Yes, you heard read that right, Going Mom is pregnant with our second (and last) child and I’m happy to announce we’re having a boy!
If you’ve been following me for a while, like before I’ve been mostly absent the past few months, you might know how difficult it was the first time around. This time, as we were preparing to go through the long process with the same clinic, I came home to see my wife hardly able to contain her excitement from several positive pregnancy test results.
It’s so hard to believe everything happened naturally, but we are ever so grateful to know we are having a boy, a freakin’ boy, and totally skipped the big needles, stress, and waiting for what feels like forever to know anything. Seeing my beautiful wife with her growing baby belly fills me with happiness every day.
Okay, that might be a lie…..we’re past the first trimester now, but damn, it makes the typical fraternity hell week look like a cake walk. Ladies, please don’t come knocking on my door with pitchforks and torches, I’m not trying to have a pity party for myself. I say that it was miserable for all of us.
I felt bad for my wife while simultaneously fearing for my life too. Thankfully a little prenatal yoga along with Avery’s support helped out.
Now we’re through the worse part (right?) and things are stabilizing for the time being. Avery mostly understands that there’s a growing baby in mommy’s belly and that she’s going to have a little brother, but there’s still some things she has yet to figure out. One thing being how to name a boy!
We are undecided at this point, but Avery insists on the name Crake. Now she has an imagination on par with the kids in Neverland on Hook. Give her an empty plate for dinner and she’d have an epic food fight just like in the movie. But, no, we will not name our boy Crake. Right now, the two names sticking out are Jaxon and Weston. I’m leaning more on Weston, or Wes, and Kelley likes Jaxon, or Jax. What do you think this guy looks like?
Any suggestions are welcome as we’re both waiting for the one name that just sticks out. Parents with 2+ kids, did you have a harder time naming your first kid or the ones after?
While I don’t plan on blogging that often, it’s a nice outlet at times, and I really wanted to share the awesome news. Spending more time with Avery and Kelley always takes priority though, and I feel less stressed when I’m not trying to write x amount of posts. Reducing stress is something I really need to……errrr, stress now that I’m another year older as of the 8th anyway.
So that’s all for now, I just want to leave you with the best birthday gift/stress reducer I could ask for.
When you become a parent, suddenly your time — and really, your life, if I’m being honest — is never your own again. I say that almost jokingly, but it’s an entirely serious matter. When you become a parent, especially when your children are babies and literally rely on you to keep them alive and safe every single minute of every single day, it can be really easy for many aspects of your life to fall to the wayside, including matters of your own personal care and health, such as your fitness.
I have come to know many parents in my lifetime, and one of the biggest frustrations they all voice, regardless if they work full-time, part-time, stay at home, work from home, or any combination therein, is that they simply don’t have enough time or hours in the day to workout. We all have only 24 hours in each day, regardless if we have kin to care for in each of those hours, and there’s nothing we can do to get “more” time, as it is. If you want to take care of yourself and fit in fitness to be part of your daily routine, you’ve got to exercise as much commitment, flexibility, patience, and creativity to it as you do your own parenting. Take it from me!
I had been a committed and regular runner (and specifically, a marathoner) for nearly five years before I had my first child. I wanted to continue to run after I had my first child (and since I’ve had my second), and I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to do so. Like I said before, figuring out how to “fit in fitness” after having children necessitates a ton of flexibility and creativity — not to mention support from your family/partner and patience/grace from yourself — but it’s entirely possible. Below, I’ll outline my tried-and-true tips to help you figure out how you can fit in your fitness routine each day with your family in tow.
Invest in a running stroller so you can run with your children. I didn’t buy my first running stroller until my oldest was a year old, but by the time my second kid came around, I was running with her by the time she was just about 4 months old. If you like to run, and if your child’s weight and height satisfies your running stroller’s safety requirements, I can’t urge you enough to invest in a high-quality running-specific stroller. There are many buying guides out there that will give you some great insight into various stroller brands out there, and while their price tags might be shocking, they are worth their weight in gold. An added bonus: pushing a stroller while running doubles as an excellent strength workout, and the mental toughness you’ll cultivate over the miles of pushing upwards of 100 pounds is indescribable. Chat with your pediatrician before you run with your child, though, to be sure that you have his or her blessing.
