Regardless of how old your kids are, sometimes it’s just impossible to squeeze in a run. Kids get sick, there’s always another load of laundry to do, and let’s not forget chauffeur duties to everything from little league practice to ballet.

Once in a while, it’s okay to miss a run because you have family obligations. The important thing is to remain flexible and level-headed through it all. Like many runners, it’s easy to become irritable when you don’t run. But don’t let a missed run get you down or ruin your week.

And don’t feel guilty about running. Running makes you a better mom. Every mother needs an outlet and time for herself to recharge so she can come back and be an endless well of nurturing and caregiving. Balancing motherhood and running is really all about prioritizing and planning. Here are some strategies to try:

  • Plan in advance. Coordinate with your husband or someone else about watching the kids while you go for a run. 
  • Buy a baby stroller. When your kids are young, they can often accompany you on a run.
  • Become a (very) early morning person. Some of your best running can be done in the morning, before anyone in the house is awake. Early morning runs are a great way to start your day.
  • Run at night. If you can’t run first thing in the morning, try running after your kids have gone to bed.
  • Buy a treadmill. While not as enjoyable as running outside, running on a treadmill gives  you the benefit of never having to leave your house. Your kids can be in view for your entire workout.
  • Get a system of people who can watch your kids—parents, gym kids clubs, babysitter, husband (or ex-husband).
  • Take your kids to the track, where they can run around and you can see them during your workout.

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