I was trying to think what to write about this week as Mother’s Day approached and I remembered a Friday 5 I wrote way back in spring of 2012: 5 Things Every Runner Needs to Know Before Getting Pregnant. I thought maybe I’d be lazy and rerun it, but then as I read it, I realized there was so much more to write on this topic, specifically what we runners need to know before getting pregnant the second, third or more times [the author takes this opportunity to knock on wood. Repeatedly. And with feeling.]
So today, in honor of Mother’s Day, I bring you 5 things every runner needs to know before getting pregnant … again.
1. The Universal Law of Perceived Parenting Ease. Say after your first kid, you realize it’s going to be a PITA to train with one, so you might as well have another (or you underestimated the odds of getting knocked up while nursing a giant baby and marathon training … not that I’d know or anything). However, 9 months after this decision (or “decision”), you will kick yourself about how much easier it would be to get in the miles if you only had one kid who was 9 months older than when you left off.
What I’m saying is, you might have thought you were doomed to a life of mad scramble to get the miles in between crying jags, so you threw caution to the wind and decided to just go ahead and have another one, only to realize that it’s way easier to have a life with a 3 year old than a 2 year old. But this concept is the same no matter the age of the first kid and holds true no matter how many kids you start with. However, if you only have one, you will never feel like having one is super easy.
2. Newborn Amnesia. And then you kick yourself because you totally forgot how hard it is to do anything with a newborn and - HELLO! - it’s way harder to get in the miles with your first kid(s) and a newborn than it ever was before. Plus the recovery and return to fitness after each subsequent pregnancy is about double what it was for the one before it. Yeah? What were you thinking?
3. Roadblocks Everywhere. If you amass too many children, stroller runs are out. But even if you have a stroller-sized brood, as children get older they will not tolerate long stroller rides so stroller runs are still out. And paying for a sitter means every run is at least $30 or you’ll never have a date night because you’ve exhausted all your friends and family of their willingness to babysit – and as you have more children that willingness exponentially decreases, mind you. And then even if you could find and afford a sitter, you’ll be carting them all over creation to various activities so the only time you’ll have to run is before everyone wakes up so you’ll basically never see the light of day again, except when you’re in the
car (who are we kidding) van swearing at traffic and trying not to have a heart attack because you’re running late … again.
4. Running, the Enemy. With each subsequent child your husband/partner will resent your running more and more and every long run date or pair of shoes becomes a potential argument. And god forbid you want to travel to a race!
5. The Pay-Off (there is one, I swear!) But it’s all worth it when one day those pesky kids look at you with their big beautiful eyes and ask if they can go for a run too.
Happy Mother’s Day!