Book Reviews Family Life

    Ten Minutes for Reading

    At the beginning of the summer, I set a couple of basic daily goals to keep life humming along while the girls were out of school.

    One of them is that everyone is dressed with their hair done by about nine a.m.

    I was listening to a podcast (The Lazy Genius) a few weeks ago about planning your summer and one of the moms talked about getting your kids dressed and hair done because she likes her kids more when they look cute.

    This made me laugh.

    And I also enjoy my children more when they aren’t still wearing their pjs and bed head at 4 in the afternoon.

    So that’s goal #1.

    Number 2 is ONE meal for each mealtime.

    During the school year, when Ella left for school pretty early, she’d eat breakfast and usually the other girls would eat around the same time she did and then want another breakfast an hour later and then maybe an hour after that and then by lunchtime, no one was really hungry, but then the moment quiet time started, everyone was STARVING and needing a snack, but then no one wanted a snack at snack time, but couldn’t make it until dinner and on and on and on.

    Basically the non-stop eating and resulting dishes and begging for food (especially when they weren’t eating 90% of what they’d asked for the LAST time) was making me completely batty.

    So on the first day of summer at home, I sat everyone down and I said “ONE breakfast. ONE lunch. ONE snack. ONE dinner.”

    It’s made my life SO much easier and kept the house so much cleaner. If they start to drift away from the table with uneaten food, I remind them “This is your only breakfast. It’s three hours until lunch!”

    When everyone is finished, we put away the dishes and the kitchen is closed until the next meal.

    It’s basically magical.

    It’s not 100% successful, but I’d say it’s 95% successful, and that’s a massive improvement.

    And my last goal was much less dull than getting small children dressed and doing breakfast dishes.

    I nicknamed it “Take Ten to Read” and my goal is every day to take ten minutes to read for myself.

    It doesn’t matter when it happens – it might be after breakfast when the girls are playing happily together. It might be in the afternoon when everyone is going crazy and I tell everyone to grab a book and we all read quietly on our own for 10 minutes.

    It might be after the girls go to bed or just before I go to bed myself.

    One of the things that makes summer feel like summer to me is getting more reading done on my own, and this is an easy way for me to make sure it happens.

    I also feel strongly about my girls seeing me read for fun on my own, and this is a good way to make sure that happens consistently.

    And when I set aside 10 minutes, more often than not, that 10 minutes per day turns out to be more like 20 minutes or 30 minutes.

    If I’ve read 10 minutes after breakfast, later on when a few quiet minutes pop up, I’m far more likely to reach back for that book than for my phone.

    Plus, if I’m going to make any progress on my summer reading list, I’m going to need those ten minutes every day!


    P.S. I’ll probably be sharing on InstaStories most days this summer to keep myself accountable, and if you want to join in, I’d love to see what you’re sneaking in 10 minutes of reading with – just tag me (@everydayreading) or use the hashtag #take10toread.

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