By Zib Owens

With four kids in the house, it’s an understatement to say I was having trouble finding time to read. Like so many things I used to love—brunch, sleep, workout classes—books got tossed aside, a relic from another era. Sure, I would skim a few pages before bed, recite children’s stories and binge-read on vacations. But that was it. And I missed it terribly.

So last year I started a podcast called Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books, a series for busy book lovers like me. On the podcast, I started interviewing authors about their writing—and suddenly, this meant reading wasn’t an indulgence but a necessity. It was my “work.” I had to do it! But when? 

I grabbed a few minutes whenever I could: While waiting on the grocery store checkout line. In

doctors’ waiting rooms with the kids. In the car. I even read out loud to my husband while he drove or before bed—bonding! I read on the elliptical machine, the book outstretched, working my core. All the parenting advice books said that self-care was so important. “Take a bath!” they advised. I wasn’t about to take a friggin’ bath. But getting into bed early, skipping TV and reading a powerful memoir? That I could do. I started to crave it. The escape. Falling into a story. It was my sanity, the ultimate antidote to the stress of my own life—to getting four kids to finish homework, eat dinner, bathe and go to bed. 

I started one page at a time. A few pages a day. It added up. Sometimes my kids sat beside me while I read, inhaling graphic novels or pawing through picture books themselves. And now, dear reader, this mom has found time to read. 

Zibby Owens is a writer, mom of four and host of the Webby-nominated podcast Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.