Before I had my baby son, Aadil, now four-months old, Sunday mornings looked very different. I eagerly looked forward to receiving and opening up my Sunday newspaper. I would spread out the paper on our dining room table and comb through each section leisurely, with my cup of chai close by. As a journalist, reading the Sunday paper is a nerdy hobby many of us enjoy.

Since Aadil was born, I haven’t had three hours to string together to read my newspaper. In fact, I’m often caught still catching up on the Sunday edition through the middle of the week! Now the problem here is that reading is one of my favorite ways to relax and take a little time for myself. It is often accompanied by a hot beverage – either chai or coffee.

It’s not just newspapers stacked on my table that I read. I subscribe to and receive multiple magazines – including Parents, Family Circle and Grand Rapids Magazine. When I have time, and my son is napping, I’ll open up an issue and attempt to flip through my favorite sections: the Letters from the Editor and articles written by other mothers. There is comfort in reading their stories and lessons learned.

I also love to curl up with a good book. I set a reading goal of 11 books last year and reached it before the years’ end. This year, my goal is ten. If you counted children’s books, I’ve surpassed it times ten already! We are now three months into the new year, and I’m halfway through my first book. (Remember, my son was born in December). I’m reading Becoming by Michelle Obama. It’s great to get an inside look at the former first lady and how she created her own success. It may take me a lot longer to finish one book, and I may not reach my ambitious goal, but spending time reading is so fulfilling.

While there are so many things I need to do around the house with a newborn, such as washing and folding laundry, doing dishes, washing bottle supplies and just tidying up in general, I don’t feel guilty about taking time to read. Whether it’s the newspaper, magazines, or books, reading provides me with a reprieve. It’s time for myself to relax and unwind. And it provides energy and inspiration as I go on my own parenting journey.