Run Like a Mother
A special book review for Mother's Day. Brianna and Ariel discuss a book just for moms. Not exactly a parenting book, so much as a book for parents. That will make them better parents. That has nothing to do with parenting. You'll see. This article has affiliate links in it. By using them to get the book, you're keeping Busy Nest News going. Thanks for your continued support!
Summary of Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving-- and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity, by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea
For May, the month of Mother’s Day, we decided to read a special sort of parenting book. Run Like a Mother, by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, is a book for moms. In it, McDowell and Shea have a conversation with each other and the reader about what it takes to be a mother/runner. They detail their own struggles and triumphs with staying active after having kids, and offer readers solid advice on everything from just finding the time to preventing and rehabbing injuries (whether said injuries were brought on by running trails or slipping on toys). They cover selecting the right footwear, embarrassing playlists, setting reasonable goals, and how to stay relatively safe and comfortable on a run.
Review of Run Like a Mother
As a struggling, aspiring runner, Run Like a Mother was the book I needed! The authors say that the fact that they run marathons while raising children isn’t so extraordinary, but I still find them a tad intimidating. That said, like all serious runners I’ve encountered, they’re super approachable and supportive. They’ll only judge you if you wear brand new sneakers on race day. With every word, you can tell that they truly, truly want to get more moms into running. Let there be no mistake, however; this book is for veteran runners, as well. Especially if they’ve been running for years, but have struggled to keep it up or advance since having kids. I can’t wait to share this book with all the moms I know, and I’ll definitely be referring back to McDowell and Shea’s helpful tips. This book gets five eggs from me.
Discussion of Run Like a Mother
First of all, can we agree to call the authors by their first names, as they did in the book? They totally felt like my personal girlfriends by the end. Please tell me I’m not alone in loving this book?
Not even a bit! I went in with low expectations - I hate running with a passion - but was blown away by how much I enjoyed it. It made me want to start training for a marathon. I haven't yet - I still hate running with a passion - but I am definitely more likely to lace up now! I tore through this book. Dimity and Sarah spoke with such frank honesty that I wanted their opinions to questions I didn't even know I had.
What part(s) did you appreciate the most? Was it something new you learned, or something that validated or changed a previously-held opinion? Myself, I really appreciated their emphasis on self-care throughout. That they push us to challenge ourselves just as much as they pushed us to take it easy when the doctors tell you to do so, whether because of injury or particularly delicate pregnancies. Something about that permission to do what you can, and then maybe a little more was reassuring and encouraging at the same time. I also loved their frank confessions about loving “uncool” music, because I unironically love many of the same tracks!
I have long suspected that I may be more selfish than your average human being, because while their take on self-care was refreshing it wasn't new to me. I have little to no problem taking time for me; I fear that I am too aggressive. In fact, one of my personal goals this year was to be as assertive about prioritizing my husband’s downtime as I do my own.
What I found most fascinating was how Dimity and Sarah kept asserting that running affords us the confidence to tackle life head on. In my experience this is so true! It wasn't until I found CrossFit that I really felt like an adult. Like maybe, just maybe, I knew what I was doing! Or at least knew how to get the answers.
I think my ideas about what constitutes self-care are very similar to yours, but I still feel guilty about taking time for it. You, admirably are well over that. I always knew that we could be a good example to our kids by being more active ourselves, but reading Sarah and Dimity’s proof of this (in the form of their kids asking to be signed up for races) was extra reassurance. Now that my eyes have been opened to the different types of races (and fun prizes!) that are all around, getting into running as a family seems much more possible than I previously believed. That one mile Halloween run for kids they mentioned in the book sounds really sweet! Also, all of their pointers about running generally or running as a mom make the sport seem so much more accessible.
We were pleasantly surprised by Run Like a Mother. I, Brianna, have already been running on and off as an easy way to stay active since Monkey was born. Ariel, a sworn doer of CrossFit and hater of All Things Cardio is even experiencing some marathon yearnings because of this book! Moms, we owe it to ourselves to get (or keep) moving. Maybe you were super active before kids, but can't fit your usual go-to activity into your day anymore. Or maybe, like me, you want to become more active than ever and be an inspiration to your children. Either way, this book is going to help you. Even experienced runners will want to consult this book, to help them adapt to running with littles and a post-pregnancy body (and its inherent challenges).
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Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
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