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My name is Melissa and I’m a stay at home mom. If I were to have a mom-profile this is what it would look like.
Hair: Brown, with a nice sprinkling of grey/white hair
Body Type: Well my first pregnancy was with full-term twins- one who was almost 8lb, my second pregnancy (with just one) he was almost 9lb- so destroyed by children and tacos.
Hobbies: Looking like a swamp witch, avoiding folding laundry, drinking a lot of coffee and listening to audiobooks.
I love reading, the feel of a book in my hands, and not to mention the smell of a book, seriously gets me high. I’ve always loved books and reading, I was the weird kid that got excited to read silently in class and when we started on a new book in school I would go home and read the whole thing that night. I haven’t done a recent count but my library was once into the 300s…not counting ebooks. Some might say that I have a problem, other books nerds will shrug and say “yeah I get it.” Before motherhood, I didn’t realize that holding a book was a luxury that I would soon crave.
For my first Mother’s Day, my husband asked me what I would like, the twins weren’t even a month old and our brains were already fried from lack of sleep and sticking to the time schedule I had them on (if you’re a parent of multiples you get it). Whenever anyone asks me what I would like for a gift the first thing to pop out is “Well there’s this book”, and as I was saying that I realized that holding a book right now, or anytime soon would be near to impossible. If I wasn’t feeding the twins, I was holding them, changing diapers, and you know doing other housework, and trust me when I say this, a hot shower becomes your “Self Care”, now I was supposed to put in extra time to pick up a book and maybe read for five minutes?
My brain hurts just thinking about it now.
My husband who, like most men, isn’t the greatest at picking up cues, actually saw how sad this made me and ask me to give him my phone. I don’t have anything to hide except maybe a few pictures I took of my still healing c-section scar that I rather not show anyone. A few minutes later he hands me my phone back with a smile and goes “Happy Mother’s Day from your boys!”. Confused I look and low and behold I see the shiny new golden app. Audible. I probably said something like what’s this? Or you didn’t have to do this for me. But my brain, as tired as it was (still is) was perking up and paying attention.
Audiobooks, the solution to the weird boredom that being a SAHM comes with. Of course, I’m not bored the same way a kid or teenager is, I’m bored in a way that doesn’t make sense – I have things to do, children to take care of but at the same time when you get into a routine everything becomes predictable and that’s when the boredom sets in. I can text friends, but they are all at work and can’t text back, and trust me there is only so much other social media you can look at without wanting to disable your accounts for good. Audiobooks filled that space.
I could slip my phone in my pocket while I went and did laundry, took out the trash, or even just go get the twins. Or I could set it on the sofa while I fed or changed the boys on the floor. My phone, well my app, became this little escape while I did mundane things. Before I knew it, I was listening to books that I had wanted to read or found new ones. I was actually looking forward to doing housework because it meant that I could listen to my books and escape for just a little while.
Then the twins turned one and I was pregnant again. Thankfully there was only one, something I didn’t believe until my OB and favorite ultrasound tech tripled checked. When baby boy #3 we were faced with new challenges, there was only one baby to feed and change at 3 am, but there were also toddler twins now who would be getting up in a few hours, along with the baby (again). This is when life became just chaos, I was by myself with three children, all had different needs and wants. Thankfully the baby was happy and content in his swing for the first few months. The twins still weren’t sure of who the baby was, or why mom was holding him and giving him first dibs on everything, I mean, to be honest, they still don’t. But this was something no one prepared me for, I was not only physically exhausted but also mentally exhausted.
Every morning when I would put the baby back down and knew that I couldn’t go back to bed because the twins would be up in an hour I would drag my exhausted body to my now new hiding place (the kitchen), make a full pot of coffee and turn my book on.
I love the sound of Neil Gaiman’s calming voice, especially after a stressful night or morning when the baby didn’t want to eat and he developed a diaper rash and chaos swept through the house. Listening to Mr. Gaiman telling me about his beloved characters and their adventures was like listening to a good friend who didn’t mind pausing and restarting fifty billion times in the span of five minutes, or even in some cases restarting whole chapters over again because my brain simply couldn’t process what he just told me.
I don’t know Mr. Gamain, but when I hit play on that shiny golden app, the feeling of comfort goes through me just like a nice strong coffee. Audiobooks may always be a “touchy” subject for book lovers, whether you should count towards your Goodreads yearly book challenge (um they should). For a SAHM, a natural-born book lover and I will even admit that I might have a book hoarding issue, audiobooks let me have a little piece of adventure, romance, and once in a while a really good laugh or cry. While my husband may not understand why I sit on the kitchen floor holding my phone up to my ear with the volume down low so that I can hang on to every word Mr. Gamin is saying, my brain, if only for two minutes, is escaping the dreaded sound of Baby Shark.
Being a mom is hard, everyone who is a mom or knows a mom will tell you that over and over again. When you’re pregnant with your first child or children, everyone will give you some piece of advice like sleep when the baby sleeps, take turns with your spouse or partner for nighttime feedings and changings, and whatever bullshit that doesn’t work but sounds nice in theory. Oh, and self-care, you’ll need to schedule a little me-time. My “self-care” as a SAHM is showering, maybe remembering to shave the rainforest that is my leg hair, and once in awhile paint my toenails. Audiobooks let me have that “self-care” time whenever I want too when the baby wakes up in the morning I push play while I feed and change him. I pause it while I put him back to bed, push play and go about with the rest of the morning, for a good two hours while I’m busy with dogs, getting breakfast ready, doing laundry or even eating a semi-hot breakfast I am listening to an audiobook. If I get some time to myself when the twins go down for a nap, my audiobook is the first thing that I touch.
As moms we give so much of ourselves, little pieces here and there, it’s always love in some form or another but at the end of the day when we finally get to go to bed we feel all the little pieces that were taken from us. So if you are a book lover, or just simply need to escape for a minute or two, give yourself the gift of an audiobook. Don’t worry you’ll feel guilty for a little while because you’re actually doing something for yourself and not you’re for your children, but I promise you’ll get over it by the second chapter. Find your hiding place and hit play, that weird feeling of SAHM boredom will pass and piece by piece you’ll start to feel like yourself again. I promise!