Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Hey Moms, Slow Down!

Most of my runs these days are done behind the wheels of my trusty jogging stroller.  I leave the house in my running clothes, drop Big C off at preschool at 9 am, and if all goes according to plan, Baby Z is drifting peacefully off to sleep right about the time I pull back into the driveway.  I shuffle her into the stroller as quietly as I can, and I’m off – pounding the pavement for a 4-5 mile respite while my little girl enjoys her peaceful slumber.

Baby Z raisin' the roof on a chilly morning run a few weeks ago.

“WHOA Mom, slow down!”

Sometimes I’m able to squeeze in a solo run on the weekend, sans stroller.  And, WOW it’s so much easier when I’m by myself!!!  This came as no surprise, as I probably logged 100’s of miles behind that same stroller with Big C a few years ago.  But I’d forgotten how drastic the difference was – my pace is a solid 2 to 2 and a half minutes slower per mile when I’m pushing Baby Z!

I think it’s pretty obvious why running requires more effort when it’s done behind a stroller.  With that in mind, if I tried to hold myself to the same time goals I have on my solo runs, I would be chasing unrealistic expectations. That would be unfortunate, because I would constantly feel disappointed in myself for not “keeping up.”  (And it would be silly, since I’m getting just as good of a workout, if not better, even though it takes me longer.)

This concept may seem ridiculously obvious when it comes to strollers, but as Mother’s Day approaches, I’m reminded that often we as moms (especially moms with young babies) do this to ourselves all the time!  We beat ourselves up for not maintaining the same pace of life we did before having children.  We desperately try to get back to the same workout regimen, cook the same elaborate healthy meals, or let’s face it, maybe even shower on a daily basis just like we did pre-kiddos.  Our society is inundated with examples of celebrity women who seem to pull it off – but who knows how much money they are spending on trainers, chefs, nannies, etc to make it happen (and besides, who knows what really goes on behind closed doors anyway?)

So this Mother’s Day I’ve got a word for you moms out there who may find yourselves overwhelmed in an attempt to keep up with that person you once were before that little blessing(s) came along – slow down!  No one is expecting you to be that person but YOU (after all, for all your kids know, you’ve ALWAYS been a mom!)  Settle down and find a new pace that you can keep, and run the best race that you can.  And don’t forget to enjoy the ride!





7 Responses to “Hey Moms, Slow Down!”

  1. Love this! Now can you do the math for me and figure out how much slack I get to cut myself for each additional kid? Such an awesome reminder!


    • Erica

      Jessica- If it were up to me I’d say 3 kids + 1 newborn + move across the world = the maximum amount of slack 🙂

  2. Excellent post. I frequently have to help remind Kristy it’s okay for her to slow down. With baby number two due any day now this will be even more important! I’m looking forward to taking a week off work to stay at home and help support her, and let her truly REST!.

    Oh, and as for slower pace behind the jogging stroller… I actually end up with a faster pace. But that is mostly because I normally run trails, and I’m running around flat packed granite when I’m with Abby!


  3. Jodie

    Agreed. My 1 1/2 year old is in the stroller about 95% of the time, and those 5% I’m alone it is so much easier. But he LOVES it. And someone once told me when I was talking about how much worse my exercise/workouts were post baby, they said ‘not worse, just different’. Totally true.


  4. Erica

    Caleb – I hadn’t thought about the difference in terrain as a factor. That definitely makes sense. That’s great that you get to take time off to enjoy your new bundle of joy (and help out your wife!) Best of luck in the coming days and weeks!!! Enjoy!!!

    Jodie – Indeed. Different yes, worse? Not a chance 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day!


  5. Jessica

    I needed to hear this… Thanks.


    • Erica

      Happy Mother’s Day, Jessica 🙂

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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN