Combining Working and Running: A Mother’s Guide

Working while being a mom has its own set of challenges. You worry about your family, your job, your self care, your partner, and many other things on a day to day basis. Running helps free your mind while giving you time to yourself.

Yet, how are you supposed to find time with everything going on? Our article is broken up into sections so you can jump to what you are looking for because we know you are busy. Check out the following:

Blocking Out Time

Let’s be honest, if it’s not on your calendar, it doesn’t exist. Blocking out time is important and is also a visual reminder that it is time to go for a run. Set a notification/reminder for a set period ahead of time so you can mentally prepare yourself that it is time to go. This will also help you get ready so you can start running at the designated start time.

Some of the easiest times to run are in the morning before everyone is awake, lunchtime, and evening time.

Think about what works for your family and if you don’t mind getting up at 4 or 5am before work, that might be the best time to do it because you won’t have to sacrifice family time or one on one time with your partner.

Is Lunchtime an Option?

Running during lunchtime may be an option for you. If this works for, be sure to plan ahead of time, such as the day before. You will need your gym bag that includes the appropriate clothing. Some things to include are:

  • shorts
  • shirt
  • sports bra
  • water
  • socks
  • running shoes
  • towel
  • washcloth
  • baby wipes
  • facewash
  • dry shampoo
  • brush

Take about five minutes to get ready for your run and plan on about a 20 minute run. After the run, you are going to want to clean up. If a shower is not available, use baby wipes, a towel, and some dry shampoo.

Make sure to eat an hour before you head on your run. Pack protein rich and healthy snacks to snack on before your run. If you have enough time, eat your lunch when you get back from your run.

Protein shakes are a good option after your run as well and are easier to drink if you don’t have enough time to eat.

Running with Kids

Running with your kids after dinner is another option if you cannot run in the morning or during lunch time. This can be turned into a family activity you do once or a couple times a week. You can vary it by running at different times during the week, or just have a special run with your kids one night a week.

So what will the kids do while in the stroller? Take a couple of books along to keep them busy. The I Spy books are good for little ones.

If you don’t have the books, you can also play the I Spy game out loud with them as you run. In addition, talking or singing to them will engage them in the activity with you so they don’t feel left out.

For older kids, have them do an activity with you, such as ride bikes or roller skate. You can make it into a family physical activity night so everyone is involved. This way, you get your run in while spending time together.

Find Other Working Moms

Find other working moms in the area to run or strength train with because having a network with similar interests helps you achieve your goals. You will get to know these women and share stories, ideas, and struggles that come with being a working mom, having a family, and finding time to run.

Another nice thing about this is you can child swap on days where it is difficult to find time to run by yourself. For example, you will watch your friend’s child one day during her run, and she will watch yours the next during your run.

Spread Out Duties

We can’t do it all ourselves, so spread out the duties throughout the household. Assign chores to kids as well as your partner. If things get too stressful or stuff is not getting done, think about asking for outside help.

Are there friends or family members nearby who can come help once a week? Another option would be hiring someone to clean once a week. While this costs money, it might help you keep your sanity and you can still get your run in.

Plan Ahead

Planning and a family calendar will be your best friend. Put the calendar in a place where everyone can see it, such as the fridge. Write down what is to be done that day, such as chores, and what you are having for dinner. This way, everyone knows what to expect and knows what needs to be done on what day.

Planning lunches for the week ahead will be a big help as well. Have your kids help you and if they are old enough have them make their own lunch the night before school. In the morning, they can grab their lunch, put it together, and they are ready to go. That frees up your time to work in a run and start the day off with less stress.

Make sure to plan your sleep as well. While running and exercising, you need to make sure your body gets enough rest to recover. There will be no recovery if you do not sleep enough. Eight hours a night is ideal, but listen to your body to know if you need more or less.

Remember to stick to your schedule. If you start changing things up during the day, things won’t get done and your run will be pushed aside.

Scale Back

Although we wish we could do everything, at the end of the day we are still human and we need to pick and choose activities. Scale back on activities if need be. If you find yourself rushing from one place to another without having time for a run, or having a conversation with your kids, try eliminating an activity. It might be a child’s activity, a work event, or something you do around the house.

The best way to choose what activity to eliminate is to have a family meeting. Talk about what is important to each family member and what activity they could each do without. This way, everyone’s voice is heard so no one feels left out.

Final Thoughts

Being a working mom in today’s world can be stressful. Going for a run and getting some time to yourself can be the reset you need to start or end the day on a positive note. In addition, running is a fun activity the whole family can enjoy as children grow up.

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