Having a kid can be exhausting, overwhelming and all-consuming. It also means that you will need your running routine more than ever to keep you sane and energized. With a little creativity, you can stick to your workouts; some days you might get up early and train before they’re awake, other days you might schedule a babysitter to cover you for an hour while you hit the gym. But sometimes the only way to make it work is to bring the little one along. Enter the jogging stroller, the magical contraption that is supposed to make running with your kiddo a breeze. And while the following is (sort of) a joke, adding a kid to your run is definitely not. So for the uninitiated, here’s how to run with your child in 20 “easy” steps:
1. Dress your child.
2. Dress yourself. Explain to child what a sports bra is for and why they don’t need to wear one.
3. Redress child after they insist they too need to wear workout gear.
4. Pack snacks. Pack sippy cup. Pack every musical/light-up/entertaining toy that you can fit into the stroller basket.
5. Slather the both of you in sunscreen.
6. Make sure child has clean diaper/doesn’t to have to pee, then wrangle suncreen-slippery child into stroller and head outside.
7. Head back inside because your child had a diaper explosion/suddenly has to pee.
8. Realize you have to pee too.
9. Hit the road again and power walk down the street to warm up while your child is quietly mesmerized by the change of scenery.
10. Run half a mile in glorious silence until you start to hear pleas for snacks.
11. Distribute snacks.
12. Run another half mile in semi-glorious, crunching-filled half-silence until your child demands a beverage to wash down said snacks.
13. Slow down and grab a sippy cup out of the stroller basket and pass it down. Bonus points for not breaking stride.
14. Pick up the pace and loudly narrate the next mile as if you were in an extremely dramatic car chase. Add sound effects and swerve the stroller back and forth to buy an extra half mile.
15. Hand child a toy and head for a hill to maximize your workout and the remainder of your child’s patience.
16. Break into enthusiastic rendition of “The Wheels on the Bus” to head off the inevitable meltdown as you dig deep and power up the hill.
17. Take a 3-minute break at the top of the hill to recover from the deadly stroller resistance/uphill climb/singing at the top of your lungs combo.
18. Throw in some stabilizing core work while you run down the other side and try to stop the stroller from careening down the hill.
19. Finish off with some speed work as you try to sprint home before your child’s screams draw the attention of the neighbors.
20. Stretch and refuel together with a round of chocolate milk.