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There are lots of great places to read at home, even with kids.
Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you can’t read at home. Sure, you’re probably not going to be hanging out on the couch reading all weekend, but there are still plenty of times and places to get a few words in each and every day. Reading is a great way to engage the mind and disconnect from the worries and stresses of the world. If you want to read, then find a time and place to do so. Below are my favorite places to read at home with kids.
In bed before bedtime
This is perhaps the easiest time to read - there are no other distractions going on, and I can just sit and relax and read for a few minutes in peace and quiet. There isn’t a lot of peace and quiet throughout the day, so this is one of the few times that you’ll usually find it when you have kids. Try to spend as much time as you can in the evenings reading as it’s usually easier to get into a book with uninterrupted reading.
The hardest part for most people about reading at night is how tired they are. Some people simply are so tired by the end of the day that picking up a book and reading is too hard - they’ll go right to sleep. If you need a way to help yourself stay awake while reading for a few minutes at night, then try to stand up while you read - perhaps pace back and forth while reading to keep the blood flowing.
During lunch break
If you’re at work during the day, or your kids are away during your lunch break, then this is another ideal time to get in some uninterrupted reading. Make your lunch quick by preparing it at home, or read while you eat (much easier with a Kindle than a physical book). Reading for 15 - 20 minutes in the middle of the day is a simple way to read more books, and you’re not getting constantly pulled into responsibilities with kids.
One of the other reasons that reading during lunch time is a great idea is to help reduce stress and keep your mind at ease. Rather than sitting at your desk and working, or browsing your phone and wasting time, sit and read a book during your lunch break. If the weather is nice, take your reading outside and enjoy the nice weather as well.
In the bathroom while kids bathe
Babies and young toddlers will need you to bathe them. However, at some point they’ll get to a point where you bathe them and then they are able to play in the water by themselves. While they can play by themselves, you still need to be in the bathroom to make sure they don’t go under the water and can’t get themselves up. While you can play with them as well in the bath, I find it’s an ideal time to let them play imaginatively on their own.
There’s not really much you can do in the bathroom while your kid sits and plays. You could always be cleaning up in the bathroom, but beyond that you’re going to have some free time. Bringing your book along with you is a perfect way to spend the time while your kid is having fun in the water - you’re close by as well so you’re still being a responsible parent.
In the backyard while they play
This is usually the least productive choice on this list in terms of focused reading. It’s so easy to get distracted by your child when they’re outside playing as they’ll often want you to play with them. If my child is playing happily, or playing with a friend, then this is a great time to get some reading in. It’s not often that that happens though. I always have my Kindle with me just in case though as you never know when the chance may arise.
On the couch while they watch TV
While the shows that your child watches can be somewhat educational, they’re generally not the most engaging (not true for all shows, but they can get boring fast). While some kids can sit and watch TV without you sitting there, others will want you close by. If you’re stuck watching kids show, there’s no reason you have to actually watch the show with them. Bring your book along with you to spend the time.
This is a perfect time to get some uninterrupted reading in as your child will be engaged watching the TV. You can focus on your book for 15-20 minutes while the show is running. If you struggle to ignore the sound of the TV, you’ll probably just need to practice it. At this point I can sit and read without hearing the TV at all - not always a good thing as sometimes they like to change the TV to something that they shouldn’t be watching.
By finding time to read at home, you can easily get through a book. If you use just a couple of the strategies above in a day, you should have 30-40 minutes of reading per day. String together a few days of that, and you’ll have made great progress in your reading journey.