One of the hidden benefits of having babies…


Previously I’ve always hated it when skinny mini celebrity mothers have put their figures down to ‘running around after the children’. However I’m starting to realise that they might have a point. While dropping the baby weight is a long and arduous process for anyone that doesn’t have a dietician and personal trainer, I definitely agree that having children can help your general level of fitness. It’s no substitute for a swim or spinning class but I’m so much more active now on a day to day basis.

For a start lie ins are now non existent and there’s not a day goes by when I’m not up at 7am (Mother’s Day was a different story). The thing is, after getting over the initial dozy few minutes I appreciate the fact I’m making the most of my day. My toddler is a big fan of dancing and he will always demand I put down my cup of tea and join him. So while I haven’t attended a Morning Gloryville session (early morning dance workout for Dublin commuters) we enjoy our own unique version to the sounds of ‘row row your boat’ instead of rave music.

When you’re working in an office 99% of your time is spent sitting down and we all know how bad this is for your health. There are even apps for your phone that remind you to stretch your legs. Stay at home mothers have no need for these apps, instead they have a little person that will first yell and if this doesn’t have the desired effect, drag you into a standing position. You may then be required to kick a ball around the garden, do the obstacle course at the play centre or take them for a stroll around the block; all of the above get us moving.

The average toddler weighs as much as we would lift in the gym yet we don’t even count carrying them as exercise. Although they are perfectly capable of walking we all know there’s times when they won’t. Sometimes it’s an easy stroll from the supermarket back to the car, others you’re in the middle of the countryside with no buggy and miles ahead of you. In this circumstance it can feel like you’re competing in the Strongest Woman competition but with no prizes for winning. There’s also the mission of carrying them up the stairs and lifting them in and out of their car seat and cot; I knew that manual handing training would come in handy…

We may blame getting up and down like a yoyo during the night for us always feeling exhausted but the running around, chasing, catching and carrying that we do in the day contributes too; and our bodies are thanking us for it.

Footnote: for anyone wondering about the use of Ironman as my image; there’s no little girls in this house…

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