Are you even a mum if you don’t have some kind of “mummy guilt“? Obviously before I became a mum, I used to look at that word strangely. I probably still do, and I can’t even pretend I know the full implications.

So although I typed the title of this post first, I decided to check the meaning before I proceed. The urban dictionary defines it as “Guilt a mother feels anytime she takes time to do something for herself, outside of work, that does not involve her children”. And I agree that’s the most common one I had seen. Like mums taking a solo holiday or taking time off for girls trip. But that’s not my guilt – not in the least. I’ve pretty much spent the last 7 months with the little kiddo and not a night away!  

So I dug deeper – and it seems mums guilt is really anything in relation to parenting that you feel isn’t good enough or not your best. So there’s a lot – what you feed them, leaving them with nannies, watching too much TV, parenting style, yelling – whatever.

And I don’t generally have any form of guilt. I know I’m doing my best, I’m a great mum (you gotta blow your trumpet hunnay) and the kid is generally happy! So why has this little thing been on my mind a bit. 

Ok – here it comes. 

 Why do I feel like I’m not reading to him enough!? 

It’s hilarious somewhat and I know my mum would have a good laugh. When I sent her a photo of his book shelf which was set up when he was just a few weeks old she remarked at how such a tiny baby already had that number of books!

But I’m actually a huge fan of books and I love people who read, I think it’s a habit that one gets into early and stays with you. If you don’t pick it up early, you probably wouldn’t get into it. Tee for instance is so not a reader and never has been. He’d read newspapers, magazines, and blogs (at least this one). But anything more than a few pages long and it’s a no. Many times, he says he wishes he could read.

Reading is a great way of gaining a vast amount of knowledge exposing yourself to other places, cultures and situations.  

the more you read
the more things you’ll know
the more that you learn
the more places you’ll go

— Dr Seuss

That quote is quite apt and we ordered a vinyl sticker of the words to be placed above the bookshelf.  So we’re quit keen for our kids to love reading. But how early is too early too start? During pregnancy, a lot of apps and website advocate reading to the baby in the belly. They also suggested playing classical music, but I didn’t even attempt that.

The belief is that reading to them in the belly helps to recognise your voice and form a bond. We did it a few times, but to be honest, amidst everything else, it’s was tad hard to keep up. But now that baby is out, there’s even more argument for reading to them as early as a few weeks old. It apparently builds their knowledge of words, concepts, emotions, fosters social development,  and finally develop an interest in reading. 

These are all good arguments and the reason I rushed off to buy a book case hoping to have a daily reading routine. But yelp – I didn’t even buy a single book for the bookcase. Thankfully, we received a number of books as gifts and Tee bought a couple too (I know ironic right!

So while I’ve tried to make it a daily routine, there are a couple of hindrances. First, I already know all of the stories as I’ve read all of the books a couple of times. I’ve never been one to re-read books so this is probably going to be difficult.  But I guess I need to train myself to do this as I hear at some point kids begin to request for the same stories all of the time!

In fairness, our son does show some interest in the books – provided we count chewing the books as a clear form of interest.

Tip: buy cardboard, cloth, or sturdy books that can’t easily be torn.

Anyway, I did a bit of research on this and just in case you’re like me, here’s what I’ve found:

  • You don’t have to read the entire book all the time – pick your fave pages or any pages at all. You also don’t have to go by the exact text or words in the book – create your own stories with the photos.
  • Repetition helps – so the same way your child probably gets excited and can recognise nursery rhymes and songs from listening to them often, is the same way they’d come to love the sounds of the books / words by hearing them often.
  • Include activities that show that reading can be fun – singing, clapping, bouncing – whatever. I guess books with sound also help.
  • A routine is recommended – so perhaps after bath time or before bed, a 10 minute reading session is better than none. I try to pick a book to read to him while waiting for his food to cool, and many times before bed. 
  • Even when you’re not reading it, let the babies and infants have books around to touch and feel. 
  • Finally borrow from library. You don’t have to buy all the books, and if you must buy, consider buying second-hand! 

If you’re dealing with any other kind of mum guilt, don’t over think it. Sometimes mums go too hard on themselves. Give yourself a break, perfection is almost impossible. Have mum friends that you can share with – and you realise everyone’s having pretty much similar situations. And just keep doing your best! We’ve got this.

Do you love to read and do you like to read to kids?  When did you start, what are your fave books + tips?

If you’re a mum – got any guilt lately? (no judgements here!)


Kachee… Xx

pS: There might be some genetics involved as well. Some people are exposed to reading so many books as kids but still won’t voluntarily touch a book with a ten foot pole. 

Read too: Tough One? Books or Shoes (i.e Charles Dickens vs Manolo Blahniks)  and How We Almost Travelled with a 5 week old baby (+tips to travel with a baby)



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  1. Ajala & Foodie

    May 24, 2018 at 22:57

    Yea, I subscribe to the school of thought that reading is something one has to introduce to a child real early. My hubby is not a reader either as he was not introduced to it as a child like i was. So for our LO we decided to start reading to her while she was still in the womb, it was also supposed to be a way for my husband to bond with her but life happens. We only read to her a handful of times. Now she is out, but honestly we have not done as well, although, i have not felt guilty about this as we are dealing with some other issues. I hope things settle down soon and we are able to do better.

    • Kachee ||

      May 27, 2018 at 20:13

      I hope things settle down for you too. It sure takes a while. Xx

  2. Tee

    May 25, 2018 at 09:06

    This really great! I remember my mum used to read to me as a kid. I don’t remember if she was as intentional as this with schedules and all, but I have a few memories of being read to.Today, I’m an avid reader and all my cousins swear that’s why! This is definitely something I’m going to do with my kids as well and I have already started buying books with them in mind. Lol!

    • Kachee ||

      May 27, 2018 at 20:12

      Haha. Have you really started buying them books!? You’re so ready.

  3. Tomie

    May 25, 2018 at 14:55

    I agree with the part where you said that some people are exposed to reading so many books as kids but still won’t voluntarily touch a book with a ten foot pole. My mum is an avid reader and amongst my siblings (i have 2 ) I am the only one that took over my mum in the reading aspect as i spend all my passing time reading something. This might also be attributed to the fact that I was the last born hence mummys handbag everywhere she went and in order to occupy my self while she’s gisting with her friends i resorted to books.

    • Kachee ||

      May 27, 2018 at 20:11

      True! It’s surprising how some kids love books and their siblings don’t. But that’s a plausible explanation you give for your situation. Lol!