Dear Active and Runner Moms Who Experience “Mom Guilt”

[Note: I’m writing this from the perspective as a mother and an athlete, I feel the “mom guilt” creep in periodically, as I strive to juggle training and motherhood. This short letter can be to any mother who experiences “mom guilt” and or who needs to make sure that they’re taking good enough care of themselves.

I hope that you find comfort and empowerment if you feel alone and have difficulty choosing self-care throughout motherhood, I know it is not always easy. Being a mom isn’t always easy, but it is wonderful.]

Dear moms,

We all experience “mom guilt” and sometimes it occurs when it’s time to go out and run or visit the gym, but just because you go out, doesn’t mean that you stop being a mom.

You’re a mom taking care of yourself, enjoy your activity. Enjoy everything you do without feeling guilty. Give yourself grace, leave guilt at the door, and acknowledge all of the good things that you do as a mother.


Self-care is crucial as a mom, it makes us better moms when we return from our activities because running and exercise greatly boosts our wellness, both physical and mental.

We typically return to our “mini me’s” with more patience, a clearer mind, reduced negativity, better managed anxiety and depression, regulated emotions, boosted happiness, increased self-esteem… The bottom line, a lot of good comes from running and exercise, so take advantage of it.

If you struggle taking care of yourself

You deserve to take care of yourself, even if you have poking negative thoughts and beliefs saying that you don’t. Sometimes, we get caught in a cycle of negative thinking, and when this repeats itself over and over, it reinforces itself.

Reinforcements create beliefs. Identify the negative and faulty thoughts and beliefs. Remember, thoughts are thoughts, not facts.

Next, change your narrative and self-talk, rewriting your beliefs about yourself. Highlight your strengths, growing confidence and self-esteem. What do you do well?

Keep up with managing negative thoughts and beliefs to foster change. You’ve got this!

Faulty thoughts and beliefs are called cognitive distortions.

One way to rewrite your negative thoughts is through cognitive reframing.

From your child’s persepective

Your child sees you as a role model and notices that you’re taking care of yourself. Role modeling this teaches them the importance of self-care, as well as goal setting and chasing dreams.

They look up to you. I doubt that our children negatively think of us the same ways that we think of ourselves. We’re our worst critics. Our children love us and rely on us to take care of ourselves, so that we can take care of them.

I hope that this letter has been uplifting, now go get after it!

~ Shannon

I found this feather on my run and brought it home for my daughter.

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Burning River 100 (2023) P.C.: Mike McNeil

One of my many goals is to help endurance athletes (of all abilities, newer to sport, and retired) strengthen their mindsets and level up their mental well-being, so that they can finish stronger in their race and in life.

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Take care,


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