Geranium seeds

Seeds of wellness for body, mind and spirit

So, are you ready to be a parent?

Lately I’ve been thinking about what little I knew a couple of years ago when I was considering trying to conceive and wondering what it would be like to be a parent. If I could write a letter to my 29 year-old self, this is what I would say…

Lucas and I

You will understand just how closely related love and grief are. You will look at your child as you hold him close on the first night you bring him home from the hospital and you will cry. You will cry because you love him so much and your heart is filled with such gratitude. And you will cry because you know that you can’t protect him from every hurt, and that one  day soon enough, he will not be in your arms anymore.

You will also cry whenever you see or hear about terrible things done to children or when you meet a mother who has lost a child. You will feel the hurt a little deeper, and it will be more difficult to distance yourself from the pain.

You will smile and laugh more. That’s because while you used to go about your business immersed in your thoughts much of the time, now you have a little companion who demands your attention… and boy is he cute. Your face will light up and you will think everything he does is hilarious… luckily he thinks the same about you.

You will be mad. On days when you are extremely sleep deprived and are running late for work, and he is screaming and running from you and just being difficult. And you will be madly in love. Just as quickly as you get mad you will also lean over and kiss him even though he continues to scream and throw a tantrum.

There will come a time when you desperately need a break from being a mommy and you wonder how anyone can do this all of the time. You will miss those days when you could decide on a moment’s notice to drive over an hour to a Bikram yoga class, when you could jump at the chance to register for an overnight relay race without a second thought, or when you could sleep in on Saturdays.

And you will miss him. You will miss him while you are at work, or when you see another mother with a young child somewhere. You will surprise yourself by wanting to cut down on your work hours and to spend more time at home, even though you have always vowed to be a professional working woman all of your life.

There will be nights, like last night, when he sweetly and quietly curls up in your lap at bedtime and lets his fingers run through your hair as you sing him to sleep. And there are other nights, like tonight, when he screams and fights to get out of your arms and you feel like a bad mommy. But you will know that he is just very tired, and so you will hold him a little tighter until he collapses from exhaustion and you place him gently on the crib.

You will marvel at what a wonderful father your husband is and will find another good reason to love him. You will love your child and your new family. You will hurt. You will find bliss. You will change, and you will also be the same.

So… are you ready to be a parent?

PS… if you could only see him, you would say yes!

Lucas and
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Mini Marathon Mommies!

Training for a half marathon with a stroller is no easy feat, but it can be done!

A few months ago, I wrote a post about my running partner, Jocelyn (read the post here.) We started running together while training for our first half-marathon in 2010. At that time, Jocelyn was the only one of us who was a mommy, and all of our runs were sans kids. Now, she’s got two little munchkins and I have a sweet boy of my own. Jogging strollers have definitely become part of our lives!

When we decided to train for another half-marathon together, we knew we would have to incorporate the strollers into our training. Both of our husbands are super busy with work stuff and trips this summer and we can’t find babysitters for all of our runs. We know it will be challenging to get our training done with full-time jobs and kids, but we’re determined to get it done and looking forward to it! We have signed up for a mini marathon in September and officially started our training this week.

If you are a not an experienced runner, a half-marathon may seem like a pretty intimidating feat… but I’m here to tell you it is not as dauting as it seems! It’s all about being consistent with your training.

When I started training for my first mini marathon, the most I had ever run at one time was 6 miles. Once. Our running guru devised an easy 15-week plan for Jocelyn and I that consisted of running only 3 times per week. I was 17 weeks pregnant on race day, and felt great. Our finishing time was 2:32 I believe. We could have pushed ourselves much harder but were trying to be conservative since I was pregnant and this was our first big race.

Since I’ve had Lucas my runs have become shorter but I also think I’ve had more efficient workouts — especially in my hilly neighborhood. Try pushing a stroller uphill… it’s quite a workout! Here are some tips if you are planning on taking your baby for a ride:

Be prepared for interruptions. Checking on baby, replenishing a snack, grabbing the bottle the baby just threw out of the stroller. It does help to keep snacks on hand. Lucas loves the big old rice chips/cakes like “Kim’s Magic Pops” (he’s holding one in the photo above) and it takes him a while to finish one. Perfect for the stroller ride. Also: invest in a stroller with a good canopy or purchase additional sun shade. Despite the canopy on my jeep stroller and my incessant tries to get Lucas to wear his hat and/or sunglasses, sun would always get in his eyes and he would be very uncomfortable (read: more interruptions). Getting extra sun shade has really helped. I have also purchased a weather shield for rainy (not stormy) days and have yet to try it.

Since runs with strollers tend to be shorter, we have decided to adapt the plan that worked so well for us in 2010. We do plan on enlisting child care for our long runs and maybe some of our weekday runs as well. But most of our short mile days will be with our kiddos. So, we tweeked our plan to stretch out our miles into 4 days per week (rather than 3 x week). I will share the plan here in case someone wants to give it a try.

By the way: seasoned runners may be surprised that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of miles to be logged during week days. But, this is the exact amount of miles we logged per week during our first training and were more than ready for 13.1 by week 15!

Week Day1 Day2 Day3 Day4
1 miles 3 2 2 5
2 2 3 2 6
3 2 4 2 7
4 2 4 2 7
5 2.5 4 2.5 6
6 2 3 2 8
7 2 4 2 9
8 2.5 4 2.5 8
9 2 4 2 10
10 2.5 4 2.5 8
11 2 5 2 10
12 2.5 4 2.5 8
13 2 4 2 12
14 2 2 2 6
15 3 2 13.1
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