A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

Self Care is Not Negotiable

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, running for self care.

Do you create structure in your day to make sure you are meeting your own needs? It took my ages to figure this out for myself. But when I did I felt like I got ground under my feet again. It’s far from perfect and it doesn’t change the stress of parenthood, but I overall do not feel like I am free falling through life anymore.

Running is my jam. I bought an expensive jogging stroller 2 years ago and we still justify this purchase as an investment into our mental health. It has really changed it all for me. I run everyday that the weather lets me. It’s hard in winter in Chicago, but running season is upon us. I have reviewed our “rules” to make sure that the jog goes smoothly (because at first the chaos just transitioned into the jog before I created structure within the structure.)

They can bring snacks, but they have to hold them the entire time. I cannot provide long winded answers about the universe while running. Ask me a question and I will answer it when I am done. They need to use their own problem solving skills during the run because I cannot referee and they need to focus on getting along. And this last one is a great practice for me as well to try to let them work their own things out!

This is my thing that is mine, time that is mine. We have a list of family agreements and “mommy runs” was added to it last year. It’s not negotiable. When there is complaining I explain that each family member has to take care of themselves and this is how I take care of myself. It has become routine because I made it part of our routine. It was not going to fall into my lap. As much as I need this for myself I hope that they can learn about taking care of themselves and learn to give loved ones the space they need to care for themselves.