“Mom! I’ve read about book clubs — you know, where a group of people get together after reading the same book, and then talk about the book. Doesn’t it sound amazing? My friends and I were over there talking and we want to start one. May we?” My 9yo looked deep into my eyes, pleading, and one of her friends’ moms jumped to attention, “Really? My daughter wants to do this? We’re in, and I’ll host the first one.”
Molly ran back to her little group, who have come to be known as “The Chapter Chicks,” and told them the good news. The Chapter Chicks meet once a month, each girl taking turns hosting and choosing a book, and they bring a snack that they’ve prepared themselves. The girls enjoy an afternoon of book talk, laughter, sweets, and play.
And I’ve envied them for almost two years.
Last year, a friend and I tried to start our own grown up version of the Chapter Chicks — you know, a book that made us think, and plenty of wine and appetizers over which to ponder and chat.
It totally died before it even began…
As homeschool moms especially, and moms in general, we have a habit of putting everything else before ourselves. And we drown.
Don’t get me wrong. Our spouses are so important. That relationship is crucial. Our kids rely on us for their very lives. We need to be there for them. But, we can’t pour from an empty vessel, and so we need to honor our own self-care. For me, that means I take a shower every single morning. I joke that I can’t carry a conversation without caffeine in my bloodstream and water on my head. The days I don’t shower, I feel laggy and distractible.
It also means that I need to read. Reading is life for me. There’s something about the written word that makes my heart sing. And, while I love a good story, it’s nonfiction I crave. I love to learn something new every single day (hence the site name) and am fascinated by all there is still to discover. And when I discover something new, exciting, and mind-stretching, I want to talk about it.
If you’re feeling like a good friend of mine, who told me that she hasn’t found a way to use the bathroom alone in over nine years, and can’t imagine finding time and space to read a book, trust me mama… you’re not alone in that feeling. And, ready for this? If you’re feeling that way then you absolutely MUST find time to read for yourself (or do whatever makes YOUR heart sing if reading isn’t it).
When we’re feeling so pressed upon that a statement like that is even utterable, we need self care more than anyone. And because I know there are moms out there, both like me — craving time to talk great books and ideas with like-minded friends — and like my friend — so overwhelmed she can’t conceive of having the space to breathe, let alone read — I’ve long wanted to start a virtual book club.
Listen, friends, reading a book might sound complicated, but it’s not. It’s 15 minutes when you first wake up. The last 20 before you close your eyes. It’s an afternoon coffee break while your kids watch PBSKids. It’s the 25 minutes you sit on the bathroom floor while your little guy splashes in a few inches of water before you soap him up, and snuggle him off to sleep. It’s those fleeting moments your babe needs to nurse, seemingly endless when you’re in the midst of it.
And if that STILL doesn’t seem possible, then it’s an audio book in your car while you shuttle your kiddos to their co-ops, sports, classes, or rehearsals. I put audio books on my phone and listen with one earbud in while I drive. One ear is bud-less so I can attend to traffic and hear (and put a stop to) any squabbles and so the kids and I don’t have to listen to the same thing.
Are you interested in joining me for a virtual book club? We’re starting with a book that just might rock your world a bit, helping you help your kiddos — quirky and differently-wired as they are — take more ownership of their own lives so you can be their guide towards amazing adulthood.
We’ll be talking about The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives by William Stixrud, PhD and Ned Johnson. An amazing book that’s already made a positive impact on our family. I know it’ll help yours.
I’ll be doing what I always do when I’m reading — jotting down passages, quotes, and thoughts I want to remember in my Moleskine notebook. I’ve always kept one with me wherever I go, but only just learned that this practice has a name — commonplacing. Do you have a commonplace book? If not, you might want to consider it. You can read more about the practice from this site and the practical from my friend Sarah MacKenzie.
If you haven’t already, grab the reading guide by popping your email in the form below. I’ll send it right over to you. Then, head over and join the Facebook group — that’s where all of our conversations will take place.
This is going to be so wonderful! I can’t wait to get to know you all and chat great books. Invite your friends, and share this post.
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