13 Ways Working Out is Different After Having Kids


Oh, how I wish to be one of those women who truly loves sweating it out at the gym. The truth is I’m one of those women that loves finishing her kids’ chicken nuggets and eating Nutella straight out of the jar.

Finding the motivation to get to the gym has always been a challenge for me, but after kids, this challenge takes on a whole new meaning. So, if you are like me, and trying to work off that baby weight (even though my kids clearly aren’t “babies”), or you are thinking about heading back to the gym after a long hiatus…

Let me prepare you for 13 ways working out is different after having kids:

1. Before kids, you had to log serious time on the treadmill to break a sweat. Now you’re dripping sweat from the chaos of getting the kids out the door and strapped into their carseats.

2. Jumping jacks were a great way to raise your heart rate. Now jumping jacks are a great way to pee yourself.

3. You loved your yoga classes for the physical, mental, and spiritual health. Now you love yoga because you can lie down in a quiet space and no one bothers you.

4. And at the end of that yoga class, you used to make fun of the lady that fell asleep on her mat. Now you are that lady.

5. You chose your gym based on their equipment, classes, and convenient hours. Now you pick your gym based on the child care room with the most toys.

6. While burning calories on the elliptical machine, you would blast all of your favorite tunes and the newest songs. Now you keep the volume down a bit in your headphones just in case you get the dreaded announcement over the gym P.A. “Mom that just started her workout to the daycare….”

7. And speaking of music, you knew all of the songs that would get you movin’ and groovin’. Now the only songs you have saved on your phone are from Disney movies and the third round of “Let It Go” is helping you on the bike today.

8. The mirrors in the gym were a great way to keep yourself entertained while you mindlessly worked out. Now the mirrors in the gym scare you because things are jiggling and bouncing in places they never jiggled or bounced before.

9. Your workout gear matched and was color coordinated. Now, you are lucky you remembered to wear a sports bra under a college t-shirt that has seen better days.

10. Before you had an endless supply of water bottles ready to go. Now, you tote a Doc McStuffins water bottle because you don’t own adult water bottles anymore.

11. You’d find motivation to work out for random events like your mother’s childhood friends’ son’s wedding. Now you find motivation in concrete things like your ass is starting to look like your mother’s.

12. Before you’d skip that spin class for important matters like happy hour or sleeping off the effects of that happy hour. Now you’d skip that spin class for a lot less: sleep, you don’t want to shower, the kids need to watch Frozen again…

13. Before kids: after sweating off all of those calories, nothing is better than rewarding yourself with Starbucks. And after kids: yeah pretty much the same thing. Good to know some things stay the same.

About the writer


Amanda Mushro is a mommy of two who blogs at Questionable Choices in Parenting. Sometimes she thinks she is doing a great job as a mom, but then she does something that really makes her question her own parenting abilities. Find her on Twitter @QuestionableCIP and Facebook.


Lexie Lane 2 years ago

This makes me laugh so hard! I do love yoga though and don’t think of these things but they are so funny!

katherine bartlett 2 years ago

I would have to agree with number 1!

Kim Muchnok 2 years ago

You are so funny and very true.

Susan Long 2 years ago

soooo true!!!

Susan Aschleman 2 years ago


CrazyKidLady 2 years ago

OMG Jill! You’ll be only 2 hours away from me! I dont know what H paycheck will be like, hoping it will be enough for him to let me come and get some me time and mommy celebration time! I am no chicken to driving in D.C. and visiting by myself.

Mama to 5 BLessings 2 years ago

great tips, exercising to wii games too is fun too!

Janeane Davis 2 years ago

This was a fun article about working out PK post kids. Many of the items in the list were all to familiar to me.

Lois Alter Mark 2 years ago

Too funny — and true!

Dawn 2 years ago

Jumping Jacks are a great way to pee yourself! Bahahaha! And so is sneezing, and coughing, and being awake…. 😛

    CrazyKidLady 2 years ago

    And… sitting here at work and bending over. Omg. Never had such a weak bladder!

Pam 2 years ago

This is so funny! Especially #13, that’s so true for me.

Sandra 2 years ago

I love the last one. I get a tall everyday but on days I hit the gym I get a grande.

Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas 2 years ago

Oh man, #10…#11…#12…and 13! Are you IN MY HEAD!?

Nothing better than breaking even with Starbucks afterward!

Barb Wikander 2 years ago

Or 60

Brandy M. 2 years ago

Ohh how I want to be the lady who falls asleep on the yoga mat. What a great list filled with so much truth!

Merrill Vansice 2 years ago

at 70 why wory about your ass?????

Debbie L. 2 years ago

#9 is so true LOL Thanks for the list – they are all true!

Debbie Denny 2 years ago

This is great, I am really smiling!

sammie 2 years ago

I love this so much!!! Hilarious and completely on point. :)

Suneet Saraw 2 years ago

Hahaha…God we’re out of shape AND old!

Rebekah 2 years ago

Haha! That list had me chuckling, especially the falling asleep on the yoga mat part.

Justin N Winnie 2 years ago

Lol or as my daughter tells me “mom ur not doing it like the person on TV… like at all..” lol

Ladyphoenix Snowblood Unitedasone 2 years ago

I laughed my ass off as I realized all of these were true lol

Jennifer Osso 2 years ago

Joining the YMCA and dropping my 3 rug rats off at the child care is my stay at home sanity!

Tarrah Osborne 2 years ago

Scary Mommy do you know what shoes those are in this post??

