Chill Out

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How is it that I feel so confident and pulled together when it comes to being a mommy one week, and the next I feel like a total wreck?  I’m assuming this is normal!

photo (1)

I’ve been creating a mental list of ‘things moms say’ – you can add that one to this list.  You can also add, “I’m going to take numerous walking breaks during this run, not because I actually need to walk, but because I need to extend my run by a few minutes because I really. need. the. alone. time.”


Hey, look!  A sunshine run!  Smile  I did 3.5 miles this morning and – thanks to all those walking breaks – it took me an ungodly amount of time to finish but…. at least I felt very refreshed and ready to go when I returned home.


Pre-run fuel:


Yes… I have a coffee mug with my husband’s face on it.  And he has one with mine (MomHTP made them for us).


Other physical activity of the day – working on rolling over!  Henry can get all the way over to one side, but then he gets stuck.  I think the complete roll over will happen very, very soon.


Winter Workout Gear


It was our first REALLY chilly morning!  I ran with two tops on – one had long sleeves.  Wahoo!  On that note, I’d love to compile a post with your favorite winter workout gear recommendations. I just spent a few minutes searching online but cannot find an active link to my favorite pair of running tights – some fleecy ones from Nike.  They are the best things ever and really help keep my tush warm during chilly runs.


What gear do you love for winter workouts? 



  • Rachel C. September 25, 2012, 10:42 am

    I ran 3.5 miles this morning too – it was chilly to start but I warmed up pretty quickly

  • Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer September 25, 2012, 10:44 am

    I love half-zip pull overs… with thumb holes! I got a new one from TJ Maxx the other day. I’m kinda addicted… Must… Have… More…. Thumb holes!!!

  • alex elisabeth September 25, 2012, 10:44 am

    fleece-lined running tight?! oh girl. let me know when you find them online because i think that sounds like something my butt will appreciate during my first colorado winter.

  • margaret September 25, 2012, 10:45 am has fleecy mizuno ones on sale, i got them on a 20% off day and ended up paying like $17, exciting stuff

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats September 25, 2012, 10:55 am

    I have some running tights from CW-X and then I always have a t-shirt, a long sleeve and some gloves!

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles September 25, 2012, 10:59 am

    Haha, the face mug thing is too cute.

  • Nicole September 25, 2012, 11:08 am

    Yeah, it’s normal to have ups and downs in parenting. I suggest cutting everything in your life that’s not absolutely mandatory though. Time with your baby is time you’ll never, ever get back and it makes sense that juggling too much can make it hard to be grateful for the time you have. I’m a long time reader and it seems like a lot of your posts are thrown together, just so you can post multiple times a day. If you cut back to one post a day, it seems like the best of both worlds: your readers get better quality from you, you still get to blog (which you seem to enjoy), and you don’t have to use so much time composing posts. Putting your family and yourself above blogging will always be the right decision and your readers will respect you for that.

  • Ali September 25, 2012, 11:15 am

    I live in a cold, snowy climate and like strap-on shoe spikes and traction. I’m getting these ones this year as my old spikes are a little too tall:
    I also LOVE Champion mock-neck zip or half-zip tech jackets ( for under my real workout jacket which I believe is Tek Gear from Kohls (couldn’t find it on their website). This jacket is warm but breathable with a waterproof outside and fuzzy inside and has a million pockets but doesn’t feel bulky or too long. I always wear a hat (whatever I have on hand), Thinsulate gloves, and Champion running tights with warmer workout pants over them (I love all things Champion – cheap(er) and easy to find at Target). SmartWool ( socks are the best thing ever! They kept my feet warm while tenting in Yellowstone and Sequoia NP’s when it was snowing! Perfect for runs and hiking. Finally, the cheapie wrap around the back of your neck earmuffs+headphones that you can get at Target are awesome! It’s cold enough here to wear those earmuffs AND a hat during the winter and, let’s face it, wearing something on your ears and ear buds is really uncomfortable!

  • Sarah September 25, 2012, 11:24 am

    Yup, that feeling is totally normal!

  • Anne @strawberryjampackedlife September 25, 2012, 11:28 am

    When I was training last winter in Boston (so cold!), I liked my fleece vest, cheap-o knit gloves, and a hat. The gloves were a must!

  • Hannah September 25, 2012, 11:30 am

    Thanks for your honesty and transparency with parenting!! We had our first baby 3 weeks ago and man, I go from I got this to falling apart thinking I’m a terrible parent in a matter of seconds. It’s just nice to know there are people out there struggling with the same things! 🙂 Sure do love my bebe though!

    • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) September 25, 2012, 2:30 pm

      Still have this feeling with my almost 5 month old. One second you feel on top of the world, like you have your baby down and have conquered one skill (um like sleeping or taking naps) and then the next week they won’t nap at all and your thinking “WHAT THE HECK?” My parents keep telling me this doesn’t get any better as kids age – ha ha – topics and issues change but the constant scratching of the head continues. 🙂

      • Hannah September 26, 2012, 1:08 am

        Brittnie, I just started reading your blog :). My sister’s name is Clara and her birthday is May 1st! Being a parent is the definitely the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the most rewarding (and I’m only 3 weeks in :)) So nice to be able to find people who relate and to know that your not the only one facing challenging issues.

  • Jen September 25, 2012, 11:50 am

    I wrote a whole post on winter running gear a while back. I just got 2 new tops from marshall’s (a UA baselayer long sleeve and a half zip nike long sleeve w/thumbholes!) I love winter running, actually! {}

  • Ellie @ September 25, 2012, 11:51 am

    Look at those toes!! soooo cute!

    My favorite winter running gear would have to be my husband’s Brookes 1/4 nightlife zip-up. It works great for different temperatures and it is a great color for running at dusk or dawn, so I feel safe(r). And yes, I steal it from his closet all the time, but I like so so much and he does have two!

  • Jacqueline September 25, 2012, 11:58 am

    I live in the bay area so it doesn’t get too cold but I dig the Nike long sleeve top and gloves are my must have.,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-581804/pgid-433646

  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance September 25, 2012, 11:58 am

    I love my running hat that has built in ear flaps/warmers. I probably look like a dork, but it’s perfect for winter running!

  • Becky B. September 25, 2012, 12:00 pm

    That feeling is so normal! Its okay to feel like a failure, or that whatever you are doing doesnt work some days, and like you want to crawl into bed and sleep for a solid 12 hours- WITHOUT the baby. I think part of it is hormonal and part of it is just the extreme change your entire life has been through in the last few months. I remember feeling a little sadness/nostalgia for my old life on some of those early days of being a moms- although I would never trade my gorgeous little one for those days. People dont talk about the exhaustion and feeling like a failure and wondering if you are being a good mommy to your little guy- but it is normal- and I try to tell anyone I know who is having their first baby to expect it. Maybe it is easier if we know it is normal- we are going to be okay- we will get through this- and we are doing a GREAT job!
    Breastfeeding is by far one of the most physically and emotionally taxing things women will do with their bodies (aside from competing in long racing events – but those do not last 24 hours a day for a year or more!) My husband leaves for work 1/2 hour before I do and takes my two boys to day care at that time. I cherish that 1/2 hour alone in the house….even if I am running around throwing on clothes, throwing together a lunch, feeding the dog etc.
    Sometimes you just need to extend that run- sometimes you need to go to the grocery store and peruse the aisles without worrying that you might run into the next feeding. As Henry gets a little older it will get easier. I am sure you can look back over the last few months and say that it already has gotten easier than in the beginning, but I promise you, it will get better still! And these days of feeling a little out of it, will diminish as well.

    • Caitlin September 25, 2012, 12:01 pm

      THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Natalie @ Free Range Human September 25, 2012, 12:15 pm

    I have two North Face long sleeve performance shirts that I just love! I’m so glad you took some time for yourself today. That’s one of things that scares me the most about becoming a mom (and one of these things that makes me think I don’t want to be one).

