The Secret Post-Baby Workout

You know what I love? Seeing those highly realistic Body After Baby articles in women’s magazines. And they’re even better when they have photos, aren’t they? Because a side of self-loathing goes a long way with the six total minutes I can spend daily, on average, reading on an uninterrupted basis.

Since the baby was born in June, I haven’t had as much time to work out as in the past. Something about the sum of a newborn,  lack of sleep, two older kids and everyone needing three meals a day just wins out over exercise.

Or so I thought.

It turns out that the guilt I have been feeling about this is misplaced. Because, you guys, I have been unknowingly getting a highly effective full-body workout, courtesy of my four month-old. Right in the comfort of my home.

It’s true! Have a look at the various aspects of my regimen:

Agility: Wrestling a tiny, resistant baby into a jacket is no fucking joke. If you think I don’t break a sweat and get my heart rate up by battling his freakishly strong limbs, you’re mistaken. Calories burned: 612.

Strength Training: I have some questions about the infant car seat. Let’s start with: Why the hell can’t I lift this thing? What are they using in the manufacturing process? Is it lead? It is, right? Look, I am no stranger to these seats. My two older kids used them — I have photos as evidence. But, when, for the love of all things holy, did the infant car seat start weighing about 78 lbs? I know I’m older now, but seriously? I feel like I’m hauling around my six year-old — and possibly a spare first grader — in that seat all day. And, as a result, is that a bicep pop I see? Why, yes. Yes, I believe it is. And that’s also my back going out and the sound of a chiropractor on speed dial from the minivan.

Cardio: Forget the Stair Master. Forget the Insanity DVDs. Because you know what starts to make one feel sweaty and insane? Dragging around a mountain of laundry that mutates into its own zip code and can be seen from Google Earth. Add in two flights of steps for each load and this is a serious calorie burner. Plus, my wine fridge is located on this well-treaded path, so I may — at times — be seen increasing my workout intensity by adding a bottle of dry white to the pile. It’s all about challenging yourself.

Speed Drills: Now, here is where the “put pacifier back in baby’s mouth before he wakes up the whole house at 4am” technique is really working for me. I can assure you that you have never seen someone go from horizontal REM mode to a full-on sprint so quickly. Although, without my contact lenses and in the dark, this portion of my workout has proven to produce the highest number of sports-related injuries. Damn walls.

Flexibility: I will spare you a visual, but the lengths to which I can stretch to avoid being hit by projectile spit-up or a rogue diaper-changing urine spray is astounding. Even circus-like. Because, damnit, if I have on a clean shirt, I am not going down without a fight. I am in the safe zone before you can say Lululemon.

Core: I know that baby carriers exist for the comfort and security of the child. And yes, the hands-free component for the parent is great. But do you have any idea what type of core strength is required to accomplish various tasks with an infant dangling from your person? Oh yes, I am undoubtedly working my core to its limit while bagging a week’s worth of groceries and loading them into the car with my squirming son strapped across my torso. P90X? Please. Until they add a component where you must bathe a four year-old with a crying infant hanging off of your mid-section during the proverbial witching hour, I call bullshit. Planking is for the weak.


Not to be left out of my in-home fitness pursuits, I should also mention that my older two kids have added tremendous value to these workouts. This happens mainly in the critical areas of repetition and mental endurance, which go hand in hand. Because until you have listened to a blow-by-blow recap of a Jake & The Neverland Pirates episode five consecutive times, you just haven’t trained the part of your brain that can tune out the noise and focus. {On wine.} In this capacity, my six and four year-old are the Bela and Marta Karolyi of athletic training. They will bring you to your knees.


So, forget the magazines. Forget the Maria Kang post-baby-body controversy. For all you new moms {or new-ish moms, or not really new moms at all} out there, I hope this helps to clarify just how fit we actually can get at  home all day.

Sure, the tight, vise-like grip that my ice cream addiction has on me could be hindering me from my goals. But just a few more nights of Pacifier Retrieval Sprints should put me right back on track.



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  1. The carrier. The goddamn carrier. It’s like an anvil.

  2. Nicole Shawn says:

    I never, ever, ever, never want to hear another recap of a television show that airs on a network that ends in “Jr.” Thankyouverymuch.

    • fordeville says:

      It’s like a repeat loop here. There are episodes I’ve never actually seen for myself that I can nearly recite verbatim from the recaps.

  3. Oh the magazines with so-and so star’s post baby body! Those should be banned. I stayed in perfectly fine shape doing all the regular mommy things you listed (until I reached 40 🙁 ).

  4. Carrie says:

    You had me howling at ‘flexibility’!

    I’ve never birthed a baby, but I have a 15 year old. And let me tell you…the work outs change the older they get, but they’re STILL just as affective.

    Especially that jaw-clenching to keep the facial muscles tight.

  5. I get in my lunges when I’m washing dishes – thrusting my leg out repeatedly because my toddler thinks it’s hilarious to run straight for the hot stove at the other end of the kitchen must burn hella calories, right?

  6. Glamamom says:

    I’ve been home alone with my kids for the past 2 weeks and I’ve lost 5 pounds. This shit is no joke. I think I’d rather be fat.

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