Courtney Mayo Porter 2 years ago

Lol I had to tell my personal trainer (a 26 yr old guy) that I couldn’t do jumping jacks for this very reason!!! So embarrassing!

Cheryl Lo 2 years ago

Lol so true. 4 happened a lot to me.

Arthur Linda Thurlow 2 years ago

Oh, and I thought you loved me

Rori Lynea 2 years ago

I wanted to double like this! Everything so true!

Lea Ann Pender 2 years ago

Haha this is true…I wish we lived in town so I could release my inner gym~rat 😉

Megan Penyack 2 years ago

And now I have to get up at 5am (or, at least set my alarm and pretend to) so I can sneak down to the basement to work out before everyone else gets up or my kid will do a running commentary while staring at me working out: “Mommy, you’re not doing what the lady on the tv is doing”…”Mommy, your bum is bouncing…”…

Mary Colson 2 years ago

that’s hitting below the belt!

Karla Campos 2 years ago

I think a lot of the time when women become moms they forget about being sexy, which is a big motivation to workout. I pole dance and take aerial yoga for fitness and I love it. I don’t want to miss a class. I think it’s all about finding an exercise you love, if you are working out and it doesn’t feel like you are fitness comes quickly. Ladies get out there and try new and fun ways to move your body!

    Heather 1 year ago

    Go away, please. Thank you.

Christine Luken 2 years ago

This made me laugh so hard, especially #2! 😉

Heather Johnson Miller 2 years ago


Erica Pearson Rauls 2 years ago

so true….sad, funny and true. *sigh*

Brooke Wondra 2 years ago

Getting a minute (ok, well more like an hour) away from all the madness that is motherhood is motivation enough for me! Even when I don’t feel like working out, all I have to think is about that time to myself and clearing my head.. talks me back into going every time!

    Melissa Hurlbut 2 years ago

    LOL no kidding. I never thought I’d look forward to exercising so much.

    Brooke Wondra 2 years ago

    Right? When I was younger I’d skip alot cause there was always something “more fun” to do.. but now, the alternative is being at home doing more laundry, more dinner, more picking up after everyone, more diapers to change.. you get the point. Hmmm.. which one of those options sounds better.. to the gym I go! 😉

Emily Mailey 2 years ago

All so true! Our priorities change after kids and exercise often falls down pretty far on the list. As someone who develops programs to promote physical activity among moms (I am a kinesiology professor), I can say one of the factors that makes the biggest difference is whether you view exercise as a chore (one more thing on the to-do list) or a gift (that coveted me-time). We shouldn’t be talking about exercising to lose weight or have a perfect body, we should be promoting it as one of the greatest stress relievers and energy boosters around! It’s essentially one way to maintain your sanity in a life that revolves mostly around taking care of others’ needs. If this mindset sounds like one you’d want to adopt, check out our new research study, FitMinded Working Moms: http://bit.ly/FitMindedScreen

    Nicole 2 years ago

    I wish you had something for the stay at home moms! We work 14 hours a day!

Amy Elizabeth 2 years ago


Lisa 2 years ago

Amen to number 3. And for number 9, I think you mean TWO sports bras. 😉
Thanks for the laugh!

    Katelyn 2 years ago

    Bahaha omg glad to know I’m not the only one leho wears two lol

Jessica Beal Harlow 2 years ago

This is a great post that is unfortunately very true to life for me! lol…It’s just one more way how your life completely changes after kids! And, yes….I am so OVER listening to Frozen. It’s only been played 4,000 times in my house this week alone. 😛

Rhyannon Amort 2 years ago

So true #3 and 4! Lol

Lisa Novak Gallagher 2 years ago

So true!

Sacha Bower 2 years ago

Lmao #7! That’s my phone alright!

Shannon Gallo 2 years ago

3!!! Hilarious! Thank you for a laugh :)

Michelle George 2 years ago

Jumping Jacks…. ugh…

Pudge 2 years ago

I’ve had the kids for 3 and 2 years now, respectively, and I still haven’t figured out how to squeeze in a workout. I’ve started doing squats do get down to the ground to pick up toys.

Lindsay Lackland Gray 2 years ago

OMG I HATE when they do jumping jacks in my classes hahaa

Any Desrosiers 2 years ago

You can totally check off all of the above for me!! Everything revolves around the kids!!

Ellen Beitzinger 2 years ago

You’re the best…this is the best :)

Jennifer Lee Orr 2 years ago

Hahahaha great read!

Tiffany Brooke Patterson 2 years ago

Very funny and very true

Jessica Rapisarda 2 years ago

#4. Oh, the burn of recognition.

Christine M. Hutchinson 2 years ago

It really is ridiculous!!! Even if I empty my bladder right before a workout…damn.

Robin (Masshole Mommy) 2 years ago

Hahahahaha! I know some women pee themselves when they jump – thank god I am not one of them :)

Happy Hausfrau 2 years ago

This is so true. My “baby” will be 14 this month but I still remember seeing the childcare ladies walking into the gym, holding my screaming angel in their arms. Always about 15 minutes into the workout…just long enough to be sweaty but not enough time to even call it exercise! It changes though. Now I beg that baby to come to the gym with me :)

Tiffany Sears 2 years ago

I would say the biggest difference is how happy I am to go to the gym every time. It used to be a chore. Now it’s a break

    Stephanie Nasteff 2 years ago

    Great post!
    Have a great night at LTYM DC! I’m a part of the North Jersey cast! Really looking forward to the show!


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