In May 2014 I was struggling. With a 10-month-old suffering from severe reflux (think 20+ vomit sessions a day) and a 2 1/2 year old, I often felt more underwater and drowning than above the water floating. We had moved to Austin almost 2 years earlier knowing absolutely no one. While I had made a great group of friends, I felt a little lost without my weekly dose of hockey-induced endorphins (missing since moving to South Austin, where the nearest rink was a long drive through rush hour traffic away), and since skating with two kids in tow wasn't in the realm of possibility, I needed another athletic outlet. The email about a new Meetup.com group for moms jogging with strollers felt like a sign, so I went to the first one (though I did bring my dog for protection from the crazies -- it didn't work, now they're some of my closest friends). My husband and I had already been running on Town Lake every couple of weeks, but it was nice to meet with people more my speed, and to converse with other moms while doing so.
A year and a half later, my kids are heavier but I'm lighter (and faster), and my husband has leaped onto the running bandwagon. Maybe he realized he would not get to see us very much otherwise? It also helps that through our monthly family runs and other husband-friendly events he has a pretty serious bromance going on with Loren's husband. My kids look forward to our runs together, as they get to enjoy the outdoors, a park or playground at the end (and a dum-dum in the middle thanks to a literal truckload showing up at my 2-year-old's birthday party--thanks Loren). They even completed a few kids' races this year, and my 4-year-old daughter jogged for over a mile one day with me. Their enthusiastic cheering (and jeering when I slow down) is great motivation!
Other perks: my son has stopped puking on everything all the time (ok, probably not from running with the group, but they helped me get through the end of that nightmare), my mental state is much more stable, and I have met dozens of mamas who share my daily struggles and triumphs. We have run hundreds of miles together, searched out the best (and most horrible) places to run with a stroller, and bonded over our shared sweat sessions. Here's to many more miles, milestones, and memorable moments together!