10 ways being a runner prepares you for parenthood

Before I was a parent I was a runner, a while I haven’t hit the pavement much since becoming a mom, I’d like to think that running helped me prepare for this special journey.

The game plan

For some people, the road to procreation involves a lot of planning, much the way a proper training schedule does. But, even if you didn’t plan on becoming a parent, there’s a certain amount of preparation that goes into having a baby once you get the news.

Get a coach

No parent is perfect, and children don’t come with instruction manuals, so if there is someone who’s parenting style you admire then reach out to them and ask them your questions. Getting a little guidance from a trusted source can help you bring your A game.

The sprint

Everything from getting ready in the morning before work to getting ready for babe’s arrival can be considered a sprint. You give your all in the moment with the hopes of just making it across the finish line sometimes.

Hill training

Anyone who’s done hill training knows how grueling these progressively tougher runs can be. Sound like parenthood? From sleepless nights and teething in the early days to discipline and potty training later on, the hill is the perfect metaphor for keeping your head up and slugging on, even when you just don’t think you can do one more repeat. You’ll soon come out at the top. Find an inspiring song or mantra to carry you through the difficult times.

The marathon

Parenthood itself is the marathon of life, if you ask me. You’re really in it for the long haul when you have a kid. Slow and steady will see you complete the race. Just don’t be in such a hurry to get to the finish line that you miss all the great scenery along the way.

Race day

Nerves, excitement, anticipation. That feeling that you might just crap your pants while throwing up at the same time. It’s either race day or your in labour! Make it to the end and you’ll have bragging rights for a lifetime — plus a pretty sweet prize.

You can’t phone it in

Sure, sure. Some days you can just throw on the cartoons and take a breather, just like you can skip the occasional training run. But, skip too many and you’ll only end up sabotaging yourself.

Consistency is key

Successful running or parenting — they both benefit from being consistent. Children thrive on routine from the day they are born, and runners who keep progressively training are more successful and avoid injury moreso than a weekend warrior.

Sometimes it’s OK to take a sick day

You can’t be on 100% of the time and sometimes it’s OK to step away. There’s no shame in admitting you can do it all or asking for help. It’s admirable, and you’ll arguably come back to things in better shape than before you took time off. So go ahead and order take-out, call a babysitter or leave the baby in a safe place for a few minutes while you gather yourself. Parenthood is hard work!

You’re running your own race

There’s always going to be someone who has something to say about the way you parent, but it’s not about them — it’s about doing what’s right for you and your family. Try not to get swept up in the crowd.

Reading rocks, & cool contest alert

Author Ted Staunton at a recent event.

(Author Ted Staunton at a recent event.)

Sweet baby D and I recently had the chance to attend an event hosted by Smucker’s, a ‘bookworm brunch’ they called it. Since the little man LOVES reading like nobody’s business, I thought it’d be a fun opportunity to get us out and about.

We were treated to some tasty breakfast recipes using their products, as well as a lively story time session featuring a blast from my past, author Ted Staunton. Continue reading

Welcoming baby

In celebration of my birthday today, I’d like to share the story of our son’s birthday. It’s difficult for me to think back and reflect on those few days, but I think it’s also important from a healing perspective to talk about it.

While I may not like the circumstances of his arrival, this experience is mine and mine alone. I own it. I made what I believed to be the best possible decisions for the health of myself and him in each moment. So did the medical team providing our care. It wasn’t ideal, but everything happens for a reason and I just have to trust in that.

A lot of these details are taken from notes from our doula and my doctor’s file – as I clearly wasn’t writing things down when they were happening. 😉

Continue reading

Bath time

20130114-103734.jpgEven though I experienced complications post-delivery, one of the greatest resulting blessings was that the home care nurse I was assigned just so happened to be a pediatric nurse at Sick Kids as well. Her advice for all things babe has been an invaluable resource. One of her suggestions was for bathing babe, since I couldn’t get in the tub with him due to my wound. It’s been one of his most favourite parts of the day ever since.

Let me start by saying that the little guy absolutely will not go to sleep without having a bath first. Even the night he got his first set of vaccines and was screaming his face off, he would not sleep until first having a little splash. (He was out solid about 5 minutes after I pulled him out of the tub that night.) Continue reading

Hellllo baby!

It’s with great joy hubs and I welcome little Declan, a happy and healthy 9 pounds 3 ounces. He made his grand entrance with an emergency c-section at 5:36 this morning. We are so in love and looking forward to getting to know our new little friend.

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So long ankles

20121019-141415.jpgIt feels like years ago that I said goodbye to my waist, and most recently, I’ve bid a fair adieu to both my ankles and my knuckles.

Swelling towards the end of pregnancy is totally normal, so there’s nothing to worry about – aside from what my darling husband refers to as ‘Shrek feet’ not fitting into any regular footwear and the discomfort that comes with stretched skin, there’s nothing to worry about.

And not much that can be done, either.

Back in the dog days of summer heat, my feet swelled but could be relieved with a cool bath or shower. Chilly temperatures no longer give me relief.

Even getting hubs to rub my sausages doesn’t seem to help, and I could spend half my day with my feet up in the air and still look like some kind of monster. Continue reading