There are loads of wonderful things about becoming a parent. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of mind numbing tasks that come with parenthood that can drive you crazy. Along with the arrival of your adorable little love-bug, there are endless loads of laundry to fold, the dishwasher always needs unloading, and of course, there are those 11pm, 2am and 6am feedings to get through.
There are some that might tell you that the best way to get through these tasks is to embrace them. When it come to reading to your child, talking to your baby, playing with your kid, etc. embrace it! By all means, throw yourself into those things and give them the most attention you can. As for the many other mind-numbing chores? I say enlist as much help as you can, and then get out your iPod or phone and listen to a good book while you work.
My Top Tip to Take the Drudgery Out of Parenthood: Audiobooks
A great audiobook to help transport you from dishwashing dreariness or forever laundry folding to a college campus, 18th century England, the Appalachian Trail or even Westeros. The benefits of audiobooks are numerous: Parenthood
1. You can get to keep your literary life alive at a time of your life where you barely have a moment to spare.
2.It’s the ultimate multitasking moment: You can immerse yourself in a great book but still get stuff done.
3.With a good set of headphones, you won’t disturb the rest of your household.
4.Your hands stay free to carry a baby, breastfeed, or even mess with the dreaded breast pump.
5.No screen involved to distract your baby or any other kids in the house.
Not all books translate well into audiobooks. Here are my tips for selecting a great listen.
1. Find books with a linear narrative. A story that jumps back and forth in time (e.g. Cloud Atlas) can be VERY challenging to follow in an audio format.
2. While non-fiction can be great via audio (anything by Bill Bryson), reference material can be tricky since marking text or revisiting passages without a visual reference can be tough.
3. Plot driven stories will keep you engaged. With audiobooks losing the thread of a story due to a wandering mind is a risk, a strong plot that clicks along will help keep you focused.
4. A great narrator can make your experience. –Jim Dale is amazing in the Harry Potter series, similarly Ron Perlman is exceptional in City of Thieves.–
Other Audiobook Tips:
1. This is multitasking make sure your other task doesn’t require too much attention to detail. No, you can’t listen and carry on another conversation.
2. Use earbuds and keep one ear in the headset, the other out so you can hear the baby cry, phone ring, doorbell, etc.
3. Of all the services out there I’ve found an Audible.com account to be the best deal with the largest variety of audiobooks for purchase and the most user friendly app.
4. Use an audiobook to help beat insomnia. Use the automatic turn-off function and have someone read you to sleep.
5. Many libraries are getting on the bandwagon and finding ways to let members “borrow” digital books.
6. For the avid listener, clothing with pockets will suddenly become much more important so you can move around and use both hands.
In part two I’ll follow-up with some of my favorite audiobooks. Parenthood