Night running

Confession: I get nervous taking the baby out of the house. I do it, a lot, but given a choice I always like to have her at home. I love putting her down for a nap in a quiet house — it fills me with an overwhelming feeling of peacefulness and joy at being a mom. Car naps leave me feeling a bit guilty, although at 10 months it doesn’t really make much difference to her.  Beatrice loves being out and seeing new things, and thankfully, Adam doesn’t share my fear and is great about taking her out on errands (and giving me some time to myself).

That’s why yesterday was especially challenging to my comfort zone. Adam and I like to run 3-4 times  a week, but were lagging behind due to work and weekend issues. By Wednesday we lying around the house moaning about how our legs hurt from lack of use and shoving cookie bars in our mouths for comfort.

So we tentatively agreed to on a family run after work on Thursday.

Reasons not to go:
1. Taking a baby outside in the dark at night in the city. Even though 5:45-6:45 p.m. is nothing in the summer, I can’t help but feel that when it’s dark outside, baby should be inside. Our route contains two well-lit, pretty safe lakes (Lake of the Isles & Cedar Lake) but a couple highway overpass crossings as well.
2. Messing up her sleep schedule. Beatrice at 10 months cannot resist falling asleep in the cozy, weather-shield protected stroller.

We hemmed and hawed a bit when I got home from work, and I almost suggested bagging it (or alternating solo runs leaving the Bee at home), but we decided to push ourselves and try for it. By 5:45 we were out the door, safety vest, headlamp, and ice cleats on. Instantly that amazing feeling of magical night running euphoria washed over me.

We passed a runner with a stroller and saw another parent pushing one on the cleared skating ice at Isles and felt a bit better. Beatrice’s eyes closed around the halfway point, so by the time we arrived home she’d had a 30 minute nap. We gently roused her and it took about 10 minutes for her to shake off her crankiness before she was her happy self. She had a good dinner and went to down pretty easily about 30 minutes later than usual, and slept well through the night.

I don’t think this will be our new thing, but it’s liberating to be outside in the winter and the dark with a baby and realize that it’s OK. And the view from the stroller’s wind shield must have been magical — all twinkly lights, ice skaters, and stars.

Running with a baby at night

What about you? What things have been a bit outside of your comfort zone that you’ve pushed yourself to do with your kids? Did you add them to your routine or keep them as special occasions?

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