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Overwhelmed mum with kids

Sometimes you’re not in the mood to read to your child. And that’s OK.

I almost always enjoy reading a “good night story” with my daughter. It is part of our bedtime routine and I couldn’t imagine a night without opening a book and immersing ourselves into some fantasy, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Notice that I said “almost” always. Because I must admit, there are times when I am just not in the mood. More often than I’d like to admit.

When I started “The Story Store”, I promised myself that I will not be just another “bookseller” on the market. I started it with the highest hope of inspiring mums all over the world to read to their children and make a habit out of loving stories.

I wanted to support parents who struggle with instilling the love of books in their kids and offer them the tools and tricks they need to finally achieve that point where the little ones ask to be read to or even reach out to their favourite stories and read them by themselves.

But I came to a point where I realised that I was maybe putting too much pressure on their shoulders, and mine too. Because, especially during this unimaginable pandemic, I found myself not being in the appropriate mental space to be the storyteller every night.

During the first weeks, in particular, my mind has been swirling around wondering, worrying, asking itself questions that nobody had answers to. Has it happened to you too? Were you so consumed with worries that you couldn’t get yourself into doing almost anything? Sometimes not even the daily chores.

Little girl covering her head

There is such a tension in the air and children in particular have a tough time dealing with their emotions

I think it’s the same with reading to your child despite not being in the mood. You just push yourself so hard and it’s in those moments that you can easily lose your temper or even have an outburst that you’ll most probably regret having later.

Reading to your child should come from a place of peace and joy. Otherwise, you’ll only make your little one reject the idea of reading.

I remember at a certain point in my childhood when I HAD TO have a library card. Our teachers specifically asked for every pupil to carry one of those permits in their pockets and, obviously, borrow books. I hated it! I wanted to play outside, not “waste” my time in silence, in a place that smelled like books. You see, me and books – we haven’t always had such a great relationship.

That’s exactly why I’d like you to avoid having to deal with a child not only refusing to read but completely despising books. I would fail on my mission if I continued to praise reading to your child, even in these tough times and not considering your personal battle.

So, if you read this in a moment of weakness and terrible guilt, please be gentle with yourself. Sometimes you’re not in the mood to read to your child or play with him or be creative. And that’s ok.

Honestly, it’s ok. There’s no point in doing something just for the sake of doing it – your child will know and feel. Better be honest with her and explain in the gentlest way possible that you are not feeling quite ok. You will be surprised by how understanding kids are. For instance, my daughter will occasionally “read” me stories from her books when I feel unwell. We have come a long way for this to happen, of course, and, hopefully you will understand how important reading to your child is, particularly in tough times.

 

Until next time,

Cristina Guraliuc storyteller

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