Reading after Having Children

Reading After Having ChildrenI read a lot. This is nothing new in my life, but I remember feeling aggravated pre-children when I would get condescending metaphorical head-pats about how that was all going to change once I had my first baby. I’d NEVER read again.

It’s hard to argue with someone who is so convinced they are right, and that you will never know until you join their club. I’d usually just say something about how I couldn’t imagine not reading at all, and that I grew up with the example of a mother who was a devoted reader, despite having three children. I had proof throughout my childhood that being a mother did not require putting aside your own books!

Sure, my reading habits have changed – I don’t read as much, or for the long stretches of time that I once did. And yes, binge reading is a very rare thing, but I’m still reading. Now at least I can offer an alternative viewpoint if anyone tries to claim it’s impossible to read once you’re a mom. It’s not: if it’s a priority for you, you’ll still read. And I think that’s the key to it – it has to be a priority.

Why do I feel so strongly about this?

Partially because I don’t agree with the thinking that becoming a mom automatically means never spending a moment on something you enjoy ever again, but also because I adamantly believe it sets a good example for my kids.

Reading is important, and if they see me reading it will hopefully mean more to them than if I just tell them that it’s a good thing to do. If all I do is read to them, and encourage them to read, but never do it myself, it seems like that is more likely to produce adults who think reading is only for kids. That’s not at all what I want!

Simply from a parenting perspective, I think it’s important for me to read my own books when they can see what I’m doing, not only when they are asleep or otherwise occupied. Quiet reading time for everyone! (ok, we’re not there yet, but I can dream.)

It’s nice that something I feel strongly about from a parenting perspective (promoting my children reading) aligns with something I feel strongly about for myself.

Comments

  1. Totally agree! I am so excited for that quiet reading time for everyone moment too ๐Ÿ™‚ I work at making sure I leave books for myself everywhere…..the other day my 2 year old brought me her book to look at and a “mommy book” for me to read….it lasted about 30 seconds, but it sooo made my day ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I read just as much, maybe even more, than I did pre-kids. Of course, I’m still in the nursing baby stage (I have a 2 yo and a 4 month old), so I have lots of built-in sitting time. But I also read while my older son plays, or when we’re out somewhere, as well as in the evenings. And I agree–it’s very important, and I had a good example in my own parents.

  3. Speaking as a mother and grandmother, you need to keep reading so that you continue to learn and grow as a person. There are times in motherhood when you are very busy, but you don’t want to lose who you are as a person. You aren’t just “mommy”, but you are an adult with multiple roles and relationships. You want to remain interested in the world and culture around you and an offshoot of that is, people in your life will find you more interesting. You will have ‘fascinating stuff’ to talk about. And I don’t mean the latest Hollywood gossip. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That is such a depressing thought, to only have Hollywood gossip to talk about. And unfortunately I know some people like that. ๐Ÿ™

      Thanks for your comment – I appreciate hearing wisdom from moms who are further along the motherhood journey. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Reading is just the best thing ever. You get to stretch your imagination, travel, pretend, learn, grow, and explore without leaving your couch. I think it is so important to read in front of my daughter. Especially physical books so that she can tell I am not just screen-timing or something.

    • Yes. To all of your comment. And your last sentence echos a post I’ve had drafted and will probably be sharing next month. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I love this… that is so true – if I show my child the absolute joy I get from reading, she will hopefully find that too. Kids imitate their parents in the good and bad! Binge reading is gone unless i pull an all-nighter (which never ends well), but reading is still a beautiful escape and something that hasn’t changed for me post child ๐Ÿ™‚

    • There have been a handful of times I’ve tried to stay up reading like I did pre-children, and you’re right. It never ends well. That next day is BRUTAL. I’ve learned my lesson – no book is good enough to be worth that misery.

Trackbacks

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