I started thinking: when I was pregnant, one of my biggest fears was not having time to read after Hawthorne was born. (It's a first world problem, I know, but I feel most like myself when I'm reading, so it's really part of my fear of not being me after he was born.) So far, I'm feeling pretty good about how much I read, even if it isn't always when or where I want (or how I used to.)
1. In the morning
I'm the one who gets up with Hawthorne in the morning. He's now sleeping through the night, which means we're both waking up happy and ready for snuggles, even if it's 6 a.m. We go downstairs, I make my coffee and Hawthorne's bottle, feed him, let him play in his exer-saucer, while I enjoy my morning coffee and my book. After a full night's sleep and a bottle, he's usually content to amuse himself for close to thirty minutes. It's not like the old days, when I would read for an hour over coffee before work, but it's still nice to sneak in a few pages before work. When he (briefly) slept until 7 after the time change, I got up before him to read, but 6 a.m. is early enough.
The biggest change in how I read with a baby is audiobooks. Mr. Nomadreader and I work fairly opposite schedules, so when I'm with Hawthorne, it's usually just the two of us. We listen to audiobooks in the car, while I was dishes, while I cook, while I feed him, and every chance we get. I average about an hour a day during the week and up to four hours a day on the weekend.
Hawthorne is not a regular napper. He naps 2-3 times a day for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. His naps are my time to read. I don't when he will go down for one, but I do know when he does, it's my reading time. You won't find me cleaning while he sleeps. His naps, even on short nap days, are one of the reasons I still read a lot more on the weekends than I do during the week.
4. Play time
Since he was born, I've encouraged Hawthorne to play independently. When he's in his exer-saucer or on his playmat, it's as though he steps into his own world. I sit nearby, sometimes on the floor next to him or sometimes on the couch where he can see me, and I read. It's not usually the best reading time, as I spend as much time marveling at him as I do reading, but it's still nice. I also try to read a print book at these times so I'm modeling a reading life for him.
Hawthorne goes to sleep at 6 p.m. It's earlier than I would like, and I was really hoping his bedtime would become 7 p.m. with the time change, but he has a mind of his own. On the nights Mr. Nomadreader and I are both home, I usually don't read much after Hawthorne goes to bed. But on the nights I'm home alone, I sneak in a couple of hours before switching to television.
I'm glad the hobby I'm most passionate about is reading because I can take it anywhere. I can stop at any point, even though I prefer to stop at chapter breaks.
Now tell me: whether you're a parent or not, when do you sneak in reading time?
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