I love to read. I can tear through books, and at any given moment, I have a huge pile I’m working my way through.
The other day, I counted up the books I’d read since New Year’s and realized that I am finally, for the first time in a year and a half, making progress through the pile. What happened?
Here’s what’s been happening: my kids are starting to grow up.
Yes, I still have 3 under the age of 6. The baby is only 17 months old and is refusing all attempts at weaning. But unlike the other two, she goes down pretty easily at 7:30 p.m. The older two don’t go to bed until 8:45-9, but they are pretty independent, and are perfectly happy to play (or watch TV) by themselves.
In the past, they required more supervision, so I couldn’t get back to work until 9/9:15 or so. Now, I hang out with the kids from 5-7:30. Then I let the boys do their own thing from 7:30-8:45 while I work. I usually finish whatever I would have been doing from 9:15-10:30. After another 20-30 minutes with the boys doing their bedtime routine and reading together, that gives me the hours of 9:15-10:30 a few nights per week to read my own stuff.
Of course, that’s not the only thing going on. I’ve also made a habit of going to the library pretty regularly this year, so I have interesting things to read. Demand is important, but supply is too -- and a good supply helps me resist the temptation to squeeze in more work from 9:15-10:30 (ok, sometimes I work then -- or at least post on this blog!) or the temptation to watch TV. I also just joined a book club. We had our first meeting tonight. There was wine. And puff pastries from Trader Joe’s. But my kids‘ growing independence has helped a lot too. It’s a nice little glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.
When do you make time to read?