99 problems but a dad 'ain't one (@the_single_mum)
Recently one of my customers talked to me about how her running buggy had been her lifeline since becoming a single parent and it's not hard to understand why. Having a buggy that's suitable for running with means that you can get out to exercise when you don't have childcare options or you want to be with your little one. Perhaps it's a matter of the cost of a gym crèches or maybe just fitting it into your busy schedule.
We all know the well publicised benefits of exercise to our physical and mental health. Anyone going through a stressful time in life, like a relationship breakup, may turn to running to help them cope. Let's hear from some of the courageous members of our Buggy Runners group about their experiences.
Charlotte from the South of England tells her story. "My running buggy has given me the freedom to step out the door and run whenever I choose. When Arthur was smaller I'd time my run around his sleep so it would be a win win situation. He's sleeps really well in the buggy so I never fell guilty I'm putting my own needs over his. Now he's older when I say we are off for a run he can't get in the buggy quick enough. He loves it as much as I do. Being a single parent is challenging on many levels. My running buggy has allowed me to maintain my freedom and my own identity without relying on others. I find I use my running buggy to do everyday chores like popping to the shops or post office. Honestly without it given the circumstance I was left in, my ex left me for another woman when I was 7 months pregnant with our 2nd son, I wouldn't be in a good place mentally and physically."
Sarah, a Physio mum from Hertfordshire says "Being a keen runner and a single mum I knew a running buggy was an essential purchase for me once my little girl was 6 months old. I live away from family and so opportunities to go for a run without my little girl are few and far between. Having a running buggy has given me the freedom to go for a run whenever I want. It means I can keep fit and also gives me that much needed headspace that comes with running. My little girl loves it too, when she's not chattering and cheering me on she's snoozing away. I'd highly recommended buggy running to anyone, but especially single parents!"
Lesley's story. "My husband is in the RAF. We live hundreds of miles from any family, and he is deployed for up to 4 months every 18 months or so, with lots of shorter detachments in-between. This means I effectively have to be a single parent during these times. Being able to buggy run plays such a huge part in my mental wellbeing during these times. I take my youngest out for a run whilst the eldest is at preschool. If I didn't have a suitable buggy, I just wouldn't be able to run. I feel immensely proud of what I can achieve with those 3 runs a week..makes me feel slightly superwoman like, holding down all the household stuff and dealing with emotional preschoolers who are missing their dad, but all the time keeping my own time and my headspace - and keeping my mileage up too! Actually prefer running with the buggy now..and prior to getting pregnant this year was feeling the fittest and fastest at 40 than I've been for a lot of years..slightly slower but still buggy running at 5 months. My husband goes away again for 7 weeks soon which coincides with school holidays so looking forward to setting a positive example and buggy running the youngest with big brother coming on his bike."
And finally lets hear Angharad's story. "I'm a 27 year old single mum with a 9.5 month old daughter. I've been running with Ayla since she was 4 months old and it's been a lifesaver. I hadn't been able to run since I was 24 weeks pregnant because of SPD. Running with my daughter has allowed me to get back to being myself again after suffering PND as a result of becoming a single parent at 36 weeks pregnant. I feel empowered when I run and I'm so happy that I can spend time with my daughter whilst doing something that I love. Buggy running has also helped me after my recovery from bowel surgery at 8 weeks post partum. I love being outdoors with my daughter and although I get no help with childcare, physically or financially at least I don't have to give up running because being a single mum can suck sometimes!!"
Paula from Maidenhead shares. "I really can't imagine my life without my running buggy. In hindsight it has been THE best purchase since having my youngest. (Sadly I did not know with my eldest.). Quite simply my running buggy has been my lifeline!..I have always enjoyed running and being able to lace up and run when I wanted without worry of expensive childcare and not having family around has been a blessing. It is very important as a single mum to make time and look after yourself. Buggy running for me isn't just about fitness side it's also helped with the mental rollercoasters of stress and anxiety. Not to mention fresh airsnd just being out the house for a bit does me and the little chap wonders. Obviously it is more difficult for me to join events or local running clubs. Meeting up with like minded buggy runners and having a local buggy run event to go to has enabled the social side of running and for me to meet new friends."
Thank you so much to all the brave mummies who have shared their experiences with me for this blog. Let's spread the word that having a running buggy can give you some fabulous and much needed freedom.
Thank you for reading, Wendy x