Ride alongside your children/pull them along behind you. Many of us can remember learning how to ride our bikes for the first time and have fond memories of riding through our neighborhoods growing up. If you enjoy bike riding, consider getting a bicycle for your child so that he/she, too, can learn to ride and can eventually become proficient enough of a rider to ride alongside you. Conversely, if your child is very young, you could always purchase some type of bicycle trailer to pull your baby behind you on a ride. Having bikes in the family can also be a great resource to you/your partner because one of you can run while the other (plus the children) ride bikes or ride in the stroller, too. It goes without saying, but by riding bikes or running alongside your children, you’re setting a positive precedent for them — an excellent role-modeling example — that exercise is both fun and a necessary part of a healthy and vibrant lifestyle. If your children grow up constantly seeing you or your partner exercising, chances are that your children will emulate your behaviors in their own lives, too. Everybody wins!
Embrace your inner yogi as a family. While physical health and well-being is important, so, too, is mental health. As a family, you can easily incorporate a family-centered yoga practice into your everyday routine in the comfort of your own home. There are many DVDs out there that offer family-friendly yoga routines — ones that don’t require an advanced yoga practice or even much in the way of experience — and you may find that the calming effect of yoga helps you to connect with your children and with your family in ways that are harder to come by when you’re out pounding the pavement on a run or logging miles on a ride.
Go for a hike (or even a walk through the mall). Last but certainly not least, one of the easiest and most accessible activities you can do as a family — while still satisfying a personal fitness goal — is to simply go for a walk or a hike. It doesn’t matter if you stroll through a local mall or if you hit up your local park; sometimes, it’s just nice to slow down, take in the scenery, and chat with your family. Again, if your children are very young, you could always push them along in a stroller or even wear them in a baby carrier, if you’d like. Regardless of the type of walking or hiking adventure you take, the experience remains a way for you to connect with your family and incorporate them into your exercise routine — and in the process, model for them that regular physical activity is an important and meaningful part of day-to-day life.
I’ll be the first to admit that being a parent can be really tough and trying at times, and it’s easy to neglect our own personal welfare and health for the sake of our children — or because we feel like we “just don’t have the time.” My experiences have taught me that it’s entirely doable to incorporate my family into my regular exercise routine, so long as I am patient, flexible, and creative with my endeavors. Some of my most meaningful training runs and races have been the ones that I’ve run with my kids, and I have no doubt that if you also include your family into your training, that you, too, will find your time with your family while on a run, ride, walk, or meditation also incredibly meaningful.
The choice to spend less time blogging about life as a stay-at-home dad and more time being a stay-at-home dad is proving to be a wise decision. There are so many wonderful things to do with your kids, and most don’t require much effort at all.
Being present with your child when possible makes a world of difference. I know many parents work and have to have someone watch their kids all day, but the little things matter and make a big impact on your relationship with your children.
Here are five things to do with your kids starting today that are simple, but will leave a lasting impression which will strengthen the parent-child bond.
Tell them you love them. No matter when, where, or the time of day, just blurt it out “[Insert child’s name], I love you.” They may not be old enough to truly understand or maybe they’re older and will roll their eyes, but those three words are more powerful than any of us know.
Give them a hug. Combined with number one, this will beat buying them the coolest toy on the market (only to become obsolete in a few months) and help you connect with your child on a new level. Hugging increases oxytocin, known as the cuddle hormone, and works great with your partner too.
Read to or with them. Find a book, magazine, or just something with pictures to look at with your kid. Read or explain the pictures to them and ask them to point out certain words, letters, or pictures. If they need help, try giving clues first and praising them once they find the right thing or let them know it’s okay if they don’t and the important thing is that they tried. Knowledge is power and books are full of it!
Simply sit beside them. Have a chat, ask them how they are doing (even if they can’t respond), play with blocks, describe your surroundings, or just embrace them in silence. Your presence will mean the world to your little mini me. This can be your fallback plan if reading doesn’t go so well or combined after you’re done reading.
Go on a walk. If they’re still too young, push them in a stroller, but just getting outside with your little one has lasting benefits for the both of you. As a fan of keeping active, going on walks creates a healthy habit at a young age and is a perfect activity to do as a family. Fresh air promotes a sense of freedom and just makes you feel good. Depending on where you walk, it can be fun to explore new places or see familiar faces to socialize with.
Whether with your partner or not, these will stand the test of time as effective things to do with your kids to let them know you’re there for them and love them. Hopefully these easy tips give you something to do with your kids today, tomorrow, and every day. Going Mom and I do one or all of these every day and our family is stronger as a result.