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Hey Young Wifey Readers,
Today’s guest post author is a creative and hilarious woman. I hope you enjoy!  And remember to leave her comments!
XOXO,

Young Wifey

10 Ways Becoming a Mom has Made me a Better Runner

Hello everyone! My name is Kristin Gibson. I lived next door to the wonderful author of this blog as a small child, stayed in touch via Facebook, and was honored when she asked me to be a guest blogger on a topic I have been wanting to share about for a while now.

I have been married to my awesome husband, Kevin, for five years and we welcomed our first child into this world a year and a half ago, an energetic orange-haired sweet boy named Brady. I work full-time promoting recreation and wellness to college students and absolutely love my job. I luckily stumbled into the field of recreation, but everyday, I am inspired by the positive impact that exercise has on the human body, mind and spirit. I choose to run most of the time I exercise and my relationship with running has changed greatly since becoming a mother. In a really, really good way. I hope that if you are looking for some motivation to get back out there or to get started on a new exercise routine, this list might push you in that direction.

The Gibson Family

The Gibson Family

10. No One Expects My Hair to Look Nice Anymore
Or, maybe, I care less about those around me might think about my hair. It is much harder to get fancy when you have a child weaving in and out of your legs or you have to stop your son from chasing your Chihuahua with a toy golf club. So, I have embraced the partial-shower and stopped planning the majority of my workouts to include time afterwards to take a full shower. Because there is no time to blow dry and style this head of hair if I get it all wet again. Dry shampoo (or hairspray) and a blow dryer work wonders. I don’t think a ponytail has ever gone out of style (not that I have any idea what is in style right now). And no one yet has told me I have stinky hair. Even my husband who is really honest.

9. I’m Already in Stretchy Clothes 90% of the Time
Maternity clothes did a number on my willingness to wear tight, restrictive clothing. My body rejects anything that makes me uncomfortable for the sake of fashion at this point. Thus, I have started investing in workout gear that looks acceptable to be worn in public. All day long. Every day. And night.

8. Jogging is Nothing Compared to Growing a Human
I have a new appreciation of what my body is capable of. I didn’t think it was possible for me to GROW A HUMAN inside of me. A part of me was doubting it was really happening until I heard our son’s first cry. So many times, exercise is more of a mental fight than a physical fight. I try to overcome my mind and tell myself, “Seriously, Kristin, you grew a baby, you can run for five more minutes.”

7. I Like It When Strangers See Me Run with a Stroller
Maybe our house is a mess, I just ate a whole bag of goldfish, and I just “cleaned” pee off the carpet, but I managed to get myself and my son fully clothed and prepared for a jog. No one sees the other stuff, they see a chick pushing a heavy stroller up a hill. Maybe it motivates them to run. It’s a small victory, but an awesome one. And nothing warms my heart more to see a man or woman pushing a stroller during my route!

Kristin & Brady

Kristin & Brady

6. I Can’t Procrastinate Anymore
Gone are the days where I could put off a lunchtime workout to later that evening, where I would maybe fit in a workout between my romantic dinner with my husband and whatever the heck I did with my hours of free time every evening pre-baby. I have to realize that if I do not fit in a workout now during my lunch break while the baby is with the sitter, or before the unpredictable nap that keeps us locked in the house on weekends, it will probably not happen. A nice change-up to the romantic dinner date with your husband is a romantic jogging date. Not kidding. It’s rejuvenating to see your spouse doing something other than changing diapers and cleaning.

5. Running is a Form of Transportation
Back in the old days, people didn’t use cars to get everywhere. Shocking, I know! So I have tried to use my jog as a way to get places that are nearby. Our son officially thinks the only way to get to the park at this point is by stroller. The look of joy on his face when I awkwardly try to get him, the jogging stroller, and all of his supplies out the front door is pretty awesome. I am lucky to live close enough to a few parks we can jog to. Then I walk back. Slowly.

4. I’ve Stopped Punishing Myself for a Bad Workout
Any exercise is good exercise. Repeat after me. Any exercise is good exercise. Dude. So many factors are working against a mom and “the perfect workout.” Chances are, I just woke up 5 times in the middle of the night, I was folding laundry all morning and my hormones are out of control (there are many more to list, but you get the picture). Getting dressed to workout and moving my body at all is one battle that I have won for the day! And then some days, it just doesn’t happen. And that has to be fine with me, because life and babies are unpredictable. But tomorrow, I will at least put on exercise clothes (see above) when I wake up so that it is one less task to stop me from hitting the pavement.

3. Getting Out of the House is Cathartic
Our son had colic, that issue no parent wants to admit until it has passed because you don’t want to think you have to go through it for any longer and you feel terrible because you can’t help your baby feel better. It went on for four months. It made every single day of maternity leave a nightmare, I’ll be real. I could not “soak up every precious moment” with my infant because he was screaming in my face. Getting outside with him either by myself or with my life-saving mom-pals for a walk kept me semi-sane. Sometimes on those walk/runs, he would calm down or fall asleep. Not always, but somehow crying outside was less stressful than him crying inside our house-prison. And, I felt better because I felt more like my old athletic self (I found it incredibly helpful to do things that reminded me of life before baby). Now, when I feel like my life is teetering on the brink of disaster, I either plop him in the stroller with a graham cracker and hit the road or my husband kindly kicks me out of the house alone so that I can return a new Mom and Wife. Sweaty, happier and more patient.

2. I Embrace Any Form of Motivation
I have this weird (and extremely effective) fantasy I envision when my run is not going well. I imagine my future grandchild (I told you it’s weird) cheering me on at the end of a 5k or 10k race. They have a sign they made with finger paint. And their friend says, “Your Grandma is hot!” And they say, “I want to run like Grandma someday!” I say it’s okay to embrace whatever helps you get a better workout.

1. It’s Not Just Me Anymore
I’m going to get a little deep, just real quick. When we first found out I was pregnant, I realized that I would never be alone for one second for the next nine months. This realization was a bit intimidating, but also strangely motivational. There was a little tiny person inside my body depending on me for nourishment and now a little person depends on my body to do things like holding, hugging, feeding and playing. Exercise isn’t just about me anymore. It’s about taking care of my body so that I am able to do everything I need and want to do as a mother, a wife and a friend.

Kristin with Fellow Mamas

Kristin with Fellow Mamas

Thank you for reading. I’d love to hear if any of this rings true for you or if you have any tips or revelations about parenting exercise!