Let the truth roll out: I SUPER strongly dislike reading to my children, and I almost never do it. Honestly. I avoid it so much that they rarely request it. Yes, I fail even to meet the rock-bottom, horrible-parent PBS Kids initiative: “read to your child for just 15 minutes a day.” I’ve given up overanalyzing the “why”—maybe it’s my underlying inferiority complex that I’ll never be a good home-educating mom, or my bias against being perceived as one; or the fact that I fall asleep every single time I’m reading to them which tanks my motivation to get through the rest of my day; or because I’m not a homebody or an introvert or a snuggler, so I’d rather be exploring the world with my kids and seeing our friends; and I never was a bookworm myself, although I do read for pleasure every day when I’m exercising (but only then—it has to be in the context of multitasking of course). I read them a couple of the Narnia books last year when we were marooned in a tiny French village with nothing else to do, and I keep meaning to find more good books that I also enjoy but never get around to it.
I have no idea what the problem is. I’m ready and willing to conquer vices and spiritual shortcomings with honest self-analysis and Our Lord’s help. I rock at scrubbing toilets and natural childbirth. Yet I can’t seem to drag myself onto the couch with books and let my children gather ’round for a read-aloud or two.
AWOL was at our house for Thanksgiving; her default position is on the couch reading to her children, and even her energetic 3 year old boy sits still. MaryAlice’s kids ask me to read to them every time I’m over for as far back as I can remember knowing them. Red always brings books along, even away from home to settle her kids in the evening or at hyper times, and they settle in and listen. It’s no secret that Texas Mommy is the read-aloud queen. Kat has the patient and peaceful temperament to read to her kids endlessly, and B-mama is a teacher by training and notorious for great bedtime snuggles and stories.
Fortunately, my husband picks up some of my slack. And he tells me that, although he enjoys reading to them, it’s usually an act of the will. Do you all “just do it”? Do you spend a lot of time figuring out which books you’ll enjoy reading with your kids? Can someone tell me how to stay awake, because inevitably, as soon as I sit down amid a busy day, sleep overtakes me (it happened in college and law school classes too). How do you keep younger kids from ruining the house while you read to the kids who can sit still? Do you have a set time of day or amount of time you shoot for? I’m ready to make a Lenten resolution here.