1. Amy
    July 24 @ 9:01 pm

    It’s amazing you are able to identify your passion and what makes you-you as that is so many times forgotten with the welcoming of a little one. Just remember (as I’m sure you already know) each stage of childhood brings different sorts of challenges. Routine is important, but there will still be those dreadful days when you lose yourself in the midst of caring for someone else. That is ok. God is using these times as well to shape you and mold you spiritually. The important point to remember in the chaos is to trust in Him.

    I really appreciated this blog as it reminded me how important it is to treasure even the little moments of time to myself. ❤️


    • Jessica Manuel
      July 26 @ 6:28 pm

      I so appreciate this reminder, Amy. The chaos is all too familiar and I suspect this will only increase as my son gets older. I’m thankful for this mighty little blessing, and books or no books, he’s definitely helping me learn about a part of me I had no idea was there. Thanks for reading 🙂


  2. WordMothers
    July 25 @ 1:32 am

    Hi, I’ve had 5 babies in 8 years and the reading-while-nursing tip is huge! You can get through a surprising amount of books that way. But the biggest thing for me was realizing how often I pick up my phone, and getting in the habit of reaching for a book instead ie. instead of checking my email while I’m watching something on the stove, I read a couple of pages. Now that I have several kids in school and extracurricular activities, we also spend a lot of time sitting in parking lots waiting for someone or other to do something or get something or what-have-you, so I keep a book on the passenger seat and read a few pages whenever we’re waiting. I have also started just sitting down in the midst of whatever we’re doing and reading. My kids interrupt me constantly, but I just tell them I’m taking some time to read and get back to it. I used to feel kind of funny about doing this but now I look at it as a way of showing that 1) I’m still my own person with my own interests and 2) books are important and reading is a valuable activity that needs to be prioritized. So it’s my way of being a role model in that respect.


    • Jessica Manuel
      July 26 @ 6:24 pm

      This is so wonderful. These tips will definitely help me down the road. It’s funny you mention feeling a little funny- I do the same thing, but it’s at even sillier times. For example, I wonder if I should watch him sleep instead of reading because I want to make sure I m treasuring these precious moments. There is a balance, but it’s important for us to model what we claim is valuable. Thank you for your comment! It gives me some hope 🙂


  3. Grief Happens
    July 27 @ 8:49 pm

    I needed to read this today. I’m far from a “veteran mom” but have two boys who are 6 and 7. Just today, I was reminiscing about all the reading I used to do when my oldest was an infant. This year has seemed especially busy, and now that we’re past mid-year, I’m frustrated that I’ve completed fewer books thus far than any year since becoming a parent. Even though I’m at a different stage of parenting, your tips inspired me. I’ve been thinking all day about how I can get more reading in between now and the end of 2015.

    Since my kids have gotten older, reading aloud has been the tip I’ve been best able to carry over from infancy. I’ve discovered new books that my children have selected, which has broadened me, and it’s been fun to be reacquainted with favorites from childhood. Tonight, we started Ribsy by Beverly Cleary. I also read to them during meals — not every meal, but when the silliness gets to my husband and me, that’s our go-to nip-it tip. They stop wiggling and go into a trance; it’s amazing.

    I think we have to make time for the things we value. It’s good for us and our children.

    I look forward to reading more of your delightful blog!

    ~ Viv


    • Jessica Manuel
      July 28 @ 3:30 pm

      Oh, man. Beverly Cleary was my favorite author at their age. How exciting. I’m so thankful for your comment. It’s neat to know I can inspire you, even though you are a few years ahead in the game of life. And more than that, it’s nice to know I am not alone in trying so hard to find time for reading amidst motherhood. Are you on Goodreads? If so, I’d love to connect there.


  4. Bethany
    August 19 @ 9:06 am

    I believe we will always make time for what is important to us. You have made taking care of your son and the passions vital to your survival and sanity and I am so proud of you. I am proud of your journey to be okay with the changes that were forced on you when your son arrived. It’s not easy to have all that personal time filled up with caring for another human. Even your book list changed drastically to topics I am sure you had never dreamed of reading. You have accepted this new version of yourself without guilt about what you used to do, but pride in this new role of motherhood… Keep up the good work Jess!


    • Jessica Manuel
      August 19 @ 10:06 am

      Thanks, Bethany. You definitely blazed the trail for me! I’m just putting it all into practice. And you are absolutely right about my book list changing; I never would have imagined I would read so many books about getting a baby to sleep. Ha!


  5. Sarah
    August 24 @ 12:31 pm

    These are all great tips and I think I’ve done every single one of them except read out loud from whatever I’m reading. Mine, at 2 and 4, just don’t seem very interested. They usually interrupt me about 90 seconds in ask for something else.

    But I absolutely could not commute without a book! And yes, once their lights are out, unless we have something going on, I will be in bed with my book. They will frequently say, as we proceed upstairs, “Don’t forget your book, mama!”

    As for reading while they eat and sleep, I have two totally contrasting, crazy memories. The first is reading the second and third Hunger Games books while my oldest nursed and napped the first couple weeks of her life. Not a great choice! The second is sitting in the dark middle of the night with my baby, rocking and alternately looking out at my neighbors’ Christmas lights and reading Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. I cherish that memory. 😀


  6. Anamika Ojha
    September 29 @ 4:41 pm

    Hi Jessica, I do agree with you that Reading is very important in life…it not only increase your thought process system but help you to explore your horizon. I would also like to suggest you about Coursera which is online portal where you can learn about various subjects depending upon your interest and various online certifications available for world’s renowned Universities..!!


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