I responded to a writing prompt on literarymama.com but it wasn't chosen so I thought I'd share it on here. It's in response to this essay, The New Yorker for Mothers by Becki Melchione.
I was a journalism major and an English minor. My last semester of college I took 22 hours and three of my classes were literature classes. I was reading all the time and I actually loved it. It was insane, but I read some of the best books that I had ever read that year. I realize now, that those were the best reading years of my life: pre-marriage and pre-children.
Five years after graduating with my undergraduate degree I was getting married while in my first year of graduate school. This time I had chosen an MA in Communication and the reading, although interesting, was not as much fun. This is actually where I saw my reading decline. Between being newly married, a full-time job, and graduate school reading, there was little time for fun reading.
Enter into the picture children and technology when I was 31 and my life was about to change forever. Yes, I definitely saw a change in the amount that I read and what I read. Instead of the wonderful long novels I was now just grasping at whatever I could read online in between breast feeding and changing diapers.
So I read the internet like crazy, whenever I could. Like the author of “The New Yorker for Mothers,” Becki Melchione, I too found a new favorite read. First I read baby websites all the time . I’d read magazine articles online, short stories, literary sites, and more. Then I started blogging when my son was seven months old and still nursing. Blogging was my outlet and a way that I could read more online as “research” for my blog.
All of this online reading, then social media reading and the years passed me by. Soon I realized that I wasn’t reading the way I used to and I made a conscious effort to start reading again. Honestly I don’t think I really started reading books again until the baby was potty trained and doing more on his own and my daughter was six.
Those babies are twelve and nine now. My daughter is a voracious reader like me. She can go through a good sized chapter book in a matter of two days. She reminds me of me at her age.
My life has changed immensely. The children are older, I’m single again, and I can read whatever I want whenever I want. Well, at least I can when I’m not working or driving my daughter to lacrosse games and my son to football games.
At least now I can read in the car during their practices. I can read in the evenings after they’ve done their homework and they are playing their games or watching TV. I can read on my sacred weekends alone when I can do whatever I want and for just two days I’m not a mom. Yes, I missed reading and I am so glad to have it back.