ISo this week I want to focus on my favourite tips for running when you're a mom.
1/ Start with the jogging stroller ASAP!
The sooner you get that baby into the stroller the better. It means you'll get used to pushing a stroller with a newborn, the sooner you'll get used to pushing a 20-something pound toddler. I found that as my baby gained weight I didn't even notice the extra weight in the stroller. And once the car seat was gone the whole thing actually got easier for a bit too. I also found that getting my girls into the stroller while they were really small is allowing me to be able to get them into the stroller easily now that they're older. Lillian doesn't cry or complain about going in the way some babies that I've read on other people's blogs do. My girls love the stroller and I'm thankful for it.
2/ Make time for your runs regardless.
Sometimes being a mom is tough. Someone always wants you, needs you, there is always something to do or clean and you can easily forget about you as an individual and not a mom. But making even a half hour of free time to run makes you a better mother. It'll clear your mind, calm your nerves and help rid you of the baby weight, which helps your confidence. If you have sleepless nights, then just walk or easy jog. If you have babies who will not sleep, stick them in a stroller and go. You'll be amazed about how well a baby sleeps after being in the fresh air. And don't give me any crap about it being too cold to take the baby out. I ran with my monkey in -12 degrees while it was snowing. She wore two snowsuits and had a cover over the stroller. If you want to do it, it'll work out.
3/ Find ways to keep your kids happy while you run.
I find that running during nap time on the treadmill helps keep me feel less guilty about the me time. I also try to run during nap time on weekends so that my hubby only has to juggle 1 baby, though if the big girl wakes up then he gets them both. I've also figured out a way to attach my Ipod and a mini speaker to the double stroller so the girls can have their music while I run. It's not quite the same running to "the wheels on the bus" and "old macdonald" but if it keeps them happy while I run, and lets me get out it is worth it!
4/ Get your partner on board too.
I'm not saying the only mom's who can run are married, because not all men are helpful like that. If you don't have a partner who can help you with this branch out to friends, and other moms who share your desire to run so that you have a group of 'partners' to help you with. You can swap kids for runs or meet up for mommy stroller runs. The more support you end up with the better it'll be for you and the more likely you are to stick to the whole thing.
5/ Remember you are only human.
I am always trying to do everything for everyone and suddenly it hit me that I can't. I'm a good mom and a loving wife, but I can't just work 24/7. I make lists and do what I can everyday but some days I can only do a few things and some days my runs just don't happen because both girls are awake and won't nap and are cranky and unhappy but that's life. Somedays when this happens they go into the stroller and off we go, while others it means cookies and ice cream for all. I do my best and take it all one day at a time.
The most important advice I can give, is that you have to make the time for your runs and stick to it. A lot of moms come up with reasons why they can't run or shouldn't take the time to go, but I've had two babies, and ran during my 2nd pregnancy and after both girls, and have learned that putting yourself first for 30-60 minutes a day makes everything better for your whole family.