Why working out helps me personally to be a better mom.

May 8, 2013

For the first couple of months after I had Brooke I would often feel a little selfish for wanting to run and work out.

I sometimes felt bad for leaving Billy and Brooke on a Saturday morning to go out for a long run.  I felt that maybe during Brooke’s nap time I should spend that time cleaning/cooking/laundry/writing emails/sleeping myself or a million different things instead of running on the treadmill.  I felt selfish one morning as I was waking up Brooke at the crack of dawn for me to go run the RnR San Jose 1/2 Marathon.

Now that I am a mom expert (I mean, 9 months of being a mom makes me an expert) I have realized that working out is anything but selfish for me.

Being a ‘fit mom’ doesn’t mean I have to be a ‘selfish mom’ explained it perfectly and I loved all of their pointers.  The article talks about how some people may think that mom’s are simply too busy taking care of their kids and helping others in order to find time to work out and that taking time to do so would be selfish.

Reasons why working out helps me personally to be a good mom:

-Energy.  Those first few months (okay, 9 months) of your baby’s life may mean that you don’t get a lot of sleep.  It can be draining and some days just call for you to take a nap. It doesn’t make sense in my head WHY working out gives me so much energy but it just does.   After a sleepless night (Pinterest causes this more than Brooke does) a run is what gives me the feeling that I can conquer the world and play all day with Brooke.

-I want to be able to run around with Brooke and Brooke’s kids and Brooke’s kid’s kids.  I want to be that parent that is always playing at the park WITH their kids.  I want to be able to stay fit in order to be active for as long as possible and create amazing memories with my Brooker.

-We just have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others.

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-I feel more confident.  When I get a good run in and I accomplish a goal that I am working towards I automatically feel great about myself.  I want nothing more than to be able to be a good example to Brooke of having confidence and feeling good about ourselves which comes along with setting goals and working towards them.

-Working out is an incredible antidepressant.  Some days being a mom are just tough.  When Brooke had Bronchitis a few months ago I was pretty much stuck at home for a few days which is hard on me because I am definitely a people person.  Getting in a treadmill workout during her nap for those few days saved me from having cabin fever.  Running helps me to be happy which obviously impacts Brooke in huge ways.

-When I do take Brooke out in the baby jogger I know that it is good for both of us.  The sights, sounds, fresh air and nature are so good for her developing brain!

-I am (and will be) teaching Brooke that becoming a parent doesn’t mean you have to give up your passions and hobbies.  I am continuing to pursue my passions!  Racing is a huge passion of mine.   Teaching is another passion that I have had for a very long time and I have been able to continue ‘teaching’ with my early morning spin classes.

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-Most importantly I really want to set a good example to Brooke of health (I know, I should probably eat less candy too).  I want her to grow up in a home where we are physically active and teach her good health habits.  What we do as parents has a HUGE impact on what our children will do in terms of health.

-Running helps me to count my blessings.  It helps me to find gratitude in the simplest things and I hope to be able to pass that on to Brooke because if we can find happiness in the little things we are set for life.

-I have really good ideas when I am running.  I am not a creative person normally but get me out on a run and all of the sudden I have all of these great ideas about how I can better help Brooke, friends, family and people in my life.

Why does working out help you to be a better mom?  Or a better person?

Did your mom and dad work out when you were growing up?

Sana May 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I am a better person because I run :)

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Kay @ goaloflosing.com May 8, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Agreed! :)

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Elizabeth @ My Neon Running Shoes May 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Also agree!!!

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Laura May 9, 2013 at 4:26 am

Absolutely!

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Sue May 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I can totally relate! I have a 4 1/2 yr old and a 17month old, and working out/running makes me a better mommy. Just because you are a mom, doesn’t mean you should neglect yourself. If I don’t take care of myself, I am NOT a good mommy. I raise my voice a lot more and see myself becoming THAT mom that I said I would never be. Running helps keep me sane through tantrums and all of that kid stuff that can be really hard to deal with sometimes! Yey for taking care of ourselves!! Love your blog!

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Alyssa @ See This Girl Run May 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm

I grew up seeing my mom work out every morning and it really ingrained in me how important exercise is. She never did anything super intense, but the fact that she got up early to do it showed me that it’s a huge priority. I think that lead to my love of it, my college degree and now my desire to help others want to exercise also. My dad has also been active, always wanting to be skiing, hiking or mountain biking. I love his example of physical activity being fun, not a chore to check off.

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Emma @ a mom runs this town May 8, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I love this! This is what I’m trying to do for my now 9 month old. Hopefully she’ll write this about me one day! I just did a post about how motherhood has made me a better runner. Must be something in the air!

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Christina @thetinyrunner May 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I love this post! It is so encouraging and inspiring to hear! I am not a m but I want to teach my kids the same thing when I am a mother! You are so great!

