Running, Self-Care, and Guilt Free Momming
We were born to run.
We grow up free and barefoot and wild, with tangled hair and scraped knees - never asking for permission to move our bodies.
As we get older, what happens?
We start to get a different message. Namely, that in the school of life, exercise is an elective. The side gig. The take it or leave it… as in, maybe you’ll grow up and prefer art history instead.
When women become moms (IF they become moms; because being a mom does not make you a more complete human or ensure a happier or more fulfilled life), the message changes again. It’s as if the world pats us on the head and says “oh hey there little lady…looks like your body just took a MAJOR detour...time to slow it down.”
And sometimes our entire identity morphs. We’re asked to give a bunch of it up, and get with the new program. We’re now the provider. The nurturer. The nest maker. And we can lose ourselves. Some women find it to be a lovely new adventure. And some think it’s confusing as hell. Like the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (which I now view as anti-woman propaganda), there is an expectation to give and give and give until all that’s left is a lifeless stump in the ground that your adult child comes and sits on. WTF.
Maybe you’re immune from mom guilt. Maybe you’ve always been able to stride confidently toward the door, every time, without ever uttering an apologetic assertion that you’ll be back soon.
I aspire. But if you do struggle…especially during the early years, when life feels like a blind folded Cirque de Soleil routine, please keep going. Keep running. Don’t ask. Don’t waste time feeling guilty or projecting anxiety onto children who will be fine. Just go. Use the stroller. Get a sitter. Ask a friend. Share childcare. Put your kid on a bike. Let them play on the infield while you run in circles.
I deal with that voice every single day. Every weekend long run for the past...decade? Everyone deserves a little “me” time, and you’ll be a better mother to that baby for taking yours however you need it.
— Michelle Frank (@mfrank81) April 30, 2018
I carve out space ahead of time, when I’m motivated, and keep it: use or loose. Then I can plan for it (a guilt absolving measure), look forward to it, and feel it’s mine. #Alllllllllllmiiiinnnnnnnneeeeeeeee
— Katherine Crider (@bess460) May 1, 2018
This is the woman I want my child to see. Strong. Motivated. Taking time for herself. Showing that a simple thing like running can make yourself a better mom/woman/human.
— Marcy Gialdo (@MarcyGialdo) May 2, 2018
If running saves your sanity, do it for your kids. I suffered from pretty horrible PPD after Orli was born and running literally saved us. Taking care of yourself is just as important for your family as it is for you.
— Erica Sara (@ericasara) May 1, 2018
1. Be kind to yourself, this can be a hard time and things will get better. 2. Reach out for help if you need it. 3. Healthy actions are good for you & your baby, and those include running
— Emily Gray Tedrowe (@egtedrowe) May 1, 2018
I would definitely tell myself that I’ll be a much better mom with a little time to do what helps me stay centered. Mom guilt will always get us but I remind myself that an hour to myself makes me better for everyone.
— ProfBissell (@Iciralabama) May 1, 2018
You can not serve from an empty vessel.... take care, stay strong, and be the best mom possible, while maintaining sanity...
— char hoyem :) (@MomTo3Heroes) May 1, 2018
What worked best for me was getting a jogging stroller and taking them with me! I know it’s not for everyone, but I love logging miles with them! I work full time so I’m very often multitasking! Sometimes I do feel selfish... but being a mom is so often selfless!
— kelly wilson (@kellywils0n) May 1, 2018
I would say, “You matter. You are a whole person and it’s ok. You are doing the very best you can and you are enough.”
— Sara Mahoney (@SaraMahoney11) April 30, 2018
I would say - that voice has haunted me for 16 years and it always goes away 2m into a run !
— Rebecca (@LockyerRebecca) April 30, 2018
I would say running makes me a better mother. It keeps me healthy and happy and creates a good example for my kiddo. Running stroller or backpack hiking gets us all outside. Or a babysitter gives us both a break, me for sanity and him for independence.
— Linda Barton-Robbins (@lindabear78) April 30, 2018
On those days, I simply remind myself that taking time to invest in myself makes me a better mom, wife and person! When I am really crunched for time and I don’t have a babysitter, I put my little man in the Bob and take him with me!
— Katti Smith (@KattiSmith1) April 30, 2018
When my son was little he would only nap in cars and a jogging stroller while jogging. Also, I use to ask Timmy, "Would you like a happy Dad or a cranky Dad?" Being a parent doesn't mean forgetting about ourselves. We can can teach our children self-love when we love ourselves.
— Grant Harrington (@bikerungrant) April 30, 2018
Being mentally and physically healthy and emotionally fulfilled is not just good for me, it is essential for our whole family. I need running for my sanity. And I love being able to share running with my 21-month-old daughter.
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) April 30, 2018
Even if running did not make you a better mum or positively impact your family in any way, it doesn’t make it less valuable or important. I think the idea that the only value a woman or mother has is based on service to others is toxic and basically internalised misogyny
— Zoey (@zoeyherself) April 30, 2018
It’s not selfish. Yup, time consuming. But in order to be a great mum, you need to be a ‘self’ too. And if running makes you more of a ‘self’, it makes you a better mum too. Taking time for yourself is healthy for you and as your kid keeps getting older, good for them to see.
— Kristen M (@Moultgard) April 30, 2018
Working full time and running with small kids is freaking hard. Everyone in my house knows Mama is better when she’s had her run. I keep telling myself “you never regret the run you did” and it usually gets me out the door, that and a nudge from my husband who knows I need it
— Alicia Krop (@aliciakrop) April 30, 2018
Ask yourself “Would you ever want your baby feel this way when she/he is grown?”
— Amanda Stanec, PhD (@MoveLiveLearn) April 30, 2018
Self care is so important! The. Kids. Will. Be. Fine.
— Carol Swift (@CarolSwift1970) April 30, 2018
I would grab some coffee, call the babysitter and head out for a run. Mom guilt is real but don’t let it crush dreams.
— Stephanie Bruce (@Steph_Rothstein) April 30, 2018
Babies are selfish and time-consuming. It’s how they survive. To show up and be fully present for my infant son meant making sure my mental, spiritual, and physical health was on point. Learn that lesson early—it doesn’t get easier as they age.
— Jennifer Burrows (@JenniferBB) April 30, 2018