Having a toddler is exhausting. Slash totally counts as a workout.

So one of my goals for the year is to get back on the workout train. Originally, I planned on working out four times a week. If you don’t have kids…that may seem like no big deal. I mean, how hard is it really to get in a few thirty minute workouts a week, right? Well, let me tell you something. YOU DON’T HAVE KIDS. Specifically, you don’t have a toddler. And let me tell you something: Kids are a workout in and of themselves.

Let me tell you a little about an average day in my household: I’m up by 5:30 with a baby boy that does.not.sit.still. As soon as he’s in his highchair with breakfast, I’m hustling my buns around trying to get a little bit of housework in. And let me tell you – the amount you can actually accomplish in 20 minutes is pretty dang amazing when you put your mind to it. Emptying the dishwasher, swapping laundry, feeding dogs, packing lunches, cleaning up toys…like I said, amazing.

Then we play this game where mommy tries to get ready for the day while a child and a dog chase each other around our bedroom and bathroom like maniacs. This usually ends every three minutes with a crying child because he gave the dog a toy and now the dog won’t give it back. It never gets old, apparently. And this is just the daily parenting battle to get ready in the morning.

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In the evening, after dinner, we run. We climb on puppies. We play with cars. We chase. We go literally non-stop until bathtime or bedtime, depending on mama’s energy level. Now that he’s actually able to run around, I have to go through a pretty long bedtime routine to get him calmed down for bed – which is new in the last month or so. And by the time he’s ready to sleep…he’s out. And then he’s up about four times – looking for that paci – from around 10 PM til 4 AM. And that 5:30 AM wake up alarm (my child yelling, “mama mama mama!” from his crib) comes waaaaaaaay to early. Until I walk into his room and see the cutest face in the world.

Yep, I went the cheeseball route. Because it’s true.

Anyway, moral of the story: most nights, chasing after my almost 1.5 year old is often times way more of a workout than a real workout could ever be. OK, not quite true – if that were completely true my abs would be hard as a rock by now. But the exhaustion level…well it’s definitely the same.

SO: three workouts a week (or rather, one during the week and two on the weekend) certainly sounds much more reasonable to this mama.

Tell me in the comments, how do you workout?


  1. 1


    I work out a lot like you do. Housework, which I never thought of as working out, is one way. Exercising at the playground while my kids play (I’ve turned into the strange mom who’s doing push ups against the poles that hold up the swings). When my first son was 2, I broke down and hired a sitter 1 hour a week so I could get out to exercise. The jogger was also a huge help when my kids were younger. Now, we try to bike together, swim together or do yoga dvds together. It’s not ideal, but hey, it’s something.
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  2. 2


    I feel you. I have a two (almost three year old), with my second due in ten days. I’m very active and it took me a while to figure out how to keep my activities a priority. With the new baby on the way, I’ll be figuring it out all over again since I’ll be doing it with two. Exercise really contributes to how good of a mom I am though, so it has to be fit in somewhere.

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      I agree with you – finding time to squeeze in a workout – even if it’s just for 20 minutes – can really help with stress, and gives you time to just be in your own head for a while. Joining a gym has really helped us with this, because I’m not trying to wrangle a 17 month old in his playroom while simultaneously trying to be on the elliptical across the gate. Or trying to do squats and winding up with a dog sitting on top of me. You know the deal 🙂

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