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Tara Hanna May 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I am a better all around person because I run…therefore, I am a better mom. My boys are 2 and 3 (10.5 months apart)….they NEED me to run in the early morning before they get up and going….if not, its bad news bears for all involved. Running helped me battle through depression and for that, I am a better person and better mom. I have said it before and will say it again, running saved me. Im not sure what fate it was saving me from, and I really don’t care to find out….all I know is that the path I was on might not have been terrible, but it certainly wasn’t this one and this is where I want to be.

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Kate May 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm

My parents didn’t work out while I was growing up, and I remember my mom going on Weight Watchers several times during my teenage years. I was out of shape and overweight, even though I played soccer since the age of 4. I gained the freshman fifteen before I finally snapped and made the decision to change my life. My family made fun of me for years, but now a decade or more later, they know running is a part of who I am. They still think I’m crazy, but they also inquire about my races, how I did, and how far I’m running. I loved this post, because I too want to set a good example for my son (14 months) and also keep up the energy/relaxed feelings to play WITH him as well. Thank you for sharing the link and your thoughts.

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Margot May 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I love this post :). I’m so glad running helps you be better at everything you need to do.

But the one thing I really loved was the part about creativity. I think of the CRAZIEST ideas of things I am going to do when I get back on runs. And usually they are really unselfish, fun, or cool ideas (yeah like how I can help people, etc). Granted, I follow through on about 10% of them, but it’s a great time to remember what I need to do, and think of totally crazy stuff I want to do :).

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Erin May 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm

My kids are 8, 5, and 2. I didn’t start running and working out until my second child turned one and I wish I’d taken the time from the beginning. It really does make me a better mom to my kids and it sets a good example because my kids always want to exercise and love running and yoga!

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Mia May 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm

I couldn’t agree more!! I am a stay at home mommy to two little girls. My running is my “me” time. As a mom, I give 110% of myself to my children throughout the day. I spend all day doing things for them and running is the one thing that I do for myself. You are right in that running makes you a better mom. On the days that I don’t run or don’t make time for a run, I feel that I am short fused.

It makes me happy to hear my 5 year old say that when she grows up she wants to be a runner like mommy.

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Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl May 8, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I love this post so much and agree with each one of the points that you made!! I especially believe that if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. I also want to be around and active with my kids for a very long time. Like you, I also want to be a good example. Working out should not be anything special, but something that’s just part of life, that must be done.

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Deana May 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm

I find running helps me get my stresses out! After a good run, I feel like I have accomplished something for myself and sets a good tone even if the dishes in the kitchen sink have been there for 3 days.

My mom was always on a ‘diet’ whether it be low fat (baked potatoes all the time) or trying some new pill or something…she didn’t know any better. But it certainly set me up for how I am working to readjust my thoughts about food.

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Lizzie May 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm

love this : ) you are an awesome mom and so inspiring for your own family and all of your readers!

my mom would get all of us kids to do a fantastic 80′s gilad workout video in the living room with her. <3

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Roxanne @tribalancegirl May 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm

This is EXACTLY what I’ve been writing and thinking about lately. Sometimes, even on 3 hrs of sleep, I still NEED to work out. It’s not about burning calories (well, that’s just a plus), but more about feeling good about myself and keeping a routine. It’s the ONE thing I can do for myself guilt free. I know I can handle stress a little bit better and be a better WIFE too. Great post and thank you for being another CRAZy example setting becoming a better mom runner! Love it! And yes… the reason why I love sports and any sort of outdoors is because of my parents.

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Kara May 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I grew up doing Jane Fonda’s VHS tape workouts with my mom! I feel like I am a way better mom when working out is a priority!! For the past 3 weeks, a friend and I have been doing P90X at our church building while our kids play together. Some days go better than others, but overall it is awesome! Getting our day started with some sweat gets the endorphins going and sets the tone for our days.

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Megan D May 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I am definitely a better mom/wife/person when I get my ‘me’ time, which is usually running or some other form of exercise. And I love that Annabelle wants to run in races because that is what I do :)

My mom has NEVER exercised. But my dad does. And he ran long before I did. When my mom told me I needed to lose weight I was mad at her and embarrassed and sad, etc. But my dad never said anything to me about my weight and just asked if I wanted to come on a run with him. Because of his example I started running and started becoming healthier. Leading by example is the best way to do it and I thank my dad for that.

Girl, you are the best mommy around. That Brooke is so dang cute and so loved and lucky to have you and Billy as parents! You are such a great example to me.

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Leigha May 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Running makes me so happy! I totally agree how it gives you energy. Brooke is going to grow up so happy and with great habits!!

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Anne May 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I am no where close to being a mom, but was lucky enough to grow up with a mother who runs.
Having an example who made running part of her everyday life, not a “thing” or a phase, was the most positive impact on me possible.
Now that I am older I love nothing more than running with her.

