How to Rationalize a Good Book

One of the great pleasures of being a stay-at-home work-at-home mom is that I get to make my own schedule. If I want to spend Mondays catching up on housework or writing my next Bible study, great! If I would rather spend that time visiting with friends, praying with a group at church or shopping for new sneaks for the ever-growing boy, that works, too! I have deadlines (usually self-imposed) and I have concrete responsibilities, but the how and when of meeting those standards is totally up to me. If I have to run back and forth to the school several times in the day (thanks to forgotten library books, lunch money or sick tummies), I can stay up late that night to finish whatever task may have been originally planned for that day.

One problem with this type of free and flexible schedule, however, is the temptation to do nothing at all. Well, not nothing … just nothing that really needs to be done now.

Today, for example, I would LOVE — L.O.V.E. — to spend all day curled up in a sunny corner of my kitchen reading a book. I have an advanced readers’ copy of Rachel Hauck’s newest offering – (The official release date is April 3rd, but you can order it HERE.) – and I cannot put it down. Oh, I want to tell you all about it, but I can’t yet. Soon! Today I should be folding laundry and writing the next bit of homework for Big Word. Instead I’m finding all sorts of delightful ways to rationalize reading Rachel’s book instead.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, wanting to lose yourself in a delicious story, but feeling a tad guilty for doing so, here are a few tips to employ.

  1. Eat a bigger than usual breakfast. I tend to drink my breakfasts (Read: lots and lots of coffee) or grab a quick granola bar on my way to the computer where I’ll spend hours writing or researching. This morning I made two pieces of toast and scrambled eggs. They, of course, cannot be eaten while typing. So I filled my “free” time with reading a few more chapters. Bonus tip: Chew slowly.
  2. Take lots of bathroom breaks. We call our bathroom the Reading Room. I realize this may be more information that you expected to receive when you visited this blog. I am sorry about that. I am also slightly sorry that my family feared I had a serious bowel condition before they realized I simply wanted to finish a few more chapters. Let’s be real, now: Moms only get so much quiet time and the bathroom offers a rare and treasured sanctuary.
  3. Claim overload or inspiration necessity. Sometimes solutions only come when you stop thinking about the problem. If I get stuck in my mental organization, I retreat to a completely different time or task, like solving a mysterious love triangle from 1912, and suddenly everything on my plate rights itself.
  4. Complete chores that require waiting. Coincidentally, today I remembered that I need to renew my drivers’ license. They always have healthy lines that can help me. Let’s see … what else? I wonder if the gynecologist takes walk-ins? Maybe I’ll just run over there and wait around until they have an appointment for me. (Both of these tasks, of course, pair beautifully with the shower I forgot to take this morning because I woke early to read and then lost track of time and nearly forgot to pack the kids’ lunches before dropping them off late to school. I was going to take a shower when I got home, but that just seemed like a waste of time, what with so many important things on my to-do list.)
  5. Go out for lunch. Eating provides a lovely conduit for multi-tasking. And maybe a change of scenery will give me that extra fortitude to focus. Again, chew slowly.
  6. Surrender. Let’s face it. I’ll not be able to focus on anything else until I finish this book! The only rational thing to do is sit down, read it, and then get on with my life.

And this is exactly why stay-at-home moms are frequently accused of eating bon-bons and wasting away their days. Oh, but it’s a wonderful life!

Your Turn: How do you squeeze good books into your day?

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