I've always been a reader. It's kind of my "thing." When I was a self-conscious teenager, it's what made me feel cool (this should clue you in to just how cool I was). When I was an unmoored college student, it's what brought me back home. As an adult, it has broadened my horizons. And as a parent, reading has—like everything else in my life—changed drastically.
When Charlie was a squishy, sleepy newborn, I read for hours every day. Nursing for 45 minutes (plus) around the clock every few hours gives you a perfect excuse to pull out a book and do some good old parenting multitasking. There were few things I felt like I had a handle on life those days, but those 3am dates with breastfeeding and books made me a little more confident. I can still read. That's something, right? Since I'm a creative and type-A, checking books off my reading list made me feel human and accomplished.
Then Charlie hit six months or so. And suddenly, she wasn't so keen on sleeping in my arms for 15 hours a day. Even more suddenly, she was a toddler with no regard for Mom's reading hour.
As a result of entering the toddler years, my 2015 book list looks just a tiny bit different than my 2014 reading list. I thought I'd share it anyway since I think every parent needs a little encouragement to keep up the reading habit. It's only October, but I'm fairly confident I know exactly what the rest of my 2015 year of reading will look like. I've even given estimated reading time to help you plan out your reading schedule. Without further ado:
How to Read Like a Parent (My 2015 Reading List)
1. Reading Material: Google | Reading time: All hours of every day all year long
As a parent, your job is 90% Googling and 10% hesitantly implementing what you learned on Google. Google results are now your main reading material, so get cozy with trading Byron for BabyCenter. You'll encounter riveting essays like "The Dreaded (7, 8, 9) 10-Month Sleep Regression," "Why Your Baby Isn't Napping," and "The Essential Guide to Infant Diarrhea."
2. Reading Material: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson | Reading time: 3 months minimum
One of the three (okay, two and a half) "real" books I've read this year, Gilead is the perfect novel for a parent. Written from the perspective of a dying father to his young son, Gilead is warm, contemplative, and insightful. I found myself grateful for these fleeting toddler years while reading this exquisite book. Warning: may cause whiplash when transitioning from stately prose to chaotic playtime.
3. Reading Material: That magazine subscription you got on Christmas sale | Reading time: Ha ha... ha ha...
You're familiar with guilt as a parent, yes? Add piles of unread Food & Wine and Relevant issues to the list.
4. Reading Material: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr | Reading time: 6 months
This book was incredible. Doerr thinks like a scientist but writes like a poet. Reason parents should read it: short chapters and a riveting storyline that you won't forget between bi-weekly reading nights.
5. Reading Material: Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss | Reading time: Approximately 47 times daily
Bonus points if read while hopping on Pop.
6. Reading Material: Middlemarch by George Eliot | Reading time: 5 months
This last book I've begun for 2015 is kind of a horrible suggestion for a parent to read given its length, wordiness, and slow pace. But I love it anyway. At my current rate of reading, it'll take me five months or more to finish the 500+ pages, but I'm enthralled with Eliot's sarcastic wit and dry humor.
There you have it—your complete guide to reading like a parent. I'm genuinely curious: how do you fit books into your schedule?