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Lisa @ Live and Be Awesome May 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Even though I’ve never actually met you, I think it’s pretty obvious that you’re an incredible, loving, and attentive mom to Brooke. Maintaining your fitness is so important for all the reasons you mentioned, and I think that if my parents had been more like you growing up, working out would’ve come so much more naturally to me. :)

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Lauren May 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Even though I’m not a mom, I feel like I can totally relate. I’m a physical therapy student and just got thru the hardest semester. During finals week I forced myself to workout everyday just for an hr. I never let myself do this during finals before bc I thought I was wasting precious study time. I did the best I have ever done on finals…which I contribute to taking the time to take care of myself thru running! If I have kids someday, I aspire to take the time to take care of myself physically, just like you are. And Brooke seems like the happiest little thing, clearly whatever you are doing is working :)

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Holly May 8, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Janae, this is BEAUTIFUL! I’m pinning this so that I remember to read this when I’m having a hard day.
This: I want to be that parent that is always playing at the park WITH their kids <–is my FAVORITE thing about it. I want to be that parent too!!! I LOVE taking G to the park & so does she- seeing her smile while she swings must makes my heart overflow with happiness.
I really really really wish we lived closer so we could take our girls to the park, the pool, go running together, etc. I know I say this all the time…but seriously I DO!!! :)

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MW May 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Beautiful and well-written… I feel the same way..

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Allee @ Griselda Mood May 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Amen! Couldn’t have said it better myself. If mama is happy, everyone else will be too :-D

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Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama May 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Great reflection on how running makes you a better mom. Completely agree! Making time for yourself is not selfish & sets a great example. My three year old already loves to run & ride her bike & try new things.

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Laura @ Live, Run Sparkle May 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I don`t have kids yet, but when I do I fully intend to be a fit mom like you. It is great for Brooke to see you being so healthy and fit, I think it makes a difference with her too because she is one of the happiest babies I have ever seen. She is always smiling away, and I think that because you`re smiling because you feel good, she smiles too.

You`re doing a great job, and I hope to be a lot like you in the mom department one day. :)

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HollieisFueledByLOLZ May 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I’m not a mom but my mom has always made time for herself whether it’s working out or doing something and honestly every single person needs that. Though you may feel guilty, I think not working out or having you time would stress you out more. You have such a balance in life and it’s so inspiring! (plus you are clearly a kickbutt runner to begin with!)

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Andrea May 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Great post!

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naomi May 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm

This is so great! I’m not a mom but I think it can apply to everyone! Sometimes I feel guilty for exercising when I could maybe spend that time doing something more productive for school, church, my hubby, etc but then I remeber that I AM being productive and that I need to take this time for myself! And in the end that’s what benefits others too!

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles May 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm

My parents are definitely active, and I think that had a pretty big effect on me growing up. In the winters they play indoor volleyball, and they play baseball and golf in the summer. I really think that it helped fuel my love of exercise and being active now!

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Karen @ Runner Girl Eats May 8, 2013 at 5:15 pm

This is a fantastic post. I am def a better person bc of running. I am calmer, stronger, happier and more fullfilled. I plan on always making time for fitness when i (eventually) have kids for the same reasons as you. Happy mom=happy baby!

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tessa May 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I think its crazy that we even feel the need to justify doing anything as positive as working out parents. Yes, kids are a lot of work and take time and energy but I feel they are also a good excuse to not do things. This is helpful sometimes (when you want to go home early or just stay in you can always say its because of the baby ;) but also I don’t think they are the real reason why people cant or don’t workout. I always believe if you are physically capable and you want to do something then it is possible. It just boils down to if it is a priority or not. When I cant or don’t get a run in, the vast majority of the time, its because I have talked myself out of it not because I didn’t have time or energy. People who dont workout just dont get it, like I didnt get how important nap times were before I had kids ;)

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Tara May 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Both of my parents didn’t work out when I was growing up, which now thinking back makes me wonder if that’s where my unappealing thoughts of working out stems from. I stayed indoors most of my childhood, which is something I am not going to do with my future nugget. I’m lucky that I have a high metabolism that is lasting to my twenties.

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Christine @ BookishlyB May 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I hate it when people use their kids as excuses for not doing things they want to do. It’s one thing to give up binge drinking and clubbing every weekend, but moms and dads shouldn’t have to abandon healthy hobbies. My mom didn’t work out when we were young and I think it was that much more challenging for her to develop the habit in her forties after we were all grown (but she did, so good on her!).

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Elise @ Expeditions of Elise May 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Thank you for posting this! Although I am not a mom (and don’t plan to become one for many, many years) I can’t help but worry about this idea that being a mother means giving up parts of yourself. I read your blog everyday as an example of a woman who is doing what she loves and is still able to be a great mother and love her daughter. And honestly, Brooke seems like the happiest baby around, even though you take the time to run for yourself. If running (or whatever else someone does) makes you happy, and being happy makes you a better mom (how could it not?!) then that sounds like the right formula to me.

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Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More May 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Agreed on all points! I love working out and setting an example for my girls. And I am so happy that they are able to join me in working out now!

