“I used to love to read… but then I became a mom.”
Many mom-friends tell me how hard they have tried to find time to read after having a baby.
Personally, I have always loved to read. But I definitely also had to realize that time for reading doesn’t come as easy and natural anymore after having a newborn.
Nevertheless, even though back then I didn’t know how to find time to read as a mom, I certainly knew that I didn’t want to give up on reading.
I know reading helps me relax, gives me a break from everyday life, and lets me travel to other worlds. That all has been important to me, so I have been determined to find ways to make it work.
Over time (and having my second baby), I have come up with 9 ways on how to find time to read when having a baby.
Check them out and apply or implement whatever tips work for you! Happy reading 🙂
Disclosure: MyMommyHeart is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
My first and biggest mom-hack to read books when having a baby is: Audiobooks!
Audible has given me the freedom to listen to books wherever I am, whatever I am doing, and whatever time of day (or night) it is.
I love to pop in my wireless headphones (connected through Bluetooth to my phone) and listen to my books.
No matter if I am walking in circles to put my baby to sleep, if I am washing dishes while baby sleeps, or if I am sitting up, feeding my baby in the middle of the night.
It might not always be long stretches of listening at a time, but it adds up throughout the days (and nights), and I have been back to “reading” quite a bit.
Check out Audible here on amazon.com. It has literally changed my (reading-) life.
2) Electronic reading
Using my phone and other electronic reading devices has been the next hack for reading as a mom.
I used to (and still do) love to hold an actual book in my hands, turn pages manually and see how far along I am just from opening the book. Yet, ever since having little kids, I have found it is much easier to read on electronic devices such as my phone or a kindle.
I have downloaded the Kindle app on my phone and have access to my books whenever and wherever I want.
Not only is it a super-easy way to carry (lots of) books everywhere I go, but especially when being up late or even at night, it makes reading so easy with the integrated light.
So, even when breastfeeding or holding my baby on my chest at night, I can easily hold my phone (or Kindle) and comfortably read without having the lights on disturbing my little one.
3) Always carry a book with you
My third tip is to always have a book with you, no matter where you go.
Mostly it’s on my phone, but sometimes it’s also paperback in my bag.
Sometimes there are unexpected reading windows that I like to use:
I might arrive at the doctor’s office for my baby’s monthly checkup. My baby might be sleeping, and we have a wait. Perfect opportunity to enjoy some reading time. Or could be out and about, waiting on a train. Or even during a visit at my sister’s house while her kids play with the baby and my sister is busy in the kitchen.
4) Make a routine out of reading
Just like having an evening routine with kids, you can come up with your own. It might even help you wind down in the evenings after your busy day and prepare you for a restful night.
If you have started a good book and haven’t gotten to read during the day, try to read at least 30 minutes before going to sleep.
You might need to go to bed a little earlier than usual, but you will see how much you will enjoy the reading itself and getting it done (aka having done something fun for yourself, momma!)
5) Use all kinds of time windows
Read while your baby is eating, listen to books while your baby is bouncing and playing, and listen to books while going for walks or drives.
Because there is rarely a planned reading hour as a mom of a newborn baby, you have to learn to make the most out of every opportunity.
Even if sometimes it might mean that you sit down for 5 mins only, you might enjoy those 5 relaxed reading minutes to the fullest.
6) Let go of perfectionism
When having a newborn, some things are going to give. But it doesn’t have to be reading.
Tidying up the kitchen, vacuuming, doing laundry and the whole household are necessary and important. But so are you! And it’s even more important to look after yourself first so that you have the energy and motivation to do all those things after all.
So, sometimes the dirty dishes are allowed to lie in the kitchen for an hour longer, and most household chores can be done quite easily, even with an awake baby around. But reading undisturbed? Definitely harder to find time for as a mom.
7) Less social media, more books
I don’t even want to know how many minutes a day I stare at my phone (without counting reading and answering important messages…).
So, sometimes it’s just as simple as that:
I have to become aware, quit the aimless scrolling game, and pull out a book.
Or, when I am reading on my phone, I put it into flight mode so that I won’t be distracted by any notifications.
8) Take turns with your partner
When becoming a mom, this is so important. Learn to take turns with your partner to enjoy some baby-free time now and then.
If you don’t have a partner, ask your mom, your best friend, or somebody else you trust to watch your little one from time to time, so that you get some exclusive YOU-time.
Then, use that time for reading (and remember, the household can wait!)
9) Only read with joy
My ninth and last tip would be only to read books that really interest you and bring you joy and relaxation.
As in the rest of everyday life, it’s ideal to spend your precious free time doing things you actually enjoy.
If I don’t like a book after a certain number of pages, I simply put it away. I am not forcing myself to finish it. And I think neither should you.
Now you know how to find time to read when having a baby.
Don’t get discouraged.
Reading as a mom will be slower than what you were used to before. But it’s so worth it to find time for, and you will enjoy the benefits of doing something for yourself.
Happy reading, fellow mommy!