Raising a Toddler Is a Workout -- Even for the Fittest Moms (VIDEO)

monicaOne thing I did not see coming when I became a parent: It's physically demanding. I had no idea parenting would require such feats of athleticism. At least, it's that physical if you're parenting someplace like New York City.

The latest episode of CafeMom's On Broadway With Kids begins with MAMMA MIA! performer Monica Kapoor teaching a Bollywood dance class in between Saturday performances. That's right -- when Monica isn't dancing up a storm on stage, she's dancing more with her class. That's some insane stamina! But does she have the energy to face her next big challenge?


Taking the subway with her daughter, Melania! Monica has a go-see (similar to an audition) and she has to take her little girl with her. This means she's walking to the subway, setting Melania down while she folds up the stroller, carrying Melania and the stroller down the stairs, trying to keep her daughter from wandering off while she pays her fare, walking down more stairs, then walking up stairs -- again carrying Melania and the stroller.

When she finally emerges back on the street after all that, I'm amazed that her hair is still in place and she isn't sweating like a hog. Then she mentions that she has 10 minutes to get to her go-see and then she'll have to rush home, cook and serve dinner, and then run off to that night's performance. And I start sweating for her.

I remember it all too well. Getting around a big city with a toddler feels like running a marathon sometimes. Most of the subways do not have elevators, and none of the cabs have car seats. So what do parents do? Improvise and work our asses off. Phew! 

So why doesn't Monica just move to the suburbs and buy a car? For the same reason thousands (millions?) of other parents in New York City don't. Because all in all, it's easier to have kids and pursue your dreams if you stay in the city. Because we love it here. Because we thrive on its energy -- even though it's not exactly mama-friendly, even though it often exhausts us. I hope Monica can make the career/family/city juggle last as long as costume designer Irene Bunis has.

Were you surprised at how physically demanding parenting can be?

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