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Ja @Ja on the Run May 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Well said. I have same reason why i workout right now. I want ro prepare my body for pregnancy. I believe that taking care of myself will make me a better mom and wife to my family. :)

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Macalla May 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Thanks for this post! I have 3 children and for the last nine years I never made it a priority to care of myself. It really took a toll on my body and mind. I always felt tired and depressed. But last April I started to make small changes in my eating and started running. Can I just say that I’m a little addicted to running?! I now make it a priority to run. It’s MY time. That small two hour window while my little one is in preschool I WILL run. : ) I want to be a good example to my children. I want them to be active and have a healthy life. I never had that growing up…

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Carrie May 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Ahhh, I need to share this with my hubby who is not always into my passion. I have my first post 2nd baby 1/2 marathon coming up on Sunday ( she is 2 ) and the drama behind actualy coming to watch me has made me sad! I want my girls there cheering me on as I finish, it is important to me. My next 1/2 is going to be 10 min from my in laws so no excuses for him at all!! For me lately my longer trainers bring on a lot of stress because getting out of the house for that long sometimes means an unhappy husband. Once I get to it though, I forget about what happened at home! Usually, later that day I get an apology or he really enjoys the one on one time with the girls. I racewalk so at a 12 min pace, for longer trainings I am gone for awhile! Hopefully my knee will cooperate to add running in after this 1/2. I am taking at least 2 weeks off to try to recover and then I am going to try it out.

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Erica May 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Beautifully written Janae.
Brooke is lucky to have you as her mom!

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Debbie @ Deb Runs... May 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Absolutely! If I didn’t workout, I’d be a horrible cranky person! My parents both still workout, and they are in their 80′s! :-)

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Anna May 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Couldn’t have said it better myself. I am not a mom (yet) but I do hope to have kids in the future and I want to set a positive example of health for my children, and I want to be not just “around” but ACTIVE in their lives, their kids’ lives, and so on! I just LOVE this post :)

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Kim @ Healthy Nest May 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm

This is so, so awesome. I’m right there with you on all of it.

My husband’s usually pretty supportive, but I feel like I’m always leaning on him a little too hard to make my guilt go away for me. Like, when I ask to go on a run, I don’t want him to just say, “Sure,” I want, “Yeah, go for it! You deserve it! I was hoping we’d get a chance to have some father-son bonding time anyway!!”

Haha…that’s what happens in my dreams anyway.

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Rena May 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm

love this. youre setting a wonderful example for brooke!

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Marilyn May 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm

This is really lovely. Thanks for sharing it.

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Ali @ AliMakes May 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Thank you for this post! I have twins on the way and am dying to run again but struggling with the idea of how to make it happen. I love your point about having to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. It makes me realize that it’s ok to prioritize something for me because my happiness (and sanity) will be more useful to my family than the 30 minutes I’d be gone.

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Kristen @ The Smith Summary May 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm

All of this is so true – great post!!!

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Renee @ Renee Runs Miles May 8, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I am definitely a better mom when I run, because I feel good and feel good about myself. Emotionally I am in a much better place and however brief or long the time is that I’m running–it’s time just for me. It’s time away from all the other stresses that once I’m back, I feel more equipped to look in the face and take care of them.

My dad was a big runner when I was growing up. I really think that I even tried running xc because of him. I, too, want to be a role model to my kids. I want to teach them that exercise is important and fun! I’m already working on my 4 and 2 year old.

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Heather @fitncookies May 8, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I think it is incredible and admiring when parents work out. It sets such an example for the kids and makes everyone a little healthier. I wish other people would realize it’s not selfish to take that time for you! It keeps everyone sane! I know I have great thoughts on my runs and just love it all in general! Keep being the best mom you are!

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Jen May 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm

LOVE! And I totally relate to the guilt thing…especially when I am going to be gone more than an hour and I have a million other things to do. I just try to re-focus and remember in 20 years it is not going to matter that all the dishes were always done and the house was always perfect. Being a good example is a far better way to spend my time…and makes me a lot happier :)!
My girls are older now…9 and 11 and they are running a kids marathon next Sat! It is 2.62 miles (I must say I thought this was the cutest idea ever)! They are excited to do it and I have had so much fun training with them :). I love that they are getting out there and getting exercise and having fun!

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Mindy May 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm

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Mindy May 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm

AMEN! I love this! I grew up in a home where my parents didnt work out, so I didt grow up seeing it as a priority. I have had to train myself (still majorly training) to make it a priority, and a huge part of my reasoning is so that my kids grow up with the habit. My 3 year old does (tries) pull-ups on the door handle and says he’s doing his crossfit or that he’s working out. It is important for him to see me and my hub leaving for the gym or a run or whatever. Anyway. Loved this!

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Mindy May 8, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Oh and Ps. I have majorly struggled with the guilt thing because of working full time. I feel like I’m away from my kids all day so it isn’t fair to come home from work and leave them again. I used that excuse for a long time. I realized that even if it sucks to go at 9 pm when they’re asleep or at the butt crack of dawn, it’s worth it. Anyway. The end

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Nicole May 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I remember sitting on my moms feet while she did sit-ups in the living room. She also used to go to step classes when I was really little. My dad used to race motocross and mountain bikes.

