“Lean in” and why reading is not me-time it’s education

sheryl sandberg lean in

I love reading and I would spend my days doing only that if I could. However, since I became a mom it was one of the first things I chose to prioritize a lot less.

If I couldn’t have a shower, let alone unpack a dishwasher in a day, reading felt like a luxury I could not afford.
I saw it as me-time that was to be had whenever I had a bit of extra time to spare. And all parents know exactly how much extra time we have…

So I barely read at all for the first year of Ace’s life. Apart from children’s books… over and over again.

This was a major mistake on my behalf.

Not only did I feel exhausted and lonely, but I also lost a lot of my inspiration and motivation in life.

At the time I put it down to hormones. And of course, some of it probably was.
But what I have realized lately is that a lot of it had to do with not feeling like I had the time to read.

Because reading makes our world a lot bigger. We get to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and live their story for a while. It’s not only super liberating to get to dive into another reality, but it’s also educational.

I personally prefer to read business, mindfulness and motivational books. They feed me with the inspiration and motivation I need to be creative. If I don’t get my “fix” in a while I feel stagnant and bored.

So my goal this year is to read at least 3 books every month and so far it’s going pretty well. Sure some of the books are about parenting, and I do tend to need some easy fiction now and then, to just relax. But my favorites are still autobiographies and business books.

sheryl sandberg facebook COO Lean in book

My latest discovery you might already have read – “Lean in” by Sheryl Sandberg, the very successful COO of Facebook (amongst other cool companies throughout her career).

Not only is Lean in an awesome book for women in business, but it also has a great chapter on the work-life balance conundrum and why we shouldn’t try to “have it all” as Mothers. She speaks about how women lose out on our careers when we chose to start families and the different ways to handle this. She also makes a great point why we should.

I also found the chapter on mentors and sponsors very interesting out of a business point of view. To be honest, the entire book is one of my favorite reads so far.

Lean in is a feminist/parent/business/mindfulness/self-help/biographic book you really should take the time to read. I found it terribly inspiring and motivational and my copy is filled with red marks, exclamation points and notes in the margin already.

I’m looking forward to finishing the last few pages in bed with a nice cup of tea tonight.

I have from now on decided to schedule reading as “work-time”. Just like I would with any other educational habit. Because reading is not me-time, it’s education. 

Photo – Ida Zander. Get Lean in here and my suit is by Asos, find the blazer here and trousers here, my t-shirt is by New Look Adlinks

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