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Month: March 2019

Refocusing Priorities on Parental Leave

Refocusing Priorities on Parental Leave

I’m currently on parental leave and it has been very different this time with a baby and a young child to balance. Being committed to my career is a priority. My number one priority while on “parental leave” is to be a good parent. I try to be supermom and focus on my kids – cooking for them, cleaning up after them, and going on adventures with them. Unfortunately, that’s a lot of focus on 2/3’s of my loved ones and not a lot of focus on my spouse.

My priorities going forward in no particular order are:

  • Quality time with kids (aka leaving the house)
  • Housework duties
  • Cooking for my family
  • Me time (training for a half marathon)
  • Quality time with my partner

I’ve somehow overlooked the importance of quality time with my partner. Watching a TV show that we both happen to enjoy isn’t quality time. It is a way for both of us to decompress from the day and I think it serves a purpose, but I’m fooling myself if I consider it quality time.

My Me-Time Dilemma

If you’ve read this blog before you’ll know that I am a runner. I train for half marathons and that requires 2 weeknight runs and a long run on the weekend. Running is when I have my time to myself to recharge my mind, share a laugh with my running buddy, and talk about something bigger than Fancy Nancy’s latest fancy word.

My husband and I usually watch a TV show at night and then go to bed. I’ve been really sick for all of March with a cold that I can’t shake. I realize now that I complain about my cold and use it as the excuse for going to bed early or wanting to sleep in after the kids wake on a weekend morning. However, my husband really shook me when he asked why I don’t make time for him. He pointed out that I complain about being sick, yet I still made time to run 16 kilometres. His point was that I’m to sick to stay up another 15 minutes to talk about something important that happened during his work day, but I can find the strength to run 90 minutes.

I’m really glad he did speak up and question my priorities. I think it shows our mutual respect for each other that we are addressing it. I truly believe that self love isn’t selfish. That said, I was living pretty selfishly by how I was making my priorities.

Why My Husband is a Top Priority

My husband is my partner and my best friend. Unlike prior relationships, I feel like we are equals. While we each bring different strengths to the relationship, we achieve a perfect balance. I think its important to state that because when I set my priorities today I need to make him a priority too. I decided 9 years ago to enter into a marriage with him. Entering into marriage was me acknowledging that I would always make him and our relationship a priority. We need to hold ourselves accountable to reset our priorities if one of our needs isn’t being met.

Refocusing Priorities

I’ve spent 12 years in my career and I know how to get my job done successfully. As a mom of two, I only have 11 months experience so I’m going to cut myself some slack and refocus my priorities. I think I’m going to dust off our chess board and challenge my husband to a game of chess instead of opting for a TV show one night. Last week, we made 80 meatballs after the kids went to bed and we had fun being in the kitchen together. Maybe we will even go for a run together with the baby in the stroller when our older daughter is with grandma.

Shelby Hancock discusses the need to refocus priorities while on parental leave

Let me know…

Isn’t being a grown-up fun? I’m thankful to have this blog to be able to express myself, especially this topic which is a lot more personal than normal for me. Have you made an effort to refocus your priorities or re-prioritize your marriage? Let me know in the comments below.

Is Trampoline Ownership a Good Thing?

Is Trampoline Ownership a Good Thing?

My munchkin has a birthday coming up and while she’s only asking for hugs and a piece of gum for her birthday, I’m contemplating lots of possibilities. She will be turning 4 and her sister will be 1 soon. At the top of my gift options is a TRAMPOLINE.

My Trampoline-Lovin’ Childhood

I grew up with a trampoline from 4 to some point in high school when I went in the backyard and it was gone. We never had any injuries to us or our friends. This was in the hay day of the green square trampoline. The one with pads only on the metal perimeter, exposed springs, and four open corners. Jumping off of the trampoline was almost as fun as jumping on it.

I don’t think we got lucky by not experiencing an injury. Instead, we had rules and we adhered to them. We weren’t allowed to do free flips, only flips from our knees. I later learned how to backflip but only at my friends house and it was near the end of my trampoline days. We just loved jumping and creating games. Now that I’m a parent, I realize that my folks must have enjoyed preparing dinners when they could see us out jumping.

Shelby Hancock shares her views on trampoline ownership
That’s 7 year old me living it up on the green trampoline.

Trampoline Skeptics & Basic Precautions

My husband is skeptical about getting a trampoline. He is nervous about injuries, liability, and law suits. In order to reduce all of those, we will need to:

  • implement rules,
  • supervise the children diligently, and
  • inform parents if their child comes over that we have a trampoline. Play dates with families we don’t know isn’t a thing for us right now.

As a parent, I expect childhood injuries to occur for my kiddos. While I hope they are bumps and bruises instead of broken bones, I know that accidents happen. Just today we were practicing riding a bike with training wheels and while we take precautions I know she could tumble over any minute and get hurt. She wore her helmet and running shoes and I made her show me how to use the brake before we went off on our ride. Setting yourself up for a safe experience is key and we will transfer that to the trampoline.

I have a brother in Ohio that lives in a town where nobody fences in their yards and they’ve opted for a lock on their trampoline zipper. We have a fenced yard and we know the kids in the neighbourhood.  The most likely injuries that us moms can agree on are those that the dad’s will likely get trying to relive their youth!

The Verdict

Since my almost 4 year old can’t read, I feel safe letting you all know that we are getting a trampoline! We still need to decide whether to buy from Amazon or Canadian Tire and if a 12 foot or 14 foot is a better for our backyard.

Bring on the bouncing, the crack the egg, and bum drop wars.

Let Me Know…

Have you jumped in with both feet and purchased a trampoline? Let me know in the comments of you think owning a trampoline is fun or if you see it as a law suit waiting to happen!