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Beth @ Running with the Sunrise May 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm

And you’re setting a great example for so many moms out there! I’m not a mom yet, but hope to be in the next couple of years, and I really don’t want to give up my running. Some people think it’s selfish to spend time away from your kids like that, but I 100% agree with everything you’ve written here. Doing something for yourself allows you to be a better mom.

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Heather @ Run Like a G! May 8, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I am not a mom, but this post was amazing!
I am sure a lot of parents needed this!
Never feel guilty about working out!
Parents need “me” time too!
I wish my parents had been more active!

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Therese May 8, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I’ve always worked out. I never feel guilty about it. It’s stress relief. Now I set an example for the students I teach. My numbers and medals hang from a bulletin board around my desk.

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Monica L May 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Great post Heather! As a mom of a grown kid I would encourage all young moms to do exactly what you are writing about. Taking time for yourself makes you a better person for you and your family. It’s a hard thing for us women to do, but it is necessary!

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Leah May 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm

I love, love, love everything you said in this post. My parents didn’t really ‘work out’ while I was growing up, it was more like, working in the yard, helping me with soccer practice etc but it meant so much to me that they were able to keep up. And these days my parents are becoming even more conscience of how important it is to keep active as they age. When I’m home visiting them I go on long, brisk early morning walks with my dad or fun easy runs with my mom and they’ve become super supportive of my running and always come to watch my races.

I definitely want to be an active/fit mom when I have kids someday to show them how important it is to be healthy and to have healthy hobbies. I love the idea of being able to share those hobbies too! My boyfriend and I run together and I love having that different level of our relationship, I feel like we’re supporting yet pushing each other to be the best that we can be all at the same time!

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Lindsey @ OneMotherofaDay May 8, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I love it!! I couldn’t agree more. My son is now 17 months old, and in the beginning I used to feel really guilty about leaving him for even 30 mins so I could go for a run so I used to take him with me in his jogging stroller, but that didn’t last long. Running with the stroller was messing up my knee and had to stop that. I have now come to realize it is ok that I do something for me and I can’t give everything up because I am a mom. It is most important to take care of yourself because you need to be around for your kids. I also believe being as active as my hubby and I are that will set a good example for our son when he starts getting older, that being healthy and active is part of our daily routine. I can’t wait til we can sign him up for his 1st kids fun run!!!

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charissa steyn May 8, 2013 at 9:42 pm

So well said:) in fact my mother’s day gift to myself this year is a half marathon race that morning:) haha! Only runners would understand that one! But yes running has always brought me so much joy after Jesus, my hubby and son ofcourse…but i always have to be careful that i don’t get to addicted to it. And I’m already scoping out the double joggers for when that second little peanut comes along;)

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Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom May 8, 2013 at 9:48 pm

My parents never worked out and are overweight, so getting healthy and working out was something that I did on my own. Working out makes me a happier and more pleasant person to be around, so that benefits ANYONE that encounters me because they only deal with my positive diva side and not the negative diva side.

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Rachel@curious runner girl May 8, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I LOVE this post and feel exactly the same about all of these points. I think I am a far better wife, mother, just all round person when I am running and working out. For all the same reasons you mentioned. And good on you, you are admirable and inspirational for all that you do. You are a wonderful mother.

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Scallywag May 9, 2013 at 12:33 am

Im not a mom but I was actually thinking about this yesterday. I was running a hard hill race and there were a ton of parents with children spectating with the other parent. I was thinking that watching your mum or dad do that makes them a GREAT role model. Theyre modelling strength and health and determination. Those are really important. Dare I say especially important for women who are the mothers of girls- girls need to be taught that women are strong and its important to keep your body healthy, not skinny, HEALTHY.

My mom used to have quite a funny approach to her body and i think its rubbed off on me a bit. When I have kids I am going to try to never negatively comment on my body in front of them.

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Tonya May 9, 2013 at 12:43 am

Absolutely true! Working out is not selfish! I believe if you do not take care of YOU then you have ‘nothing’ to take care of your family with, besides your family does not want to see you unfit, unhealthy or unhappy. Exercising allows you to stay fit, healthy and happy…all the things that help make a home an enjoyable place to be. My Mom did some aerobics when I was a kid, off and on, but other than that my parents did not workout. My mom has struggled with her weight her whole life. It’s a huge motivator for me to stay active because I don’t want that problem, but growing up with a ‘fit’ family would have been a nice foundation.

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Rebecca May 9, 2013 at 2:48 am

Janae you are inspiring! I am not a mom yet but when I am, I really want to be an active one like you, and one that inspires my kids to enjoy being fit and healthy.

My parents both were fairly active, my dad cycled a lot and my mom went to the gym, rock climbed, and walked everywhere! I never did a lot of sports when I was younger, and I have only been running for about a year and a half, but I know I am going to be a runner forever.

I agree with Scallywag above, even if I’m having a ‘down day’ about my body when I have kids, I don’t want to talk negatively about my body in front of them. I think a huge part of keeping myself positive about my body (and mind) will be running/being active. Great post!

