Everyone loved telling me how life would change after having a baby – no more spontaneous rock shows on Monday nights; no sleeping late or reading a book for more than five minutes at a time, etc.– but now that I have a tiny gremlin, AKA two year old, I am discovering other ways life has changed that no one prepared me for. I mean, who knew that such a simple task could become an epic struggle of physical and mental stamina (and patience)? I was not prepared!

Here are three recent examples:

A run in the park is not such a walk in the park Silly, amateur-mom me. I actually thought going for a run in the park with my daughter Anna in the stroller would be easy. Anna had other plans. As I took off on my warm-up mile, she spotted the playground in the distance and started freaking out, flailing her arms and legs. The entire lap I had to hear her pout, so I gave in and went to the playground area. Thirty-minutes later, just long enough for my heart rate to go down and my muscles to cool, I was able to run another two miles before heading back home for dinner.

She has stake in our steak I underestimated how much food a 23 month old can stick in their face in a day. As Anna approaches two, I am still trying to perfect my shopping list and recipes to accommodate a third person. After all, she’s a permanent member of the household and she has stake in those groceries!

Sometimes I don’t make enough and wind up giving her half my plate – after she polished off hers. How’s that for portion control?

Now that I have another mouth to feed, I can truly appreciate those who can keep their grocery shopping under budget each month. I try to plan meals ahead, stock up on pantry staples, separate, marinade and freeze meat, and most importantly keep recipes healthy and simple. Here’s some helpful money-saving grocery tips from Good Housekeeping that has helped me.

Are home workouts even considered workouts anymore? Ever do Yoga with a dog or cat nearby? Chances are they immediately flocked to your mat, like it was by some force of nature. My dog Sasha would even lick my face when I was on the mat, mid-plank. My cat, Reilly, would saunter underneath me as I positioned myself in Downward Dog and plop down to nap. Thanks guys!

Working out at home with a toddler is just like that, except they usually don’t lick you … or maybe they do, mine just hasn’t done it yet. Anna has sat on me while I struggled to get through my regular “big girl” push-ups – which is great for someone looking for a challenge, not so great for someone like me who quivers after 10.

Any other exercise at home usually ends up with my daughter patting me, whining at me, asking to be picked up mid-session, or her running off to commit dangerous shenanigans.

Ah, yes. Life is different now, in all respects, but I wouldn’t change anything about it!