  • heather September 25, 2012, 12:16 pm

    Thank you for your honesty. I think a lot of women that suffer through mommy guilt do so because they think there is something wrong with having moments of doubt, moments of not being perfectly pulled together, and for wanting moments away from their child(ren). You can’t always be on top of everything. It is impossible, especially with children. Babies are constantly changing. The minute you think you have things figured out is the very minute something changes with them. I think it is great to have a general parenting style and to read and continue trying to learn more about parenting so you have more tools in your belt, but don’t feel like you are any less of a parent for running out of gas or answers some times.
    Parents have bad days.Kids have bad days. Sometimes those two collide to make really awful days! haha. Good news is, the next day or the next or the next, will be better!
    On the days when I really feel like a failure, ya know…the days my daughter has mac and cheese from a box for dinner while we watch way more tv than we should, I ask myself “did my girl go to bed feeling safe and loved?” And in spite of whatever mistakes I made during the day, that is the only thing that really,really matters and I haven’t had a day yet where the answer to that questions was no…so I think I might not be a failure after all! 🙂

  • Claire September 25, 2012, 12:27 pm

    I’m pretty die hard lululemon (which my wallet hates). I’m 6 feet tall and their stuff is the only brand that covers my ankles and wrists in the winter months!

  • Katie P. September 25, 2012, 12:29 pm

    Has Henry rolled from tummy to back yet? My little one is just a few days older than him and has not done either yet! She is sooo close.

    • Caitlin September 25, 2012, 1:26 pm


  • Laura @ She Eats Well September 25, 2012, 12:51 pm

    The little feet KILL ME. SO cute.

    My favorite Winter workout gear is definitely my headlamp (safety first!!) as well as any headband with fleece that covers my little ole ears. It makes a huge difference!

    Also, I am not a Mom but you are doing great it looks like, and it’s so important to get endorphins, so I am glad that you are going on runs – you deserve that time!

  • Carolina John September 25, 2012, 12:53 pm

    I’m so freaking glad it’s finally getting cold out now! Ah, the glory of fall. Gives you all of the best alone time new mommy’s need. And everyone underestimates how much alone time they need, including new dads.

  • Ann September 25, 2012, 12:53 pm

    I live in upstate NY and it gets COLD! Last year I purchased Moving Comfort No Chill pants and they are perfect! They are semi fitted with a soft, lightly fleeced interior and I wore them quite a bit. I always bring a pair of the dollar store stretch gloves (when it’s not sub zero) they are just right. This year I bought a Brooks Nightlife jacket that is wind and water resistant. I figure it will work with anything under it depending on temp and keep me safe in the dark! I too love the half zip tops with thumb holes. I have several 🙂

  • Reshma September 25, 2012, 12:55 pm

    I was once given a pair of Mizuno tights and they are AMAZING. I am from Canada and live in NYC and these are a must have for any winter running (or sports!). Usually I am fine with just them alone, but on extra cold days I’ll wear a layer of pants on top. They are expensive, but I ended up buying a second pair recently and I think they are worth the investment. They also last a long time (I’ve had mine for over four years, and wear them pretty much every week in the winter).

    I also really like Athleta’s stuff. Their sizing can be weird, so I usually order a size down from what I normally wear. You can usually find some stuff on sale and it’s often pretty AND athletic.

  • K September 25, 2012, 1:08 pm

    I also vascillate between feeling super competent and completely clueless as a Mom, but I think that’s par for the course. I held a friend’s six week old colicky baby for 30 minutes recently, and it was only then that I realized how far I have come as a Mom.. Being around a screaming baby (helps if its someone else’s) doesn’t phase me one bit. Sleep deprivation on the other hand…

    And for winter training, it has got to be anything merino wool! Pricey but so so so worth it!!!

  • Annette@FitnessPerks September 25, 2012, 1:08 pm

    I’m not a mom, so I don’t know those feelings, but I DO know the ‘i must have me time right now’ feeling 🙂

  • Claire September 25, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Have you talked to someone about feeling down about parenting? I only have mine and my fellow mom friends’ experiences to look at in comparison, but it seems like things have been really rough for you emotionally for a while, and Henry sounds like a really easy baby. My girl is not a great napper (up until 6 months she would only nap 30-40 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day) and at 10 months she still nurses 2-4 times a night (I haven’t had a stretch of sleep longer than 4-5 hours since before she was born), and I never feel the need to lock myself in a closet to cry, or do some of the other things you’ve mentioned. I’m not saying that what you’re experiencing is out of the norm, but from reading your posts and tweets it sounds like things have been really rough for you, despite the fact that you don’t have a tough sleep or breastfeeding schedule to contend with. You also sound fairly isolated, since you live in the suburbs and only have one car – have you looked into parenting groups and baby classes? Those are wonderful ways to get out of the house and still spend quality time with your baby, and of course get some great real life support and commiseration from other parents. You’ve also mentioned in the past that you’ve had issues with depression, I think? It never hurts to talk to someone if things are rough. I hope you get to a better place emotionally – parenting is hard, hard work, but it shouldn’t make you cry on a regular basis!

