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Baby’s arrival inevitably comes with change. It can mean letting go of your pre-parent self and some of the pleasures that came along with it: freedom, spontaneity… sleep. But it can also breed incredible creativity, ingenuity and problem-solving. And freedom, well, it’s still totally attainable, as long as you have the right set of tools.

For Simon Isaacs, an impending baby meant giving up some of his “single guy” life--think professional marathons and running around the world on foot to raise awareness for safe drinking water. But it also helped him dream up Fatherly, the smart Dad site that’s quickly become a must-read for parents and parents-to-be.

For our last stop on our Bugaboo Runner tour around NYC, we hit the Rockaway boardwalk with Simon and his baby girl Kaia for a quick workout, and learned about how this Brooklyn dad keeps moving forward, now with his baby on board.

Why are you so passionate about fitness?

I grew up in Vermont and spent most of my time outside (we lived pretty remotely and our TV only had one channel). As a family, we spent a lot of time cross-country skiing--a sport I later competed in internationally--which, in turn, got me into running and racing marathons. Today, tradition is a big part of fitness for me. But being out there, running trails and pushing myself, is just a lot of fun for me.

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In what way does running give you a feeling of freedom that other fitness activities can’t replicate?

I have to run and move. It’s really not a choice--it’s a big part of my inner workings. The first few minutes of a run is about shaking off whatever stress or anxiety might be taking place. It’s when I am running, with my mind free of all the clutter, that I am doing most of my creative thinking for my business, Fatherly. But the most magical thing that happens on a run is when my legs, heart and breath take the same rhythm I stop thinking altogether. That doesn’t happen everyday, but when it does, it’s pretty surreal. I’ve always wanted to be someone who could meditate--but I’ve struggled to be able to do that--so running’s my best hope.

How do you fit in time to care for yourself between parenting and your career?

Mornings are my time with my daughter Kaia. Having a jogging stroller has changed the game for me (and my family). I put her in the Bugaboo Runner , grab our dog and head out. It’s like killing four birds with one stone. She loves it, our dog gets outs, I get to exercise, and my wife gets some more sleep.

What are some things you hope to teach your little ones about being active?

I attribute a lot of who I am today and what I have done to my athletic career--and even the lessons I learned really early on. My parents, who were both artists, introduced me to being out in the wild and being active. They supported me but never pushed me at all. I’d love for Kaia to be exposed to the same sort of thing--and learn and grow in the process. I’d love for her to grow up with a deep appreciation for being healthy and active. I’d love for her to learn to push herself and for her to see what she is capable of in this way. Of course, sports and being active, is what I personally know, and I have no idea what she will want to pursue. But like my parents, I can only hope to be there and support her to dive in fully to whatever her passions become.

How has becoming a parent impacted or changed your fitness routine?

When I first learned that my wife was pregnant, I had this intense desire to be super fit by the time she was born (which I later learned is a pretty common feeling among my guy friends). But when the baby came, exercise took a back seat, particularly as my wife and I juggled two really demanding jobs. I could have done much better in staying active in those early months. Now, Kaia is a big factor and part of every decision we make or activity we do. So, finding ways to incorporate her into those things is huge.

What’s are some of your favorite NYC spots to get out there and get active with your kid?

Injury prevention is a big thing for me as a runner, and the best way to do that is to stay off the pavement as much as possible. My absolute favorite place to run is just a bit outside the city at the Rockefeller State Preserve--it’s endless miles of the most gorgeous, super wide trails you can imagine through farms and fields and along streams. It’s a super quick 45-minute drive and well worth it. We live right next to Prospect Park and are close to the Rockaways--both are really great places to work out.

Sometimes we all need to unwind. When you’re done hitting the pavement and the baby's tucked in bed, what does a perfect end to a day look like?

We’ve started to limit our TV watching and instead throw on some music and hangout together and talk. Those nights are definitely my favorites. They seem to last longer and I feel so much better the next day. But we also both run our own businesses and are often working late into the night on things, which is the reality of it. Plus, there’s some epic shows on right now. Winter is coming.

If you could give expectant parents who are worried about losing their freedom some words of encouragement, what would they be?

The freedom you know now is gone. It’s done… never to be seen again. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to still do the things you love and get out there, but you have to let go of the past and redefine freedom a little. I think a lot of the anxiety and stress around losing freedom comes from not letting go. And I think guys have a harder time doing this, in part because we don’t have the 9+ months of physical preparation that cause us to slow down. And we unfortunately tend to take far less time off after kid arrives. So, I guess my words of encouragement are, “Get over it, buddy.”

 

Photography by Justin Borucki.

This post was brought to you by Bugaboo.

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If there's one thing you learn as a new mama, it's that routine is your friend. Routine keeps your world spinning, even when you're trucking along on less than four hours of sleep. Routine fends off tantrums by making sure bellies are always full and errands aren't run when everyone's patience is wearing thin. And routine means naps are taken when they're supposed to, helping everyone get through the day with needed breaks.

The only problem? Life doesn't always go perfectly with the routine. When my daughter was born, I realized quickly that, while her naps were the key to a successful (and nearly tear-free!) day, living my life according to her nap schedule wasn't always possible. There were groceries to fetch, dry cleaning to pick up, and―if I wanted to maintain any kind of social life―lunch dates with friends to enjoy.

Which is why the Ergobaby Metro Compact City Stroller was such a life-saver. While I loved that it was just 14 pounds (perfect for hoisting up the stairs to the subway or in the park) and folds down small enough to fit in an airplane overhead compartment (you know, when I'm brave enough to travel again!), the real genius of this pint-sized powerhouse is that it doesn't skimp on comfort.

