Motherhood is the busiest time of one’s life. Suddenly everything changes and there is no time for taking a proper shower, have a nice meal or even drinking water at times (at least in my case). However, once the first couple of months with the baby pass, one gets on track and can do other things besides taking care of the baby.
I am sure that if you desire to do something, you’ll always find the way to do it. Let me mention that my regular job is as a project manager. I always try to make the best out of my time not only at work, but in my personal life as well. It’s just my lifestyle.
Keep calm and read books
I love to read books and I usually read circa 25 novels per year. I have an account at Goodreads for the last several years and I love it since I use it as a reader’s diary. With the time passing I forget some of the books I read. Well, not totally forget them, but forget the exact title for instance. Once I purchased a Nabokov’s novel only to find out it is already standing at a shelf at home.
Here is my status since 2013:
In 2018, with the baby on board I decided to challenge myself with reading 13 instead of 25 books. I assumed that reading would be the last thing I’ll have time for. Guess what! After the first three months with baby Anna I found myself capable of reading as usual.
I was able to read when I put my baby to her daily naps. This was pretty much my free for books time during the day. It may sound silly, but I managed to read 13 books for nine months by just reading while putting Anna to bed.
Below is a pic of what I read so far this year. Didn’t include John Updike’s Rabbit at Rest, which I needed three months to read at the end of 2017.
How I did it?
Baby Annie slept three/four times a day when she was a newborn. Now that she is nine months old, she sleeps two times during the day (not including her night sleep). Anna needed some time to fall asleep as a newborn, which I spent next to her bed, reading and sometimes swinging her. With three naps a day this is at least 30 minutes of reading and can go up to one hour.
Anna’s daddy usually puts her to bed in the evening. But if this is me again for some reason this gives me even more time for reading. I usually wait for some five-ten minutes after she is asleep before I leave the room. Just want to make sure she is really and deeply asleep. This is also necessary as both our homes in Bulgaria and Croatia have old wooden floors and they make noises when you walk on them. If Anna is not that well asleep, the floor can easily wake her up, so it is better to wait a couple of minutes than to risk it.
Sooo, let’s do the math. Time for baby to fall asleep (30-60 minutes a day) + time to wait before leaving the room (around 30 minutes a day) – we’ll certainly have at least an hour of reading or so a day, which is a valuable time for me.
Keep in mind that reading a book while putting the baby to sleep does not mean that I ignore her or anything similar. If she needs me I am there for her. When Anna was couple of months old she started smiling at us when we had an eye contact, so we had to avoid looking at her in order for her to go to bed. Now that she is a bit older, one must not look at her eyes again. She wants to play all the time and she literally fights with the bed and the linens… So looking at a book made this task easier.
What did I read?
The best novel I’ve read so far this year must be Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera. It’s a beautifully told story of a forbidden or let’s say impossible love. It may sound cheesy or too romantic and soap opera like, but I was sure it is not going to be.
I have read another of Márquez’s books (One Hundred Years of Solitude) and I knew he is not capable of cheesy in general. An important note and not a spoiler is that cholera is not that present in the book as the title suggests. I am saying this because I was going to skip this book as I thought there would be people dying and separated by the illness throughout the book, which is not the case.
If you are looking for a more motherhood-oriented book, let me recommend Anna Bikova’s Independent Child, or How to Become a Lazy Mother. I don’t think the book is available in English. I read it in Bulgarian and the author is Russian. According to my research, it is also available in Romanian. The book basically explains how a child gets more independent if the mother gives him opportunities to become that by supporting him and not doing things instead of the child or for the child. It was a great read.
Let me finish by saying that I am writing this post while Anna is asleep. As well as the majority of my posts actually. Every child is different and I am sure my practice is not applicable to all. I hope this read is nevertheless helpful. You may not be that into reading, but think of some other useful activity that you can do while putting your baby to sleep.