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Jamie @ Sometimes Healthy Living Blog May 9, 2013 at 2:55 am

While I’m not a mom, I enjoyed this post very much. I always assumed working out would need to take a back seat when I become a mom, but you’ve proved differently. So many of the things you said in here resonate with me, and I hope to be able to think this way when I’m a mommy one day :-)

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JC Carter May 9, 2013 at 3:47 am

I am convinced that many people could get off antidepressants if they got into a sport, or physical activity. It’s that good.

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Kari @ Running Ricig May 9, 2013 at 5:02 am

My dad played on a softball league when we were growing up. I loved going to the games and watching him. My mom used to take us to her gym and there was a kids “class” for us to hang out in while she worked out.

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Laura Major May 9, 2013 at 5:17 am

I realized what a good example I was being for my teenage daughter when I went to her school, and her friends accosted me saying:” oh you’re the mom who is so fit and healthy and who A wants to be just like.”

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Whitney May 9, 2013 at 5:29 am

100,000% agree with this! Growing up my parents would take my sister and I to the gym every weekend for a family workout outing. We would all workout together and then have a nice lunch. It is a memory that I will always cherish and it taught my sister and I to be disciplined in eating healthy and exercising. I hope to do the same when I have kids one day. I feel bad for obese children who have obese parents. It truly is all about leading my example. Good job Janae!! :)

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Lexa May 9, 2013 at 5:51 am

Both of my parents have always been very active and I just assumed that everyone’s parents exercised. I worked out on my elliptical (almost) every day until I was 39.5 weeks pregnant. I had an unplanned C-section and was devastated that I was not able to workout for 6+ weeks. I had a very colicky baby and really held her all the time. Going back to work at 8 weeks and having a child that still does not sleep through the night (she is 2 1/2) I did not make working out a priority. Sleep was my priority. Seriously getting three straight hours was awesome! Anyway I went back hard on her 1st birthday. Lost 20 pounds and 12% body fat. We plan on starting to try in August and I will definitely make working out a priority after having (hopefully) our next baby. I realized that you are tired regardless so might as well get a work out in.

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Lauren May 9, 2013 at 5:53 am

I’m not a mother yet and not near to being one but I loved this post and I just love you!! Thank you for being such a great role model!! Brooke is so blessed to have parents like you and Billy :)

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Samantha @ 24 to 30 May 9, 2013 at 5:55 am

I love this and I couldn’t agree more. A lot of those lessons I have learned the hard way.

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Lorraine@runbuns13.blogspot.com May 9, 2013 at 6:12 am

You read my mind! A friend e-mailed me saying she makes her kids #1 priority. Made me feel like I was selfish for having my own interests..
I still am the soccer, tennis, and band mom.. but I have time for me too! It might not always be 100% for my kids all the time, but it all balances out and everyone is better off when Mom is happy! I need to stop feeling guilty just because other moms are all about the kids and have no other hobby outside of their children. Its almost like the Mom is playing soccer, hockey for the kid.. the way they talk about having to do their child’s activity. lol.. When they are just the driver.. and watcher! I’d rather be doing then watching! ;0)

You have the right idea.. thanks for that post! It was a great pick me up..

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Linda @ running4two May 9, 2013 at 6:19 am

I have been struggling with the “selfish” feeling lately. My daughter is almost 4 months old and I just returned to work from maternity leave. For the past few months I have been doing yoga, running, and biking and it has helped me tremendously…gives me energy, stress relief, etc. But I was having a really hard time wondering if I was being selfish because I wasn’t spending this time with Annabelle. Now that I am back to work, I am really stuggling with taking more time to work out because I don’t get to see her nearly as much as I did before returning to work. I know that I am a better, happier, healthier, more pleasant person when I exercise, so I am trying to find the right balance and cherish every moment with my little girl.

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Jill May 9, 2013 at 6:47 am

Sometimes I feel bad for leaving my baby with his caretaker a bit longer so I can get a run in after work but running keeps me mentally healthy. It alleviates anxiety and gives me patience. I try to be really present and devoted when I am with my son and I am able to accomplish that better because I run.

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Gillian May 9, 2013 at 6:52 am

My 3 year old is hilarious. He knows who bob harper is and will quote him throughout the day…he will literally walk around the house saying “it’s a curl, it’s a press” lol. I bust a gut laughing but it makes me happy. And I love that he says “going for a run mama?” When I lace up my runners.
Setting good examples is so important. And having an hour to myself everyday to get my sweat on definitely makes me a better mom.

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Christina W May 9, 2013 at 7:09 am

I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now, and I don’t think that I’ve ever commented. I just have to say that I thoroughly enjoy reading it every day, it’s definitely my favorite blog. I relate a lot to you because I also have a baby daughter (she’s a month older than Brooke), but I just love the fun and upbeat tone of your blog.. it’s very entertaining! Your daughter is one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen, hands down. My baby is so jealous of her hair :-)
I’m curious about her eating habits – do you think you’ll do a post on that anytime soon? That is what I feel I have struggled with the most (what to feed her, when, how to juggle feeding solid foods and nursing, etc.) Are you still BF? You can tell me it’s none of my business – I’m just curious because you haven’t talked about it since the first few months.
Have a great day!

