When a Book Lover Becomes a Parent

A little bit of everything from a scatter-brained, book-loving Mom. 

By Megan Lord

Hobbies? Oh yeah, I used to have some of those… especially reading! I could keep up with the best of them, reading at minimum a book a month, but usually 2 if I had a read book and an audio book. Then I had my son, and everything changed. 

I first want to shout out my neighbor and friend, Annie, for suggesting I write about the book lovers shift after beginning parenthood – it’s a real thing. We connected and fully understood each other and the longing for more time to read like we used to. It’s a major shift from getting lost in your personal likes, interests and hobbies in your free time to you questioning what free time is and losing sight of those things in a sea of diaper changes, playdates, activities, and ABC and 123 books. Your child’s bookshelf becomes the only reading you have the time and/or energy for. And you’re not complaining, you wouldn’t change it, but man you miss reading YOUR books! Don’t get me wrong, reading to my son is a beautiful and fun thing. I love that he loves books as well and always wants me to read to him… you also have to understand though the monotony of reading “Hop on Pop” or “Elmo Uses the Potty” for the 184th time. I do have a little hope that baby #2 coming early 2020 will bring some variety to the “favorite daily kid reads” and she will not choose the exact same books as her brother to love on repeat. 

Obviously, you still see me reviewing books and writing about books here, so the book lover in me was not totally lost for good, but she was lost for the first year of my baby boy’s life. Now he is 2, and I’ve finally kind of put some structure and semblance back to my life, and I’d like to hope that since I will be “seasoned” this time around, #2 won’t take me as long to get back into my skin and reading books for me again. My attempt at advice for those parents out there struggling to read more than just children’s books and bedtime stories: 

– Don’t get too upset if you can’t read much the first year, that’s pretty normal… be honest with your expectations after that, you likely will not read as many books and as quickly as you did pre-child for a long time. 

– Audio Books – you can listen in the car during errand runs, while doing chores or making dinner, and at night without needing any lights on. If you have Audible and Alexa – you can tell her to play your book anytime your doing something you can listen while doing pretty conveniently. 

– Remember that you lead by example, so if your children Do see you reading and/or observe you listening to audiobooks whenever you can vs. binge watching TV or scrolling your phone, they will be more likely to mimic those activities in their lives. 

– It’s important not to completely lose yourself in parenting. If you love books and reading, don’t lose that passion… even if you go months without picking up a book, you can always come back to it. Don’t give up hope or efforts! You’re not alone in the struggle – it is possible. 

About the Columnist: Megan Lord

I am the mother of an adventurous and exhausting but amazing toddler boy that runs my life. I spend a ridiculous amount of time reading mind numbing children’s books over and over again because he has his select favorites… But when I do get time to read (or listen) I love reading and listening to a variety of genres. I get the most time to indulge in books of my choice during what I like to call “wind-down baths” once a week. 

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Article originally Published in the October/November 2019 Issue “Read Global”

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