I have been reading books since a young age and have always loved it, the escapism from real life, getting absorbed in a make-believe world. My mum had me join Hayes End library when I was 7 and I have been taking out books since then. My first books were Roald Dahl ones like The Twits and Matilda, in the teenage years my favourite book was Jane Eyre and I could not put it down. At uni, I got into chick-lit books, reading them in the summer holidays to pass the time before going back to uni. I read really quickly, as once I get into a story, I can’t put the book down. When I started working, I would read on the commute to and from the office, read for the whole hour of my lunch break while eating a sandwich. Which is why I am an active library member, borrowing books rather than buying is much more affordable!
Things changed after Tyler came into our lives. Looking after a baby was quite time-consuming – shock, horror! Still, reading was a part of me and I could not let that go. I was determined to still be ‘me’ as well as being this new mum. So I read out loud to him when he was lying down in the cot, so that it seemed like I was talking to him as he heard my voice, and I still got to read my story. I would put on funny accents and voices. I would sometimes read when he napping, but not too often as I preferred to catch up on my sleep too. Reading books took a lot longer, 6 months rather than 1 week in the olden days.
When I went back to work after a year of maternity leave, I was so happy to get my ‘me time’ back. I could read again on the commute – and I had a MAMMOTH commute now that I’d moved back to the suburbs. 3 hours of reading time, and half an hour at lunch time. I was whizzing through books again, plus getting to spend lots of time with Tyler on my two days off – so the best of both worlds.
Then Lily came around, and I found myself doing what I did with Tyler, reading my books out loud to her. Only difference this time was the Tyler would read to her too! He would pretend to read my Sophie Kinsella book but tell her the Red Riding Hood story. It was so adorable, I have lots of videos of him reading to her.
Another difference this time around is that I am now a blogger, so when she was napping, I would either be catching up on sleep or updating Instagram or writing blog posts. But I did read too, and it took me two months to read this Shopaholic book. My cousin was amazed, she asked me how I had the time to read a book as well as look after a baby and do all the housework. I laughed and said I was reading like one page a day! Alright maybe it was a couple of pages. And housework took a backstep – I did none and we lived on ready meals a lot in the early newborn days.
Now I am at a stage where I feel everything is balanced. I have joined a ‘Decluttering Motherhood’ Facebook group which helps me keep on top of keeping the house tidy – it’s honestly changed my life. The home is clean and I FEEL like cooking now. I have the school run and toddler routine under control. Blogging is only done in the evenings, so that when Lily naps in the day, I actually read my books!
So that is how I make time to read novels while having a baby. Yes it takes longer to read them, and maybe I get more library fines now when I miss the renewal dates (doh!), or I’ve maxed out on how many times I can renew a book. But I’m still reading, I’m still escaping from real life for a bit everyday. And I love it!
Do you like to read novels? How do you make the time?