You’re not selfish or neglecting them. You have enough time and you need this. I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true. No matter how busy you are, you can totally make this work. Even if you swear you don’t have a single spare minute. You do and it’s a choice. Here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way that helped me make it out running every day with a full time job and a family. You can totally do this.
You are worth it
It’s true – you are! I know that a lot of us are not great at taking time out for ourselves but we need to. It’s hard not to think about the laundry that’s exploding out of the basket, the dishes sitting in the sink and the kids that need their noses wiped. But we have to. Things can wait but our health and wellness can’t. I’m not an expert but I do know that running helps with stress, anxiety, depression and so much more. Plus for me, on a really busy day a run helps me put things into perspective and gain a clear focus. I need it to function! Even my kids will notice when I’m crabby or impatient and say “Mom, maybe you should go run.” It’s not selfish. It’s not neglecting our duties. Taking care of ourselves and investing the time to feel good is so important.
You have the time
Seize yourself some me-time. You know that saying “no matter how slow you’re going, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch”? Well, it’s true. It doesn’t matter if you go for an hour or 15 minutes. If you have some time, use it! I am really good at bringing my gym bag everywhere and that way it limits excuses. I have changed in some pretty desperate places but it’s been worth it. Sometimes using that time while waiting for your car to be fixed or between appointments will show you some amazing new routes. My most favourite run-escape is while my daughters are at gymnastics. I watch for a few minutes but then I run for the door and straight to the local conservation area and the beautiful trails that are only a km away. I can get a good run in and it’s now a habit. I just put my stuff on and go. Other good times to use are before work, lunchbreaks, after work/before daycare pick-up and before bed (it’s not as awful as it sounds). The important thing to remember is not to think for too long and just go. You’ll feel better, even if it’s only for a short time.
You have admirers
I didn’t realize it at first but they are always watching. They peek at me in the shower, watch me pee and catch me using bad words (for the record “shut-up” when used in place of “that’s so cool” is not swearing). So, knowing this I like to think that spending time running is setting myself up as a good role model. It shows perseverance, dedication and a healthy life-style. They look up to us and we need to do this to show them that being healthy is a life-long choice. Actions speak louder than words. If we tell them to value fitness but don’t do anything ourselves then what are we really saying? I want my kids to be the best versions of themselves and being active is a big part of that. Did you know that physical activity increases brain function? It’s not just looking good, it’s feeling good, being healthy and smart! We can create kids who live an active lifestyle by showing them how to live that way.
You have partners
Running is beautiful alone but it’s better with friends. I don’t get a ton of chances to run with others just because I live in the middle of nowhere but when I do, it’s so fun. I swear the miles are shorter, time flies by and it’s more like meeting for coffee than running. Although, I know we’ve run because I feel it the next day. If you can, finding a group or a partner will help you get out the door more often. But not everyone has this option. It was probably out of necessity that I discovered that my kids were great runpals. At first they were cheering me on from the stroller. I’d hear “go faster” and “weee” from under the canopy. Then, it was “I’m coming on my bike” and along we’d go, sharing the road. I’d be running while they would ride beside me. The conversation wasn’t stimulating or motivating but it was fun all the same. However, now on Friday nights I’ve been running with my oldest. It’s one of my favourite things. We run, talk, laugh and just spend time together.
You can do it
I know I don’t know you but I bet you’re just like me. Being a Mom is hard and there will be times when making it out the door is difficult. There will be times when you just don’t feel like going. Try to think about the positive feelings that happen from running. Try to remember that you are busy but you need to do this for you. You have the time. Not every run needs to be a marathon and you can multi-task by visiting with friends or spending time with your kids. You can do it, you’ve totally got this.