Nearly every surface your baby touches is padded with plush cushions to provide side and lumbar support to everything from their sweet head to their tiny tush―it has 40% more padding than other compact strollers. When nap time rolls around, I could simply switch the seat to its reclined position with an adjustable leg rest to create an instant cozy nest for my little one.

There's even a large UV 50 sun canopy to throw a little shade on those sleepy eyes. And my baby wasn't the only one benefiting from the comfortable design― the Metro is the only stroller certified "back healthy" by the AGR of Germany, meaning mamas get a much-needed break too.

I also appreciate how the Metro fits comfortably into my life. The sleek profile fits through narrow store aisles as easily as it slides up to a table when I'm able to meet a pal for brunch. Plus, the spring suspension means the tires absorb any bumps along our way―helping baby stay asleep no matter where life takes us. When it's time to take my daughter out, it folds easily with one hand and has an ergonomic carry handle to travel anywhere we want to go.

Life will probably never be as predictable as I'd like, but at least with our Metro stroller, I know my child will be cradled with care no matter what crosses our path.

This article is sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's been more than a year since Khloé Kardashian welcomed her daughter True Thompson into the world, and like a lot of new moms, Khloé didn't just learn how to to be a mom this year, she also learned how to co-parent with someone who is no longer her partner. According to the Pew Research Center, co-parenting and the likelihood that a child will spend part of their childhood living with just one parent is on the rise.

There was a ton of media attention on Khloé's relationship with True's father Tristan Thompson in her early days of motherhood, and in a new interview on the podcast "Divorce Sucks!," Khloé explained that co-parenting with someone you have a complicated relationship with isn't always easy, but when she looks at True she knows it's worth it.

"For me, Tristan and I broke up not too long ago so it's really raw," Khloé tells divorce attorney Laura Wasser on the podcast. She explains that even though it does "suck" at times, she's committed to having a good relationship with her ex because she doesn't want True to pick up on any negative energy, even at her young age.

That's why she invited Tristan to True's recent first birthday bash, even though she knew True wouldn't remember that party. "I know she's going to want to look back at all of her childhood memories like we all do," Khloé explained. "I know her dad is a great person, and I know how much he loves her and cares about her, so I want him to be there."

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We totally get why being around Tristan is hard for Khloé, but it sounds like she's approaching co-parenting with a positive attitude that will benefit True in the long run. Studies have found that shared parenting is good for kids and that former couples who have "ongoing personal and emotional involvement with their former spouse" are more likely to rate their co-parenting relationship positively.

Khloé says her relationship with Tristan right now is "civilized," and hopefully it can get even better with time. As Suzanne Hayes noted in her six guiding principles for a co-parenting relationship, there's no magic bullet for moving past the painful feelings that come when a relationship ends and into a healthy co-parenting relationship, but treating your ex with respect and (non-romantic) love is a good place to start. Hayes describes it as "human-to-human, parent-to-parent, we-share-amazing-children-and-always-will love."

It's a great place to start, and it sounds like Khloé has already figured that out.

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Kim Kardashian West welcomed her fourth child into the world. The expectancy and arrival of this boy (her second child from surrogacy) has garnered much attention.

In a surrogacy pregnancy, a woman carries a pregnancy for another family and then after giving birth she relinquishes her rights of the child.

On her website, Kim wrote that she had medical complications with her previous pregnancy leading her to this decision. “I have always been really honest about my struggles with pregnancy. Preeclampsia and placenta accreta are high-risk conditions, so when I wanted to have a third baby, doctors said that it wasn't safe for my—or the baby's—health to carry on my own."

While the experience was challenging for her, “The connection with our baby came instantly and it's as if she was with us the whole time. Having a gestational carrier was so special for us and she made our dreams of expanding our family come true. We are so excited to finally welcome home our baby girl."

A Snapchat video hinted that Kim may have planned to breastfeed her third child. What she chooses to do is of course none of our business. But is has raised the very interesting question, “Wait, can you breastfeed when you use a surrogate?"

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The answer is yes, you sure can! (And you can when you adopt a baby, too!)

When a women is pregnant, she begins a process called lactogenesis in which her body prepares itself to start making milk. This usually starts around the twenty week mark of pregnancy (half way through). Then, when the baby is born, the second phase of lactogenesis occurs, and milk actually starts to fill the breasts.

All of this occurs in response to hormones. When women do not carry a pregnancy, but wish to breastfeed, they can induce lactation, where they replicate the same hormonal process that happens during pregnancy.

A woman who wants to induce lactation can work with a doctor or midwife, and start taking the hormones estrogen and progesterone (which grow breast tissue)—often in the form of birth control pills—along with a medication called domperidone (which increases milk production).

Several weeks before the baby will be born, the woman stops taking the birth control pill but continues to take the domperidone to simulate the hormonal changes that would happen in a pregnancy. She'll also start pumping multiple times per day, and will likely add herbal supplements, like fenugreek and blessed thistle.

Women can also try to induce lactation without the hormones, by using pumping and herbs, it may be harder but some women feel more comfortable with that route.

Inducing lactation takes a lot of dedication—but then again, so does everything related to be a mama. It's a super personal decision, and not right for everyone.

The important thing to remember is that we need to support women and mothers through their entire journey, no matter what decisions they make about themselves and their families—whether Kardashian or the rest of us.

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