Princess Half Race Report

Princess Half Race Report

A couple weeks ago I ran the RunDisney Princess Half Marathon and it was amazing. I also completed the Enchanted 10k the day before the half. These two races are known as the Fairy Tale Challenge and are 19.3 miles of fun and fatigue. Below is my race report for the weekend.

The Challenging Part of the Fairy Tale Challenge

The Fairy Tale Challenge was really challenging and not because of the distance, but because of:

  • Early mornings
  • Tired legs from a week of Disney days
  • Racing on a diet of Disney snacks
  • Heat! RunDisney issued a heat advisory because of high humidity

To complete the challenge I was up Saturday and Sunday at 3 AM. I nursed the baby, ate some oatmeal, grabbed my water bottle and dashed to the bus in a quick 30 minutes. We decided to start our Disney World vacation the week before the race so that we could adjust to east coast time. Otherwise we would have been waking at what would have felt like midnight.

Shelby Hancock details her Princess Half Marathon Race
Anna and Elsa (minus their capes) finished the Fairy Tale Challenge!

Princess Half Race Weekend Recommendations

If you want a magical weekend of fun and fatigue then make sure you sign up for a RunDisney challenge. Here are a few of my recommendations:

  • After each race, go to the medical area and get ice packs wrapped around your legs so you can speed up recovery.
  • Try and have a chilled out day on the Saturday after the 10k.
  • Dress up for the races.
  • Bring some cash to your race for a Joffrey’s iced americano.
  • Be prepared to walk to the start line for the Half – my fitbit indicated that I walked 42 minutes from getting off the bus to stopping in my corral!

Enchanted 10km

I think the 10k race was probably my favourite of the two, but only because it was my first RunDisney race in Disney World and I wasn’t exhausted. I was also in corral A, which meant I started the race within 5 seconds of the start line. As seasoned RunDisney runners know, the closer to the start of the first corral, the shorter the line-ups to get character photos. In the lead up to the race other runners had been talking about 15 minute line ups and I was nervous about that. In my Tinker Bell Half Marathon a couple years ago there was barely any wait so I wasn’t sure what to expect in Disney World.

I ran both races with my mother and we decided to only stop for characters that we knew. This meant we skipped the photo with Stitch from Lilo and Stitch since I haven’t seen the movie. The first characters we came across were just passed the 1 mile marker and it was Belle and the Beast.

The sun began to rise at the 5 mile marker, but even some of our finish line photos look like it is still the middle of the night. While we ran through Epcot the PhotoPass photographers were hard to see because it was still so dark and I hate to miss a good photo op! Haha!

I was thrilled to see Mickey Mouse available for a photo as we were leaving World Showcase and transitioning into Future World. For a “Princess” race I found it a bit light on Princess photo ops, but I am more of a Fab 5 kinda girl than a princess.

Photo Ops

We got photos taken by PhotoPass photographers with:

  • Belle and the Beast
  • Pinocchio
  • Jasmine and Aladin
  • Goofy in his baseball uniform
  • Inside Out characters
  • Mickey Mouse
  • The Epcot ball
Shelby Hancock details her Princess Half Marathon Race and Fairy Tale Challenge
It was more fun to strike a pose!

I’m not sure where my Donald Duck photo ended up since we stopped with him too.

I found the 10k race route to be nicer, but I think that is to be expected with a shorter distance. I really enjoyed running along the Boardwalk since I wasn’t visiting that part of Disney World outside of the race on this visit.

Princess Half Marathon

I won’t lie, I was bummed to be starting in corral C and not A or B. That said, I ran my qualifying race 6 months postpartum and it was the farthest I had run in almost a year at that point. I really shouldn’t have had a pity party over this since before the race started I felt like a car running on fumes. I got caught up in the need for short character line ups. In the end I had an amazing race with my mom and we finished closer to our marathon times than our half marathon times. At the 4 mile mark we acknowledged that we were having lots of fun, we were tired, and that we didn’t care about our time enough to skip photo ops.

It took us about 32 minutes to run a kilometer through Magic Kingdom.
We stopped for a selfie near the castle on Main Street. In Tomorrowland, we stopped for Buzz Lightyear, which was about a 1 minute line. We waited in a very long line for Belle and Gaston and then ran about 100 metres and stopped for Cinderella which was probably 15 minutes. In front of the castle there were 5 PhotoPass photographers taking photos so this made for a fairly short line.

Shelby Hancock details her Princess Half Marathon Race and Fairy Tale Challenge
An INCREDIBLE experience with 20km done and 1 to go!

I was shocked that the majority of runners don’t stop for photo ops. Why not? With the bottle necks that occur when lanes on the road are reduced it would be difficult to run the race course for a PB so I would recommend getting your moneys worth and stopping for characters.

First Half vs. Last Half of The Half

The first half is exciting and fun – I felt like a puppy! It was dark out and fireworks were set off every couple minutes to light up the sky. The monorail would blare its horn when it passed by the runners. You’re on your way to Magic Kingdom and that made me feel like I was on a mission. Then you run through the Park and it is as magical as its name. However, once you’re in the back lot and making your way behind the Grand Floridian you still have another 10 kilometres to run. I felt like I’d accomplished what I wanted and suddenly on tired legs I had to run 10km. Even on the roads back towards Epcot there were a few character stops, which was fun. There were also a lot of water stations to keep us going through the humidity. Knowing my two girls, my husband, and my dad were all going to be at the finish kept us going!

Shelby Hancock details her Princess Half Marathon Race and Fairy Tale Challenge
Smiling and finishing the Fairy Tale Challenge!

Summary

It. Was. Amazing.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve done a RunDisney race or if one is on your bucket list!

Shelby Hancock details her Princess Half Marathon Race and Fairy Tale Challenge