    • Caitlin September 25, 2012, 1:47 pm

      Thank you so much for this comment, Claire. I really appreciate it a lot. I really do not have PPD at all but I think I’m just going through a rough spurt in general. We’ve had some other things going on that have been kind of stressful and it’s wearing on me a lot. I do wish we had another car so I could get out more! I’m lucky that Nick is here in the house, too, and Dad comes to visit me a lot. And I have friends stop by at least twice a week. Eh, I dunno. I just feel like I’m going through a weird life transition that includes and is separate from Henry (does that make sense?). The sleep thing is super rough, too. I really didn’t EVER understand how bad sleep deprivation could be for parents until I had Henry. I know you say that I have it easy with H’s nighttime sleep and I *know* it could be worse, but I think I’m getting to the point that I would curl up and die if nighttime sleep regressed again. I don’t know how parents continue to do the multiple wake ups all night, every night for months and months on end! I want to hug them all. I know a five hour block and a two hour block is ‘good’ at this age but damn… it still sucks a lot.

      Maybe I just have a low threshold for baby induced pain? LOL (Joking)

      Alright that was a convoluted response. But the point is that I really appreciate the sentiment.

      • Ann September 25, 2012, 2:02 pm

        I do think it is normal to have your level of emotional upheaval: sleep deprivation + hormones + major life change + cabin fever = occasional crying/needing alone time. I think a lot of moms just don’t talk about it. It is separate from how much you love and cherish your baby. I think you are getting through it admirably one day at a time!

        • Caitlin September 25, 2012, 2:03 pm

          Thank you.

      • heather September 25, 2012, 2:48 pm

        As I said above. Thank you for being honest. One of the things I like about your blog is how you openly talk about how different people are impacted differently by situations. I can handle a lot of things that might be difficult for others. I don’t mind a messy house. I don’t mind chaos or noise. I deal very well with financial constraints and not having a lot of time for myself. I do not deal well with lack of sleep. At. All. Not getting enough sleep makes me angry, snappy, emotional, sad…it really knocks the wind out of my sails. I doesn’t matter if my baby is doing something normal or good in the eyes of others. I understand babies wake up a lot. I understand why they do it (to a point). But understanding that it will happen and the why doesn’t make how I feel any different. It doesn’t suddenly make me someone that can function even reasonably well on not enough sleep. Just because someone else thinks they have had more difficult babies or that they have handled things easier than you…doesn’t mean anything is wrong with how you feel or how you are coping. I do think we need to watch out for other moms to make sure they are not suffering PPD in silence, but feeling overwhelmed and stressed at times is totally normal (IMHO).

        • Caitlin September 25, 2012, 2:56 pm

          Yessssssss. I totally agree. I can handle SO MUCH stress that would overwhelm others but sleep… man. Sleep is golden. I know this is life with a bebe, and it is worth it, but it is still hard.

      • Claire September 26, 2012, 8:44 am

        Thank you for responding – and again, I really didn’t want to make it sound like I was attacking you, or saying “well, I’VE been up 2-4 times a night for 10 months and I’m absolutely fine, you should be too!” It just sounds like you’re having a really tough time right now – if you were a personal friend of mine, I would say this exact same thing to you. If I were you, I would get some things in place to help you deal with future sleep deprivation/sleep regressions (cut back on work if you can, get some family lined up to help you, etc.) because sleep does regress for most babies – you may be looking at the 4 month sleep regression soon, then in the first year there’s also teething, dropping the swaddle (if you use one), developmental milestones, the 9 month sleep regression, etc, all of which can put your baby back at newborn-like wake-ups for days or weeks at a time. I’m not saying this to be all doom and gloom, but to let you know what *I* didn’t know at three months in: that sleep (and parenting!) will get better, then worse, then better, then worse, even if you are following a sleep plan and the expert’s advice perfectly.

