Reading Between Diaper Changes
Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 4:56PM

For as long as I can remember, being a reader has been a strong part of my identity.  My love of reading is my standard response to questions about my hobbies and appears on lists about random facts about myself.  One of my favorite things is to get lost in the pages of a good story.  Once my daughter came along, my identity changed and the only thing I had time to get lost in was the web of parenthood.  I wanted to find my way back to the pages of a good book.  I needed to reclaim the reader part of my identity.  I was not sure how I could do it when I constantly felt tired and overwhelmed. 

The answer came as I was trying to read some of The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukerjee while my father-in-law held the baby and Partner was working on his laptop. I kept losing my place because I could not focus.  I felt so discouraged.  Then, I picked up a magazine and read an article.  Even though I do not remember what the article was about, I do remember feeling recharged and hopeful.  I realized then that since almost all my routines and patterns had been changed since having a baby, maybe my reading should too. 

I started to carve out short bits of time to read, by short bits I mean five minutes or even less.  I am part of a book club, so I had the chance to see what books lend themselves more easily to this format and which do not. As I look over the list, two patterns emerge. Books with small chapters and on topics that are of interest to me lend themselves to being read in small increments.  Over the past sixteen months, here are some books that are really great to read in between diaper changes or in the midst of constant chaos:  

In the coming year, my reading patterns and routine will change again. We are starting to let my daughter put herself to sleep which means that after I put her down, I do not engage with her for 30 minutes.  The pain on my heart strings is intense as she cries, but a HUGE silver lining is the chance to get absorbed in a good story.  I sense that I may have another post soon about books that are good to read when you are trying to tune out a crying child :) 

P.S.-- You can find my full review of the books mentioned above: here, here, here, and here

Article originally appeared on Beastmomma (
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