12 days after giving birth, I went on a parkrun with my baby

The whole family, including a newborn baby strapped to Chloe

It’s a family affair (Picture: Chloë Hamilton)

It turns out the hardest part of doing parkrun with a toddler and a newborn is leaving the house on time to make it to the start line for 9am.

My partner and I discovered this first hand when, less than two weeks after giving birth to my second baby, we found ourselves flying frantically around our house on very little sleep – trying to remember what we needed to take with us. 

Running buggy, nappies, wipes, travel potty, snacks, a change of clothes, water bottles, the sling, more snacks…

In the end, we made it with minutes to spare – my toddler strapped into our all-terrain buggy and my sleeping newborn, Inigo, snuggled up to my chest in a sling. 

At 12 days postpartum, I was out in the fresh air, facing down the 5k run – or walk – that my family and I have done every Saturday for the last 18 months.

As I approached the start line, where a shy sun was just starting to peep through the hazy clouds, I was flanked on both sides by familiar, yet nameless, faces: adults, children, and dogs I saw every weekend and are on nodding terms with. 

Our son knows Saturday mornings mean parkrun (Picture: Chloë Hamilton)

A few peered excitedly into the sling, seemingly curious to see the baby they’ve watched grow via my swelling stomach week on week. 

Then, the run director signalled the start. We were off!

Before we had children, my partner Stuart and I were keen, but sporadic parkrunners. We enjoyed it, but were often scuppered by late, boozy Friday nights after which the desire to get up and out in the crisp, cool hours of a Saturday morning was, in all honesty, limited. 

When we had our first son, Fabian, however, this changed. 

Life with an early riser meant we were up anyway in those crisp, cool hours. So we purchased a big, three-wheeler running buggy instead of a city-slicker pram. With it we ventured out to our local parkrun as soon as he hit six months – the recommended age for running with a baby.  

It’s the most effective way to get the endorphins (Picture: Chloë Hamilton)

Since then, we’ve clocked up nearly two years of regular Saturday morning runs with him, taking it in turns to push the buggy around the course. It has been a transformative experience for us as a young family. 

After sleepless nights, it’s proved the most effective way to get the endorphins going and, no matter how challenging parenting feels on the day; no matter how hard it’s been to get out of the house without one of us crying, all three of us always leave parkrun happier. 

We’ve done it all along the way, too: stopped for snacks halfway round; facilitated emergency wees in the travel potty mid-course; and completed an extra lap in the vain hope of finding the toy car that had been flung from the buggy at about 2k. 

As her son reached six months, they started the parkrun together (Picture: Chloë Hamilton)

Before we had …read more

Source:: Metro


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