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When asking some moms about their go-to, positive read for the new year, one of them responded with this: “Um… books? What are books? I’m lucky if I have time to read the back of a shampoo bottle before my toddler comes busting in the bathroom while I’m trying to go.”
For many of the multitasking, exhausted, coffee-chugging mamas out there, that response is the hard, cold truth. Unfortunately, it can be tough fitting in a few minutes of personal, enjoyable reading when there are children to chase, diapers to do, and laundry to load. Even for those who have always had their nose in a good book, they may find themselves too exhausted to even focus on a paragraph when they have a quick minute to themselves.
Make this your year. Make this your year to not only take time for yourself, but to jump back on that book boat and paddle away. Though that alliteration and imagery was a tad cheesy, it is a truth many moms don’t believe they can get back in the swing of.
I will admit – I am one of those moms.
Since having my girls (and moving twice during my pregnancy, being put on disability, and having to totally redirect my career), I have barely found time to read a book. I used to be someone who dove into book after book. I also used to be someone who avidly was writing stories of my own. As too many of us know, pregnancy and parenthood changes priorities, but that doesn’t mean we should totally push aside the interests and passions that make us who we are.
If anything, make this year the year you take more time for yourself. To start – set a reading goal for yourself. Below are some suggested books that breathe positivity and confidence within the pages. Being able to step into someone else’s world and see their struggles and insecurities through their eyes brings forth a new sense of understanding. By learning more about the realities of other women, mothers, and human beings – you realize that we all really aren’t as different as you may think.
And one note - sometimes turning to audiobooks as your “reading outlet” can be the next best thing to actually sitting down and reading a physical book. When you’re constantly on the go, it can be hard diving into a world other than your own. Audiobooks allow you to be the ultimate multitasker.
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I was kindly gifted this book and when I opened the package, I immediately recognized the title. I had heard about Rachel Hollis before, but never had I dove into her life – meaning, I hadn’t stalked her on social media yet. After doing a little browsing, I came to realize how real, raw, and relatable she was.
That night, I started reading her book.
Each chapter starts off with a lie she has told herself – and a lie that most women have also probably told themselves. Each chapter is quick, to the point, and written in a very easy-to-read, laughable manner. She touches upon every topic possible: body image, sex, pregnancy, parenthood, careers, finances, family. Her writing style is uplifting and energetic and her story is one so many women and mothers can easily step right into, understand, and learn from.
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“Chrissy Metz, better known as Kate from THIS IS US, has a beautiful memoir,” says mom of three, Beth Ann. When you’re a mom who is constantly on the move and you are able to find a few minutes to sit down and dive into a story, finding one that leaves you with positive, modern messages, such as this one, is key.
“She tells a wonderful tale of what parts of her childhood really shaped her into the person she is today. It has so many great, modern messages about how to be the best you possible, and she backs them up with her own stories. I felt motivated every time I listened to it. I listen to audiobooks most days. It’s nice to get to “read” often. I usually listen while doing dishes, or folding laundry, or waiting in the pick-up line.”
Photo credit: Amazon.com
When you’re pregnant, a million thoughts roll through your mind on a daily basis. Unfortunately, a lot of those thoughts can lead to stress. When you are able take that necessary time for yourself, you may want to dive into something funny, thoughtless, and relatable. You may not want stories that bring you down or make your head hurt at the end of every chapter. You want carefree, feel-good stories that leave you laughing.
“It’s a book written by a mother of two,” explains mom, Chelsea Swan. “She’s really real and honest about her experiences with pregnancy. I loved reading it because it was so relatable.” When you’re a mom, or a mom-to-be, you want to read about real-life moments from moms who experienced them first-hand. A book such as this one gives that reality to the reader – along with laughs.
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“I’m currently listening to Michelle Obama’s Becoming. It is a great collection of stories about her life. It gives a warm, softer version of our last president that you wouldn’t see any other way, as well as the struggles of being a parent in a uniquely challenging situation. I had no idea that the Obamas struggled with infertility,” explains Beth. “My children are two, four, and six. So, it’s taken me a while to get to being able to carve out ‘me time,’ but I’m so glad I finally made myself a priority. It’s been great for my mental health. Parenting is hard!”
Parenting sure is hard, but making yourself a priority is important. “Carve out ‘me time’” and take those necessary minutes to step into a story.
References: Statements from “real-life” moms who gave consent to use direct quotes (via Momhood Mayhem on Facebook and the.write.mama on Instagram).
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, mama of twins, and a passionate freelance writer and author. She writes for Moms.com on a regular basis and has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, and In Good Health Newspaper. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings, and caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.
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