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The Hungry Runner Girl May 9, 2013 at 7:28 am

Hey!!! Thank you so much for commenting and that is soooo fun that you have a daughter a month older than Brooke!!! Great post idea! Expect it soon!!!! I am not breast feeding and I will do a post on that soon!

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Jessica May 23, 2013 at 10:17 pm

I’d love a post about this.

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michelle kim May 9, 2013 at 7:42 am

I think you have been a mom longer than 9 months. I think you became a mom as soon as you found out you were pregnant! If you had the good sense to run smart when you were carrying Brooke in your belly, and she came out perfectly healthy and happy, then I don’t think anyone (including yourself ;P) can make you feel guilty for continuing to take care of yourself :D

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Melissa May 9, 2013 at 9:56 am

This is such a good point…. when a mom becomes pregnant, she does everything to eat right, take vitamins, exercise appropriately, stop any unhealthy habits like smoking, all because she knows her baby depends on her keeping her body healthy!
Once the baby is born, we should keep doing the same, because the baby still depends on us to be healthy! Whether its depending on the mom’s body for breast feeding, or depending on mom to be healthy mentally to provide love and discipline, or depending on mom to be healthy enough to be able to play with them and live to see their grandchildren! We shouldn’t suddenly start neglecting our own bodies once the baby is outside of the womb.

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Marina March 8, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Mera uttarakhand bhai bhain se ek vinti hai jaayda si jayda apni bhasa( garhwali,jaunsari, kumaoni) ka prayog kare tabhi hamari bhasaon ka vikash hoga aur ye samridh hogi

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Joy May 9, 2013 at 7:45 am

What a great post!

I’m not a mother, but I hate hearing when any mother feels guilty taking time for themselves in any way. I think your love of running and your ability to set goals and try to achieve them is such an amazing quality to have–one of the best (I think) to show to a growing child.

My parents never worked out when I was growing up, but one of my older sister’s did (she is a runner) and of course I wanted to be just like her so I joined the track team like she did, and the rest is history. I’ve been a runner ever since then (I’m 39 now) and love the sense of accomplishment it gives me, plus all the added bonuses you mentioned like giving you energy and feeling more creative (wish I could remember all the things I think of while I run).

Brooke is lucky to have such a dedicated runner as a mom!!

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Lisa May 9, 2013 at 8:05 am

My kids are older (7 yrs and 9 yrs) but they are surrounded by running with my husband and I both being marathon runners. They are in our local running club and run 5K’s with us, and without us! They are so used to our running habits being “normal” that they don’t even blink an impressed eye when we tell them we just ran 16 miles. It’s a great family sport to get into, and I agree with all of your statements. My fav is “it’s all good. I ran today”. :)

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Fizz @fizzsbizz May 9, 2013 at 8:25 am

I love this!
You are such an amazing role model for Brooke, and young fit mums everywhere.

I’m not a mum yet but when I am I plan to keep up with the things that make me ‘me’ so I can show my kids how important it is to have something that makes you happy in life that’s just all yours.

Great job mama!

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Regina May 9, 2013 at 8:29 am

My husband and I were just talking about this the other day. I’m a SAHM and my husband works full-time to support our little family of 3. He works his arse off and I felt incredibly guilty when we discussed me joining a gym. It wasn’t cheap and meant cutting out a date night once a month to afford it. I felt like I got to go do something I loved (in addition to my full-time job of being a mama that I love) which my husband slaved away at a job he hates. But as we discussed it (and I should mention my husband has been nothing but supportive of me joining the gym) the more I realized how much I NEED it. And my son does too.

The gym offers me time to myself. Being a mom is a 24/7 365 job. You’re always “on”. Being able to take time for myself to run, spin, kickbox or lift weights allows me to press the restart button. It allows me to unwind, to destress, to let it all out so that when I come back after 30-60 minutes and pick up my son from childcare I’m refreshed enough to deal with the messy diapers, the nap wars, the endless demand that is motherhood (in a good way!). I have the energy to do it because I got that time to myself.

It gives Jackson time to interact with other kids and other people. As a SAHM Jax isn’t in daycare and the one downside to that is that he doesn’t interact with other kids all day long. That 30-60 minutes he gets in the gym daycare as I sweat it out allows him to interact with other kids his age and teaches him about playing with others. It also teaches him how to calm himself and be self-reliant, not just rely on me all the time. He’s learned that he doesn’t need me 24/7 to be happy. That he can be OK on his own and that I will always come back.

