Kids shelved my passion … but I’m ready to be seduced again

It's hard to find time for reading when the kids are young. Photo: iStock
It's hard to find time for reading when the kids are young. Photo: iStock

I WALKED into the bedroom the other night and said to my husband as he lay reading under the sheets: “I’m about to do something now that will really shock you,” writes Sara Fitzpatrick.

He looked up from his novel, great expectation in his eyes.

“What?” he blurted.

“I’m going to…read a book,” I announced.

“Really?” he asked, genuinely shocked (and a little disappointed).

“Yes. Yes, I am.”

Now this was indeed a startling declaration on my behalf because it has been quite some time since I lay down beside him with a good read in my grip.

Note the absence of children in this photo. Photo: iStock

And I used to devour novels: that was my thing.

In Cold Blood, American Psycho, The Outsider, Lolita, Solaris, Perfume, PimpHam on Rye – oh yes, my collection is quite something.

Problem is, hundreds of books sit pretty on my shelf (colour coordinated I might add) and that’s where they stay.

With two little girls under my roof and up in my business, I find that winding down with an engrossing paperback is not a priority.

Instead I turn my attention to mindless shit on my phone, often involving a cosmetic, houseplant or Kardashian.

The other day I found myself peering at a ‘story’ titled: ‘Your favourite celebs who never made it down the aisle’.

It’s hard to get your reading brain on dealing with one of these. Photo: iStock

Queen Latifa, Dana Delany – who cares?

(Hang in there, though, Owen Wilson: the right one will come along).

And the TV – oh the TV.

I’m actually embarrassed by all the small-screen shite I’ve consumed of late.

Instead of spending my nights with Mellors the gamekeeper or Miss Havisham, I’m hanging with Dirty John and Osher Günsberg.

It hasn’t been all bad, though, adding to the list are a handful of Harlots, Ted Bundy, the Lannisters and Bob Lazar.

The worst of it all is that I watched pretty much all 32 episodes of the last MAFS.

I even watched most of the last Bachelor in Paradise. God help me.

I did however draw a line when a colleague suggested I try the new Jersey Shore series (there’s just no coming back from that).

Sara drew the line at Jersey Shore. Photo: iStock

But I reckon most mums fall into this trap, yeah?

Perfectly intelligent women are wasting their free time watching and reading gratuitous garbage all over the globe.

It’s easy, it’s comforting and it’s what we need to just switch off for the day.

We should go easy on ourselves, really.

There is hope for me though: thanks to a work buddy I discovered a book that has reignited my passion for literature.

It’s title: My Year of Rest and Relaxation.

And it’s an apt premise: the main character goes about sleeping away an entire year.

Oh to catch up on 12 months of shuteye – now that’s a read most of us mums can get into.

sara.fitzpatrick@communitynews.com.au

More columns by Sara Fitzpatrick

Can tough love make our kids more resilient?

Parents, just say ‘no’ to your kids

Why being a shit mum doesn’t make you a bad parent