Most of us know that 14th February is Valentine’s Day. But did you know that it is also International Book Giving Day as well as Read to your Child Day? For someone who loves reading, these days probably mean more than Valentine’s Day! For a book lover like me, spending a day without picking up a book is like trying to breathe without oxygen. A book is something you’ll always find in my handbag, ready for when I have to go someplace, especially if I know that I’ll most probably end up waiting somewhere.
For book lovers who are Moms too, we have different challenges. First of all, you don’t have much time. You want to read to your kids and you also want them to learn to read by themselves. You probably have a full time job or are running your own business. Your kids may be babies or toddlers who need your attention all the time. Or they may be school-age who have different ideas about reading. So how do you find the time to read for yourself and for your kids?
The answer is: you have to make the time. There are several ways to do this, but here we have 6 of the most practical tips, especially for busy Moms like you and me!
6 Tips to Make Time for Reading in 2016
Keep a book in your Handbag
Always keep relevant reading material in your handbag. It could be for you, or for your child. You could even carry both! Put ‘reading material’ on the list of things your handbag would usually carry – snacks, water, tissues, make-up etc.If your child totes a bag around everywhere, make it a habit to keep a book in her bag too, along with her water bottle and other essentials.
- Make the most of Mealtime
If you eat alone, your meal time is a very good time to catch up on some reading. You can even keep some light reading specifically for mealtimes, with a bookmark to hold your place. This can be done at the office too, if you aren’t too keen on lunching with your colleagues! A lunchtime read offers a pleasant break from works tress and is certainly better than surfing the net or social media.
With young children, you can try reading a book while they eat – beats watching TV any day! In most houses, young children often eat early, before the adults get to the dinner table. Make the most of this time and spend it with a book that can withstand stains and splatters. Trust me, you’ll have the most wonderful memories for you and your children. Pick up books that are slightly above the child’s reading level.
- Don’t waste your Commute
Trains are a great place to read, and if you have a long ride to and from work, you have a golden opportunity to read and make use of that book in the handbag! Just make sure you do not suffer from motion sickness, which could get aggravated by reading in a moving vehicle. If you are driving, an audio book on your music system is the perfect idea to listen to a book – still counts as reading!
- Use Reading as Relaxation
Going to a playground for a good, exhilarating game, and relaxing with a book after school are better options than plonking the kids in front of the idiot box or picking up that gadget to text. Model this behavior yourself – if your kids see you relax with a book, they are more likely to follow suit. Promise them reading time before bed if they finish their homework and dinner quickly. It doesn’t always have to be steady reading – it could be a family read-aloud session, a book-based activity, or a discussion on some book you want to share.
- Encourage Bedtime Reading
For most parents who work full time, bedtime is when they get to spend time with their kids, and it is the perfect opportunity for a nice soothing read-aloud session. This can even work for older kids, but keep a collection of books in their room all the same, so they have the freedom to choose what they want to read at night. Sometimes, it can be them reading aloud to you. As I have said earlier, this can form some of your best memories together! As for yourself, always have a couple of books by your bedside; it’s the best way to unwind after a long day.
- Celebrate Holidays with Books
A festival or season is a great opportunity to buy and read some new books related to it. Pack books on vacation trips too; the kids can use them when they need some quiet time and you can use it to catch up on your reading. Ensure that everyone has some time to read during weekends and sometimes, just take a day off – make it a book date and spend the day in another world!
Finding time to read doesn’t seem so difficult now, does it? You can also participate in reading challenges for yourself and your kids, where you have different themes and you have to choose books based on them. This is a fun way for kids to try out different books, and enjoy the process. So go ahead and make 2016 a year filled with books, reading and fun!