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