        And I wasn’t even suggesting that you had PPD – I know that it helps me a lot to touch in with a therapist when times get tough, for whatever reason – your post on HTPBaby about seeing someone before your delivery really resonated with me. On paper, you literally have the PERFECT set-up as a new mom – working part-time from home, having a supportive husband and family and friends around to help, an easy baby whose sleep at 3 months is normal to good, time to exercise and eat healthy – millions of women would kill to have what you have (I know that I would! I’m definitely jealous of your set-up!). If, with all of those things in place, you still feel like ” I would curl up and die if nighttime sleep regressed again” then maybe it wouldn’t hurt to talk to someone.

  • Lori September 25, 2012, 1:57 pm

    my sister ordered those mugs for my other sister and me – they have really funny pictures of our significant others, so the first time we used them it was a surprise and so hilarious!

  • Kate September 25, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Yesterday was my first chilly run which resulted in my fastest first mile ever in an attempt to warm up.
    I love the running tights from Champion at Target. Other than that I must confess all my other winter gear is old and hand me down. Dad’s reflective New Balance long sleeve tech tee (I’m 28 and have worn this for about 12 years), old GAP puffer vest, wool/fleece headband from Greenland (also about 12 years old), dollar store gloves. That hobo chic look has kept me warm and reflective in the winter for years and I love it!

  • Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut September 25, 2012, 2:07 pm

    Oh I need better winter workout gear! I feel like I always just layer up on whatever I’ve got, but it’s not really cute or comfortable and it definitely affects my attitude toward exercising in the chillier months. Let us know what suggestions you come up with!

  • kwithme September 25, 2012, 3:55 pm

    A mantra I have is that parenting is just training for what comes next. You start with a newborn because they prepare you for a sitting babbling baby. You have a sitting rolling babbling baby because it prepares you for a crawler. It goes on and on. I found once I “mastered” one stage, we were on to something else that was a challenge. I admire adoptive parents that jump right in at ages 3+. It is alot like training for a long distance race, as soon as you get one distance feeling do-able, you up your mileage and it gets hard again. And sometimes you have a setback and have to scale back.

    For a laugh, I will give you some things that I never thought I would say as a parent (my girls are now 7 and 10):
    1. Stop licking your sister
    2. Yes, I will throw out everything in your room but your clothes and a blanket.
    3. If you can’t get to the bathroom, throw up on your blanket and not over the side of your loft.

    Ah, parenting, so much of it is hilarious and disgusting at the same time.

    • Caitlin September 25, 2012, 5:15 pm


  • Lindsay @ Healthforagers September 25, 2012, 5:00 pm

    Ah, thank you for saying some weeks you feel like you have being a mom down and then some weeks you fall apart. Makes me feel so much better – though I feel like it changes day to day. One day I am on top of the world and do so much with my little girl. Then the next day we don’t leave the house and I am ready to fall apart any minute.

    Alone time is one of my most motivating reasons to go on a run nowadays. It is nice to know I am not alone in trying to sneak a few more minutes alone.

  • deb September 25, 2012, 5:24 pm

    This post couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I’m needing some cold weather running clothes.. I hope you put up a summary post 🙂

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 25, 2012, 6:32 pm

    I look forward to getting the winter workout gear recommendations because this will be my first winter I’ve considered myself a runner!

  • Katie H. September 25, 2012, 9:58 pm

    I have a fleecey Nike hoodie that I love, too. I wonder if it’s the same material?

  • Ashley September 25, 2012, 11:08 pm

    As hard as it is to hear, I think if you were to cut out the coffee, Henry might sleep better. Caffeine in your breast milk can have a great effect on your little one (just like it can when he was in your womb!). I know that the idea sucks, but it would not hurt to try it out. With some good sleep, you might not even need the caffeine, lol.

  • Sara September 26, 2012, 11:56 am

    I will second your recommendation of the Nike fleece-lined running tights….they saved my butt (literally) big-time last winter while training for my spring marathon. I “run hot” so I don’t need too much…I have a long-sleeved under-armor half-zip that I wear over a short-sleeved shirt plus the tights and I’m good to go with some gloves and an ear warmer. Much prefer the headband to a full hat because I get so hot and sweaty I really only need my ears covered. I also wear socks that come up a little higher on the ankle and tuck them under the leggings so there’s not that little strip of skin exposed when it’s REALLY cold.

  • kristen @ livinlifeinlouie September 26, 2012, 12:46 pm

    it is definitely normal. Some days end with tears (by everyone) and a BIG glass of wine haha

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