It allows me to feel like myself again. I have always wanted to be a mother and never could have imagined just how much I’d love the role. But inevitably when you become a mother your life revolves around that little love that you brought into the world. Your needs are pushed to the side (you sleep when they let you, eat after you feed them (often with one hand and a grabby baby trying to steal it), you shower whenever you get a chance and it may not be every day anymore, etc). Exercising allows me to feel like my old self. Like who I was before I became a mother.

It teaches through example that health is important and can be fun! I want our children to be active but not because I preach to them the importance of an active lifestyle but because I show them. We go on family runs/walk/hikes, etc.

It gives me energy and keeps me fit to chase my extremely active and extremely fast little man.

It allows me to interact with other people! I didn’t realize how much I missed adult interaction until I joined the gym. Now I have friends in my various classes and get to speak in a language other than baby talk. It’s awesome!

It makes me love my son even more. The time I have away from him makes me miss him so that when a class is over or I’m done at the gym, I’m practically running to the daycare room to pick him up because I cannot wait to get back to him and play. And watching his face light up when I walk through the door, then him crawl as fast as he possibly can while laughing in excitement is the absolute highlight of my day. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

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Katie @ running4cupcakes May 9, 2013 at 8:32 am

Great post! And I agree with ALL of your reasons and use them myself for reasons why I choose running over many other things!

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Blaire @ Just Been Running May 9, 2013 at 8:45 am

Love this :) You’re such a cutie mom!

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Annette@FitnessPerks May 9, 2013 at 9:01 am

I hope to be teaching my unborn little girl that exercise IS important. It makes us feel good & we are all soooo much happier & healthier.

It’s my drug of choice ;)

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Sonia the Mexigarian May 9, 2013 at 9:38 am

Love. that is all. <3

oh, and you are an awesome mom.

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Katie May 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

I just love this entire post. YES, you must take care of yourself to better take care of others. YES, I want to run around and play with my kids, too (when I have them)! YES, parents have a huge impact on their kids! Just, YES to all of this! I’m bookmarking this post. Thanks for writing it :)

xo

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Chelsie @ Simply Seeking Life May 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm

My parents would drag us on almost nightly 5 mile walks. As kids we hated it and swore we would never go for “walks” when we grew up. Now I can’t get enough. Not to mention, now I am strapping my own kid into the stroller to go out every night. It’s funny how that happens.

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Tiffany May 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Holy cow! I have been reading the comments on that KSL article and they are OUT OF CONTROL! I am amazed and shocked by how some people think!

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Cathryn May 9, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I identify with this so much…we are in Hawaii at the moment on holiday (just thought I’d drop that into conversation).
Last night I went and ran 5 miles, leaving my boys at our rental house and whilst I didn’t feel guilty, I wondered if I was missing out. But I got home just as the sprinklers came on…and suddenly my little man got nekkid and I stripped off to sports bra and shorts and we were running round the garden in the sprinklers getting drenched for a good ten minutes. And it struck me how glad I was that I’m fit enough to be able to do this!
Running definitely makes me a better, nicer mum and my little boy already thinks that it’s normal to eat healthily and exercise. It’s important to keep being healthy!

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Amy May 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

Wait until Brook is a teenager. My kids are 19 and (almost) 18. Running helps me calm my mind. It helps me clear my head so I can better focus & be more creative in dealing with problems. And setting a good example for them is huge.

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Monique @ burpeestobubbly.com May 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I’m not a mom, but I will say that this post was very refreshing to read! As someone who loves and needs to workout (I teach between 4-5 classes a week), it’s so discouraging to hear mom’s say they don’t have time to workout, so thank you for pointing how how it’s doable and totally OK.

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Amy @ {Life to the Full} May 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Working out is like hitting a reset button for me. My son is almost 3 months old and we are still in the sleepless stage of parenthood. When I get outside for a run, I feel refreshed and ready to take care of my little man! It does give me more energy to be active and I feel like I am a more patient and compassionate mommy for my son. I love being a mom and I also love to race and have training goals to shoot for. Like you said, you still have your own passions as a mom!

I grew up on a farm and my family was very active. We spent most of our time doing chores or working outside, so when I moved away to college I discovered working out “gym style” and running :)

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ChristineB September 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I know this is an old post, but I just found your blog and want to say thank you for this, and for linking that article. I’m the mom of 3 great boys, and currently the breadwinner for our family.

Growing up I never considered myself to be athletic because I didn’t do well at team sports. However, I have discovered I LOVE running, even though I’m not super fast, and I know that even though I wake up stupid early to run I have more energy, I have more confidence, my stress level is lower, and overall I’m happier. If I go too long between runs for some reason I really feel it & know I need to get out & hit the pavement again.

My boys even notice, and this summer we have been training as a family for a 5k race we run next weekend. I’m not sure if my boys (ages 8-13) will want to run next year as well, but I know it’s been good for them (also non-team sport kids) this summer to challenge themselves physically and to increase their overall level of health. Not to mention the whole setting and achieving a goal thing as well.

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Julie November 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Your family and you are adorable please continue the cute stories! I love running’ eating and writing soyour blog fits in nicely :-).

Onelove

Greenerhappy.blogspot.com

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