10 'Mom Activities' That Are Harder Than Running a Marathon

I got frustrated with my Fitbit recently when it recorded a gut-busting hour-long cross-training workout as "three very active minutes." If the Fitbit people are taking feature requests, I'd like to see an update that allows you to carefully fine-tune its definition of very active by telling it to eat a bag of dicks.

Anyway, this made me think how there are certain parenting activities that seem WAY more physically challenging than they actually are. Like if you bothered to enter them in a fitness/meal-tracking app, you'd probably learn that you burned the caloric equivalent of one slice of cucumber (no peel), but at the time, they feel as exhausting as running a marathon. Uphill. In the snow. Both ways.

For instance:


The walk around your car from the backseat to the driver's side door after you've buckled an angry toddler into his carseat. That is the longest, most draining walk known to mankind -- like trudging across a barren sun-blasted desert with no oasis in sight -- and ironically you want it to take just a little bit longer. Just a few more seconds until you have to open the door and be greeted with the sound of your blatting child who's completely pissed off over the injustice of the five-point harness.

Sitting on the sidelines at a kids' sports practice. Ugh the folding chair is so uncomfortable. The practice takes so long. The other parents are so hard to talk to. Soccer is so boring.

Coming back from your child's bedroom to the living room at night. At 9 and 6, my kids aren't even difficult to put to bed anymore. In fact, it's enjoyable to read to them and talk about their day and kiss them goodnight. And yet there's this sensation of being completely wiped out that sweeps over me the instant I shut their doors, like I've been on full speed all day long, assaulted by chaos and noise and demands, and I can finally just relax for a little while. This is invariably when I head straight to the kitchen cupboard and undo all my healthy eating for the day, by the way.

Paying for anything, anywhere. It doesn't matter where you are, the act of getting out your wallet seems to be a cue for your kids to suddenly lose their minds and act as if they've been injected with a mixture of high fructose corn syrup, PCP, and 5-Hour Energy. There's nothing like the sweet, sweet relief of having the receipt handed to you so you can get the hell out of Dodge.

The what-are-we-forgetting trot out to the car for school dropoff. We always get up with plenty of time to pack backpacks and eat breakfast before I have to shuttle my kids to school, but the trip to the car STILL feels like a harried shitshow every single morning. I'm hustling the kids, pushing the dog out of the way, spilling my coffee travel cup, and barking questions: "Did you remember your homework folder? Do you have your snack? WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES??" It's like a timed race with the exact same hurdles day after day, and I never get any better at it.

The moment when you think about what you're going to make for dinner. I don't even mean shopping for the groceries or putting them away or doing the actual cooking, although all of those things can suck too. I mean the bone-deep weariness of thinking about dinner, when your brain is just like, HURRRRNNNNGGGHH.

But speaking of buying groceries: pushing the cart from the checkout line back to the dairy case to get the milk you forgot. OH MY GOD IT'S SO FAR. Especially if you're saddled with one of those horrible vehicle-shaped novelty carts that are exactly as easy to maneuver as a battle tank.

Bending over to pick up a kid-sized sock. I would rather bench press my own bodyweight than lean over to grab someone's carelessly discarded dirty sock, as evidenced by the fact that I loudly grunt whenever I do this to broadcast my displeasure.

Calling to book a pediatrician appointment. Look, I know this is a trivial task: you pick up the phone, push some buttons, and move your mouth for a few minutes. But I always feel like I should get a medal afterwards. An enormous gold medal given to me by the mayor, with the entire ceremony televised to commemorate my amazing achievement.

Bringing a child to Target with you. Do I need to articulate the many, many ways in which a Target shopping experience is rejuvenating and pleasurable when you're by yourself but downright nightmarish when you're with multiple young children? I don't think so.

What would you add to this list?

Image via jeepersmedia/Flickr

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