Reading When You Have Kids: 10 Ways To Find Time

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Reading when you have kids…does everyone struggle with this? Here’s what’s helped me to pick up books this year. And actually finish them (Post contains affiliate links)

Closing The Book On Reading Once You’re A Parent

Reading is a life-long love of mine. As a child I read anything I could get my hands on, and more. Even as an adult, I read a book a day and was never without one.

But since becoming a parent – and, if we’re reeeeally honest – the owner of an iPhone – me and my two second, constantly-needing-to-do-things attention span just fell out of love with it. I found it hard to read when you don’t have the free time to be completely absorbed in it. And let’s face it, it’s quite frustrating when the usual day-to-day interruptions and you can’t lose yourself in it.

Even though my children are older now, and can entertain themselves for longer, I never quite got back in further than a couple of holiday reads.

A New Reading Challenge For 2023

How to read when you're a parent - what helps

However, I miss it! As a mum of tweens I have enough pockets of spare time that I could be filling with something more useful that checking Instagram, again. And it’s important for my children – who also love reading, luckily – to see me with a book in my hand more.

Inspired by people’s end-of-year book lists and new challenges for the new year, I decided to sign up to the GoodReads challenge and set myself a low limit of one book a month.

And guess what? So far I’ve read more than double my challenge this year. And most importantly, I’m enjoying it and finding it really thought-provoking, interesting and enriching.

Here’s what’s helped get me reading again.

10 Ways To Read When You Have Kids – What’s Helped Get Me Reading

reading when you have children

1. Choice Of Books Is Important

Finding things to read I actually want to read, not things everyone’s reading has really helped. At the moment it’s travel books and biographies. This site is also great for second hand bargains.

2. Carrying My Book Around Everywhere Helps

Carrying my book around with me everywhere, around the house and out of it, means it’s always with me. Reminding me to read it.

3. Reaching For My Book, Not My Phone

Having my book with me helps to reach for that and not my phone. Be gone, doomscroll.

4. Having A Kindle

I love paper books, but having a Kindle is sometimes a lot easier. I have a really basic Kindle – similar to this one – but have my eyes on the jazzier one that actually has a light, like this one.

5. Having The Kindle App

Having the Kindle app on your phone is also useful! I have an iPhone and the app is great (if you don’t mind reading on screens).

6. Reading Together

What helps with reading when you have kids is to minimise disruptions. So now we have informal ‘reading club’ after school where we huddle on the sofa and all read together (everything sounds better as a club, doesn’t it? This also gets the school books read.

7. Listening To Audiobooks

If you prefer audiobooks, I’ve found that having airpods really helps so you can do whatever you’re doing around the house, and you’re not tied to your phone.

8. Going To Bed Early To Read

I am a) terrible at going to bed early and b) terrible at doing anything other than late night phone-looking. So I’ve had to push myself to do this, but it is relaxing.

9. Closing The Book If I’m Not Enjoying It

I also promised myself to stop if I wasn’t enjoying anything.

10. Challenging myself!

Even though one book a month is a very low target I’m now determined to beat it. I’m Gill Crawshaw on Goodreads – say hello if you’re on there.

Books I’ve Read In 2023

ten ways to read when you;re a parent

Here’s what I’ve read so far in 2023. Any recommendations for what’s next?

Once You’ve Read My Post On Reading As A Parent, Read These:

Our favourite Nintendo Switch games / Kids bookshelf ideas / My favourite interior design books / Our review of the Postal Museum

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