This has been on my mind a lot of late, and I think it deserves to be said. WE, deserve to be celebrated, as every woman does, but in particular the mother in this instance. I have been training for races for quite a few years, endurance events mainly, and one thing stands out. The struggle for the juggle.

Fitting training in around anyone’s life when working and socialising becomes a struggle, but throw into the mix the compounding factors and reality of family on top of that and training can be your biggest struggle, especially when it comes to long endurance events that require a LOT of training hours.

My day can sometimes look like this: 5.30am Get up, head to RMA group training, come home, make breakfast, check the kids are getting ready. Put on the washing, check the kids are still getting ready, get ready myself, check emails, throw a coffee down my throat, put out the washing on the line, get cranky because the kids are not ready, get into the car when they are ready, drop off the teens, drive to the next school and drop off the primary schooler, head to work, leave work, head to the oval, get in my run in the 1.5hours I have until I have to pick up the primary schooler, then the highschoolers, then throw another coffee down my throat so I can go on…check and respond to emails and other work matters, then get back in the car and drop off the primary schooler to sport, then come back and drop off the highschooler to sport, go home, grab the washing off the line, fold it if time permits. Start cooking dinner….leave home again and pick up both children from sport…get home, eat dinner, help with homework and then clean up dinner dishes. Maybe somewhere there may be time to squeeze in a little bit of strength training to complement the running, then make school lunches for the next day and iron the uniforms. Then fall in a  heap on the bed around 10-11pm and then the hubby rolls over and……all you want to do is sleep. You are exhausted. Relate?

It is no wonder mums find it hard to train for long distance events, and many give up before the start line is in sight. So how can we make this easier on ourselves? The answer is really, not much is going to change. We are mums and our commitment first and foremost must be to our family. Running comes second my friends, so we need to be inventive with the time that we have. This might look like:

Getting up early.

When kids are doing their sport, you do run around the football field or the netball court or whatever it may be.

Going at night when all the kids are tucked in bed or on the treadmill in the garage.

Organising with hubby to mind the kids when it is time for your weekend long run, and going early when weekend sport is on so that you can be back for that commitment for your children with little impact on your family.

Taking the kids with you….perhaps your mid week run could be around the local oval and the kids can play in the middle. Perhaps you push the pram getting it done, which may just give you added strength benefits anyway!

Maybe you can tag-team with another RMA and you mind the kids while she runs and vice versa.

Do it together: Training done with a buddy is easier and more motivating than alone.

The best way to make it work mummas, is to be organised and committed and to recognise that it is OKAY when we can’t juggle all the balls. If you miss a run, don’t fret, just keep going and get on with the program. Don’t give up.

Your little people look up to you more than you realise, and to see you sharing your time with them, and making yourself a better person through your commitment to your training is invaluable to their outlook on life. You need to model to them commitment and time management and what a capable strong woman looks like. They are always watching, and you are their biggest inspiration.

The number one reason that RMA exists is to champion the everyday woman. To say “you can do it”, to give vision to your soul, and to equip you for the ride. We do this by journeying along side you, which is why the network we have is so special and important; because when you feel like you might just let go of some of the balls, there is someone there right beside you to help you pick it up or tell you how to make it work and keep going with what you started. Community is key, especially for MUM RUNNERS. We draw advice, inspiration and support from each other. Without it we would struggle for the juggle.