No-one mentions how physically exhausting it is to raise two boys. Or maybe they do but I just haven’t been listening.

It turns out that wrestling a strong and 20+lb baby who is nursing is tough. Then there’s your two-year-old who REALLY doesn’t want to cooperate with whatever you’re trying to do (change a diaper, sit him at the table for dinner, shoehorn him into a sweater that is, apparently, the wrong color today).

Then there’s the constant running up and down stairs, usually carrying an excess 20-30lbs — in addition, of course, to the excess weight of your own that you’ve accumulated since the post-partum adreneline wore off and the sleep deprivation kicked in, leaving you more reliant than ever on high-carb pick-me-ups and more susceptible to their after effects.

Add to this the fact that all your household chores now have to be done on fast-forward in the brief gaps when both children are sleepign or peacefully occupied and you’ll find your body is working hard.

In a burst of good-intentions, I signed up for an exercise class as soon as my baby was eating solids and I could no longer use my milk supply as an excuse not to (although that turns out to be a false excuse anyhow, darnit).

After two sessions during which women from both babysitting rooms (infant and big kids) interrupted the class to bring me red-eyed and sob-wracked boys, I decided it was more stress than I could handle and quit. I fully intended to exercise at home but you can guess how well that’s going. While I can do a few ab crunches with one or other boy balanced on my belly, anything more than that is a fantasy. The elder is just too young to be trusted to be in the same room as the baby without me available to wrestle them apart at any moment. He can be nuzzling the baby’s fuzzy head and telling him he loves him and, in the next movement, delivering a headbutt that leaves an instant purple splotch on the bridge of the baby’s nose (and you know there’s a reason you’re getting specifics, don’t you?).

So my exercise routine remains a combination of baby crunches, toddler lunges and the old stair workout.

But with the number of reps I do, shouldn’t I be more buff by now?


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