How Parents Can Reclaim Reading Time

Being a parent is a full-time job, and finding time to read can feel impossible among the endless list of tasks. I’ve realized that balancing parenthood, work, and personal interests such as reading requires a strategic approach.

The Challenge of Finding Reading Time

My days have become a series of rigorous three-hour cycles involving feeding, playing, and getting my child to sleep. These intervals barely leave any room for self-care, let alone reading. Even with part-time caregiving support, the bulk of my day is spent on professional and childcare responsibilities.

The only books I’ve managed to read lately are board books for my child. But reading is not only a personal joy; it's a crucial part of my job. Whether you’re raising kids or facing other life challenges, carving out time for reading can seem daunting but it's necessary.

The turning point came when I felt the urge to write again. I experimented with different schedules, aiming to squeeze writing into my breaks or evenings, but none of these attempts worked. It was then I realized the answer lies in making sacrifices.

Embrace Sacrifice

Reevaluating my schedule revealed that I had to let go of certain activities. One major change was waking up an hour earlier to write. This new routine, although starting my day earlier, allowed me to reclaim time for reading and writing.

In addition to sacrificing sleep, I also cut down on other activities. Audiobooks became my savior, fitting seamlessly into chores like washing dishes or exercising.

“Audiobooks are the secret ingredient, offering opportunities to multitask rather than swap out regularly scheduled programming for reading time in many cases.”

Reform Your Routine

Here are some of the changes I made to regain my reading time:

  1. Podcast Listening Time. Instead of political podcasts, which had become somewhat repetitive, I switched to audiobooks. This way, I stayed engaged in literature while carrying out mundane tasks.
  2. More Sleep. Despite loving my sleep, I cut back by 30 minutes. I get refreshed around six hours and this little sacrifice allowed for more reading time.

What You Can Do

Perhaps this guide can help you identify areas for similar changes in your life:

  • Evaluate your daily routine and identify activities that can be shortened or swapped.
  • Consider audiobooks to make good use of downtime.
  • Set clear priorities and recognize that making time for yourself is essential.

Final Thoughts

Even though life changes can feel overwhelming, it's possible to make time for personal pursuits like reading. It's about making mindful sacrifices and using time wisely.

For more tips and strategies on balancing parenthood with personal interests, check out

Don't forget that nurturing your interests helps define who you are outside of parenthood.

Explore Bookish Merch

If you’re a book lover looking to showcase your passion, check out the amazing bookish merchandise available at Liam and Lore. From tote bags to bookmarks, find the perfect item to accompany your reading journey.

July 11, 2024 — Kristin James