On Getting to the Gym with Toddlers

Going to the Gym with Toddlers

Her question, as we hustled along down the hallway, was truly one of eternal significance.

Do you ever wonder, by the time you actually get here, if it’s even worth it?

All I could do was laugh.  

Yes.  Every single time.  

In fact, most times, that is what keeps me from getting here in the first place.  The actual act of getting here.  With two kids.  Two three-year-old kids.  Getting them dressed.  Getting their shoes on.  Getting me dressed.  And then into the car.  Wait, no, one has to pee.  Coats back off.  Coats back on.  Where are my headphones?  Back into the car.  (Wait, did I eat breakfast?)  Down the road.  Navigating song choices.

I want Let It Go!  

I want The Troll One!

(I just want quiet.)

And then we’re there.

Look Mommy, the gym, the gym!

Yes, at long last, we’ve made it…to the parking lot.  But, oh, there are miles and miles to go.  Now the real dilemma begins.  Which is, of course, determining whether it is more time efficient to wait out the good spots and circle and circle (and circle) or to just throw in the towel (which I forgot at home) and park, yet again, all…the…way…in…the…back. Today we scored the second to furthest spot possible.  Excellent.  Unload the children.  And cross the frozen tundra that is this suburban Illinois parking lot.

Hurry, fast feet.  Fast feet.  Hold Mama’s hands.  Fast little feet.

Often, by the time we get to the door, I can’t tell if their frozen tears are actually from crying or if it’s just that their eyes are protesting this never-ending-and-horrible-in-every-way polar vortex.

But, at long last, we make it inside.  Scan the cards. Navigate the hallway to the Kid Zone. Coats back off.  Sign them in.  (No waitlist today!)  Kisses goodbye.  And, ahhhhh….

Run like mad to get there before the only spot left is right up front.

And that’s when she asked me.  As we were finally freed and making haste toward our reward…toward yoga class:

Man, do you ever wonder if it’s even worth it?

My friend has a four-year-old and a two-year-old.  So, she gets it.  Most everybody there gets it. Frazzled parents in our sweatpants, hair tied back, eyes still fighting to stay open, scurrying here and there to make it to class actually on time.

We all get it.  We’re there.  The battle is won.  Or, almost.

I think it was in the middle of my downward (or upward or sideward?) dog that the kind lady came to the door.

Um, excuse me?  Holli?

Every time she’s looking for me.  But I suppose the odds are pretty good when you have two in diapers, or now, two needing help with the big potty, that mom will be summoned mid-workout.  This time it was a boo-boo.  He was fine.  Less fine once he saw me.  But a kiss and a quick reminder of what a brave boy he was bought mom the second half of class.


Hustle back to class.  Back to my spot.  My downward/upward/sideward dog.  Yup.  Right. Up. Front.  (If only I had this luck when parking.)

So, is it worth it?

As I lay there in my final savasana, aware of the blood flowing through every limb and place and space, remembering that I am a mom but also a woman with a body needing care, as the sunlight floods in through the window visible even through my closed eyes, the answer was clear.

Yes.  So very worth it.


A version of this post also appears on Moms Encouraging Moms.



  1. Hang in there! You’re gonna make it, Holli! I do remember those days …

  2. I hate it when I get the gym and realize I’ve forgotten something (but I don’t have toddlers in tow, so your post makes me realize what a slacker I am when I don’t go since you are waging a war to get there…) :)

  3. :) I remember those days. This may sound cliche right now, but I cherish the memories of how precious my yoga class was because life was so chaotic when the boys were little. You took me right back there, Holli :)

  4. twinkietotmom says:

    I praise you! I have three kids and there is no way I’d ever venture to the gym with them! I work out after they are in bed (when I actually do work out!) haha!

  5. Nicolette Springer says:

    I feel like this can be applied to almost every outing with kids 😉 But I do agree it is worth it. Even if you get just an hour to yourself, I think it makes for a happier, more relaxed Mom and that is worth so much.


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