When my daughter was in fifth grade she interviewed me for a parent survey and asked, “Mommy, what are your favorite hobbies?”
I answered that I liked to hike, read and exercise. She looked at me very quizzically, pondered my reply for a moment and then said, “You don’t like to read. I never see you reading a book.”
I was a little stunned by her answer. I had read all the parenting manuals and they said read to your child everyday to demonstrate a love for reading. I had done this religiously but apparently, I also needed to read to myself in front of the children to really drive the point home.
I hadn’t seen that curve ball coming. I weakly responded, “I know you don’t see me reading books but that’s because I don’t have time when you and your brothers are awake. There are too many other things that need to be done.”
She quickly dispatched my excuse, commenting, “If you really liked to read you would just do it.”
Perhaps she thought I claimed reading was a hobby just to make me look good. I had a credibility gap with my daughter.
Recently, I pondered this conversation from several years ago. My children are older now and it would not be a problem to read during the weekend, yet still I never do. Somehow I feel guilty about sitting down in a chair in the middle of the day and doing “nothing.”
So what is a busy mom with other priorities supposed to do?