Since before my kid was born, and especially now that he is a toddler, there is one time of the day I look forward to more than any other: reading time. Whether I was reading out loud to my pregnant belly, reading over-his-head-but-I-wanted-to-read-it-so-whatever memoirs to my newborn as he slept, or reading about furry, adorable little Grover and his infinite adventures on Sesame Street, reading has become a parenting staple of sorts and one of my son's favorite activities. So when days are long and stressful, work is overwhelming and demanding, and my son is, well, being a tiny terror only a toddler can be, I look forward to the moment when I ask my son to bring me a book so we can read.
He'll go pick one off of his mini book shelf, hand it to me and either climb up next to me on the couch or turn around and back up into my lap, plopping his tiny but surprisingly heavy body onto my crossed legs. Sometimes we will read seven or eight books at a time, and other times we'll have trouble making it through one, but each time we read, I consider it the best part of my day.
I've always loved reading, so getting to share my love of literature (yes, even if that literature has a lot of pictures and very few word in it) with my son is one of the best parts of motherhood. Of course, that isn't the only reason why I look forward to reading time every day. Here are just a few reasons why reading with your baby is the best part of any day.
It Gives You An Excuse To Read
If you love reading, than reading to your baby is just a great excuse to keep reading. Even if your baby is just a few weeks (even days) old, reading Amy Poehler's Yes Please out loud to your child for the 27th time is considered beneficial for their cerebral development. See how this works? It doesn't matter if what you're reading is considered "age appropriate," you're starting a habit of reading and before you know it, your baby-turned-toddler will be bringing you books to read.
Reading Snuggles Are The Best Snuggles
There is nothing better than reading snuggles. Just try and think of something better, I dare you. When you're in the middle of a page and your kid lays their head on your shoulder and scoots as close to you as they can, it's just like...melt.
You Get To Re-Visit Your Favorite Children's Books
Haven't read about Big Friendly Giants or Witches or marvelous creatures called Wangdoodles recently? Wishing you could read about Foona Lagonna Baboonas and Green Eggs? Have a kid. Suddenly, all of your children's books you haven't read (or have had read to you) in ages are back in play. You realize that your imagination didn't die with your adolescence and sometimes, the oldies are substantially better when they're revisited.
You Get To Read Out Loud
Let's be honest, it's fun reading out loud. When you're not in a crowded classroom, it's pretty great to make voices for different characters and use tone and pitch to evoke certain emotions. When you're reading out loud to your kid, you're not just reading, you're acting. You're bringing this entirely new and different world to life for them, and that's honestly such a good time.
It Cancels Out TV Time
Reading with your kid can help make you feel (at the very least) less guilty for all the screen time they get. Hey, when you're a mother, anything that helps with the guilt is a win in my book.
Reading Before Bedtime Can Help Your Kid Sleep
Getting into a habit of reading every night before bed can actually help your kid sleep better through the night. If you establish a routine, and keep with it, your kid will start to learn what "bed time" actually is, and will be more inclined to adhere to it. So, if reading before bedtime becomes a habit, your kid will learn that reading means sleep is coming soon and, well, the kid might actually sleep. (That's the dream, at least.)
Nothing Beats Watching Your Kid Learn
Watching your kind point to the "apple" or hearing your kid repeat and/or sound out a word is what magic is made of. Witnessing your kid fall in love with the same books you did when you were their age, is humbling and heartwarming and a great reminder that life is short and (sometimes) just the coolest.
It Gives You The Opportunity To Relax
No matter how stressful or busy or mind-numbingly frustrating your day was, reading time means relaxing time. Taking a few moments to sit with your kid and read to them, gives you a few moments to just be. There's no running around, no work deadlines or emails, no playdates and no time constraints, just reading. And that can be the very thing that makes the rest of the day fade away.
It's A Great Way To Bond With Your Kid
Reading time is a great way to bond with your kid. It's your "thing", that activity that you and your kid get to share. As long as it continues, they can grow up looking forward to (and remembering) reading time.
You Fall In Love With Reading All Over Again
Nothing makes you realize how awesome reading is, or how much you love it, than when you read with your kid. Adulthood, with its endless responsibilities and busy schedules and obligations, can make it difficult to keep up with reading or even just carve out time during the day to do something you truly enjoy. But when you spend time reading to your kid, you're not just doing something beneficial for them, you're dong something beneficial for yourself too.
Images: Danielle Campoamor; Giphy(10)