Parenting & Relationships

New Mommy Files: Exercise This, Buddy

Written by Amy McAloon

Lately I’ve been feeling guilty about not getting my sorry butt to the gym, but as I sit here and attempt to bang out this next blog entry, I realize I can’t seem to feel my fingertips as they trip over the keyboard. My eyes are blurry and hot, like burning embers melting into my forehead. My mouth is sort of dry.


Gym? I’m beginning to realize that my new life as a mother is nothing but a series of calisthenics and Pilates moves. Who needs a session on the treadmill when you’ve got a high energy baby to entertain?

I exercise, alright. All. Day. Long.

Here’s a breakdown:

6:00-6:30 a.m.: Desperately attempt to ignore the unmistakable sounds of a very awake 8-month-old.
6:30-7:30 a.m.: See above.
7:30 a.m.: Give in, and wake up to the chirping sounds of my daughter. Hoist Baby out of bed and onto my hip and head to the changing table. Wrestlemania my way through the first diaper change of the day.
8:00-8:15 a.m.: Silently stare Baby Daddy down until he realizes he’d better make me a coffee before he heads off to work. And be quick about it, mister.
8:30-10:30 a.m.: Fantasize about coffee refills while coming up with a multitude of fun games for Baby’s delight while wolfing down a granola bar. Games include: “Spin Baby right ’round / Baby right ’round”, “Sesame Street” Dance Party, “BABY, DON’T CHEW THAT!” and my personal favorite, “Whatcha got hiding in that diaper this time?”
10:30-11:00 a.m.: Operation Convince Baby She Loves Carrots For Breakfast. Squat to pick up the spoon she hijacks and tosses. Squat to pick up the bib she manages to rip off and fling across the kitchen. Squat to wipe up carrot sludge she spews all over the floor. Breathe through the burn ripping through my quads…

Mom exercising with baby

11:30-11:45 a.m.: Heave writhing carroty mess onto the changing table, and grapple Baby into a new outfit.
12:00-12:30 p.m.: Enforced nap time. This activity usually includes tears and a few bruises. Not Baby, people. Me. I get the bruises.
12:30-1:00 p.m.: While Baby sleeps, I manage to speed shower, wash last night’s dishes, hurl another pile of laundry into the washing machine and scarf down another granola bar.
1:15-2:00 p.m.: Lunch time. Hunch down to serve Her Liege butternut squats, er squash.
2:00-3:15 p.m.: Another intense costume change, and then an afternoon walk. Strap Baby into BabyBjorn carrier and hoof it all over the neighborhood with an extra 20 pounds hanging from my body. Our walk usually includes a 20-minute park detour for fun activities like pushing Baby on the swing 50 times while yelling “BOO” to elicit squeals of delight (and open-mouthed stares from horrified teenagers) and a high-speed pigeon chase because Baby thinks scaring birds is hilarious — should I be worried?
3:15-3:45 p.m.: Hunt and gather. After the park, we usually have to forage for the missing ingredient for that night’s dinner. One ingredient becomes 20, and then I’m stuck lugging a heavy canvas bag (and 20 pounds of Baby and BabyBjorn), loaded with necessities like chickpea flour and sweet potatoes.
3:45 p.m.: Return home and take a moment to sigh heavily with the knowledge that I must climb two steep flights of stairs in order to get inside. The ascent can sometimes take longer than expected for this little sherpa.
4:00-4:30 p.m.: Dinner time. You know the drill… And breathe into those squats…!
4:30-5:15 p.m.: The much anticipated return of Baby Daddy.
5:15-5:30 p.m.: The Hand Off.
5:30-7:00 p.m.: Adult dinner preparation while attempting to assist Baby Daddy with more fun and distracting evening activities like Fetch The Book Baby Keeps Whipping Across The Room and Carry Baby Until Your Arms Are Numb.
7:15 p.m. and on: Bedtime. This is more an exercise in patience, as it involves bouncing repeatedly on an enormous fitness ball while singing “This Old Man” on an endless loop. By the fifth repetition or so, “This Old Man” is drinking wine as she plays nine with a knick knack paddy whack…
9 p.m.: Baby is usually sound asleep and frankly, so am I.

As I finish writing this, my feelings of guilt are quickly being replaced with feelings of anxiety. If my days are so exhausting now, I can only imagine the toddler years must be like the boot camp of parenthood.

God help me.

About the author

Amy McAloon

Born in Montreal, Canada, writer and artist Amy McAloon discovered photography when she was 13, after her father bought her a little point-and-shoot. Eventually the automatic was tossed aside for an old Nikon FE, and the two have been best friends ever since.

Amy went on to study writing, fine art and black and white photography in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. After a few years spent traveling through Central America with her battered Nikon slung over one shoulder and a notebook tucked away in her camera bag, Amy enrolled in a photojournalism program in Victoria, B.C.

Since then, she has lived and worked as a writer, reporter and photographer in New Mexico, Florida, California and Belize. She now makes her home in Montreal with a loving partner-in-crime, a beautiful baby girl and a hot new Nikon D7000 DSLR.