Everyone knows that pregnancy comes with aches and pains. And sometimes bumps and bruises. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the absolute hurtin’ my kids put on my body that has nothing to do with pregnancy or childbirth.
With my daughter, I did some stupid stuff in the early days. Like carry the infant car seat over my arm like a purse. When my forearms started feeling like they were constantly bruised, I put an end to that in a hurry and started carrying the car seat correctly, in front of me, with both arms.
Now I’m back to that darn infant car seat that gives me a workout wherever we go. My double stroller is humongous. And lifting a 20-pound baby a million times a day and carrying my 30-pound daughter does nothing for my back. Nor does bending over the crib for long stretches of time. My body is calling out for a break, but guess what? You can’t take an injury break from parenting! Kids want and need to be lifted and carried and held.
I can’t take a break, but I am trying to be very mindful of how and when I’m picking up my kids. I have to say no to the big one sometimes because I really do need to give my back a break, especially because she’s perfectly capable of walking up the stairs. Which is also maybe why my knees are not singing my praises when I run these days—additional weight on all of my trips up and down the stairs, plus starting to train for a 10K? Recipe for hurt. I’ve also not been awesome about warming up before my runs because, well, when I don’t know how long I’ll get to run before my daughter needs me at the gym daycare, I skimp on my warm-up to get my run in. Rookie mistake, and I know better.
Like I said when I committed to running a 10K: I want to come away from the experience injury-free. So I’m kinda pissed that my knees are hurting when I run. I don’t want to stop running, but I’m also not willing to make it worse. So I have a game plan for the next few weeks. I’m going to consciously ease up on any unnecessary lifting to give my back and knees a break. I’m going to focus on cross-training and weight-lifting, strengthening my core, hips and thighs, which are still rebounding from pregnancy and understandably weaker and therefore not helping the situation. I’ll run, but I’m going to take it easy. Making it worse at this point in the game will do nothing to get me over the finish line.
Have you experienced parenting-related aches? How do you cope? Any tips for staying in the running game? —Erin