Happy hump day, all! Last week on my Instagram stories I asked for input on what you’d like me to write about next. I had a few respond to the question via the stories and a few others reach out via DM with some ideas. And one of the trends I noticed was women wondering how I managed to run consistently while also working full time and raising 3 kiddos, while also managing the inevitable mom guilt.
To preface this article let me first say that I absolutely do not have all the answers on how to juggle family/work/training. Most days I don’t even feel like I have my sh*t together. So the fact that it even appears like I do honestly comes as a shock 😆.
On dealing with mom guilt when running
While listening to one of the podcasts in my rotation the other day, the host brought up that they got asked all the time about how they managed to do so much and not feel guilty. And that, after asking their husband, they realized that he was never asked that same question. The woman she was interviewing echoed the same sentiment.
And this was really thought-provoking. Sure, we could blame this on society, which I do believe contributes to the idea that women should be home more with the kiddos. But I also think the ownership starts with us. I’ve had to learn this the hard way over the years. I’ve had to believe that I was allowed to be a great mom and have a career and a passion/hobby of my own.
Mom guilt? Yeah, I feel it too. But not every day. As I say that, I realize I run this risk of some people thinking I’m selfish. But I try and remind myself that when I lace up, I’m putting energy into my tank. Because if my tank’s empty, I can’t be the best mom I was meant to be for my kids. And I also know that by putting in the work towards a big goal, I’m showing them how to chase their dreams.
Even more basic than that, I’m showing them firsthand how to live a healthier lifestyle, week in and week out. I’m showing them how to love and appreciate their bodies. How to fuel them correctly. How to enjoy being active outside. More than anything, on the days the guilt starts to creep in, these truths keep me going.
Finding the time to run
You don’t find the time. You make it.
I read this once. It was during a time in my life when I wasn’t prioritizing working out. I had a full time job and 1 kid. I thought I was so busy. (Hah!) Two more kids later, still working 40 hours a week, and now also training for half and full marathons, I’ve realized that statement could not be more true. You make time for things if they’re important enough to you.
I realize that I’m very lucky to have a flexible work schedule and a shorter commute. I get it. Those things make it easier for me to fit in training during extra chunks of time that some people don’t have. But here’s the thing. If I didn’t have that extra time, I’d be forced to adjust. Just like I’ll be forced to adjust my schedule in about 6 weeks when my oldest daughter starts Kindergarten. Right now I tend to do 99% of my runs in the late afternoon or evening. Up until this point, that has seemed to work OK for my family. But in 6 weeks when everyone has to get up earlier and after school activities start up? Things are going to change. And I’ll have to adapt. I may just turn into a 5:30am runner after all ;).
You know what else happens when you prioritize something in your life? Things inevitably fall by the wayside. You are not supermom (or dad). You can’t do it all. But if you want to prioritize running (or yoga, or biking… you name it), then something will likely take a back seat. And that’s OK! For me, it’s usually laundry. I’m guilty of rewashing things up to 4x before I finally get around to folding it. I don’t like that it doesn’t get done every 3 days. But I’ve made peace with it.
So here’s what I recommend:
- Write a list of the top 3 things you want to have the highest priority in your life.
- Challenge yourself to find 3 things you can either do in a more time efficient manner, or eliminate completely.
- Put it on your calendar. I’m serious. Start by intentionally carving out time to incorporate those things that are priority. Set a phone alarm if you have to.
I’d love to hear what other tips you have for managing a busy schedule!