Childcare at the Gym {a REAL mommy challenge}


Duh, duh, duh..

I fully realize I’m treading in some murky waters with this post but I just couldn’t NOT post about one of my very favorite ways to stay sane while being a mommy…the Gym Childcare!!!

I know, I know…the gym childcare is scary territory for most new mom’s.  Dropping your precious little angel off with a stranger can be paralyzing for most mom’s.  And let’s not even talk about the germs.

Here’s how I got over all of the above AND am LOVING my gym childcare…

For the first year of Nora’s life, my hubby was working full-time, being a full-time daddy AND finishing up going to school to get his MBA part-time.  Needless to say, he was gone a lot.  So going anywhere alone (aka: the gym) was nearly impossible.

I was needing to get out of the house a much as possible (see my Rejoicing in your Spirit Child post).  You see, we live in a small 2-bedroom condo –  so space to roam around is limited.  We’d run errands, go to parks, go on walks, go to the library… you name it, we did it.  But there came a time when this mama needed some time away from my sweet little Nora.  🙂

So when Nora was 5 months old I looked into how much it would cost to add 1 childcare “pass” to my gym membership.  To my surprise it was only $10/month!!!  Now that’s cheap folks!  I figured even if I went just 1x/week I’d still only be paying $2.50/hr or something ridiculous like that.  AND obviously if I went more often the price just got cheaper and cheaper.  Score! I immediately signed up and counted down the days for little Ms. Nora to turn 6 months (that’s a 24 Hr Fitness rule).  On her 1/2 year birthday you can bet I was waiting to check my little princess in with Ms. Ashley (the sweetest lady in the whole wide world)…and it has been nothing but peachy ever since! Nora loves going, she really rarely gets sick (as a result of being there) and I’m a better mom b/c of the simple fact that exercise really does reduce stress.

Really… the gym childcare is honestly one of my most valuable mommy-resources! The payoff is great, fitness, an uninterrupted shower (which I’ve still yet to do but it’s on my “must-do” list), and affordable childcare. You can’t beat that combo.

Are you up for it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below.


Steph is the Co-founder of Scottsdale Moms Blog and Social Media Director for Family Matters. She is mamma to Nora (July 2009) and wife of Alan.  She loves shopping for great deals, wearing funky jewelry and spending loads of time with friends.  Steph gets a kick out of multitasking and loves nothing more than throwing a good party. You are always welcome to e-mail Steph at [email protected].



  1. Thats awesome. I totally used to be a supervisor in the 24 hr fitness childcare 🙂 I loved it, but I am totally THAT mom that is so not okay leaving my little ones with anyone that isn’t family. Maybe someday I can figure out how to be brave and actually leave them- but still I don’t know how I could leave them with a stranger. Lol.

    • Jess – you are totally not alone! I feel like I actually know more mama’s that don’t leave their kiddo’s than do. I’m just one of those weird people that do 🙂
      So funny that you worked as a supervisor at the childcare though….

  2. i soooo relate Steph! with daddy’s career, there was just no way around it for us either when my kids were smaller 🙂 and my girl loved it so much she would constantly ask when we were going back to the gym! our gym even had security cameras in the child area that allowed you peek in on the TVs on the cardio machines and the ones suspended in the corners for the weights (the Mountainside Fitness by our old house). totally encourage moms to take advantage! good for mommas, good for kiddos 🙂 xoxo

  3. Steph!!

    You are inspirational…I seriously have been thinking about this for quite a while now….like almost every day and have been trying to muster up the courage to just go and take her….Now this Miss Ashley you speak of….which gym location is she at? You and I both have 24 hour memberships so maybe if you are comfortable with her and the location you work out at I will just make a trip to that one! Let me know!! I miss the gym sooooo much…. 🙂


      • I actually go to the 24 hr off of 104th and Frank Lloyd Wright so it would be a decent distance for you. I will say that Nora has a number of gals that watch her at our gym and all have been wonderful. So you kindof just have to jump in and pray for the best. 🙂 I know, I know… easier said than done.

  4. Does anyone belong to 24 Hour Fitness and have experience using their childcare? I know they don’t take babies until they’re 6 months old, but other than that I don’t know much.
    Is it good care?
    I’m nervous about it, but INCREDIBLY anxious to be able to go…


    • Kuddos to me for missing the whole paragraph about 24 Hour Fitness…duh.
      Does anyone go to the Camelback or Metro locations?

      • Brittany – I go to the 24hr fitness on 32nd and Camelback. I have been taking my son (17mo) since he was 6mo old. When he was taking 2 naps I would take him btwn 10:30 and 12. It was not too crowded so the 2 girls there could give him 1 on 1 time. Now that he is taking 1 nap I go early in the morning around 8:30. It gets crowded with kids because there are a lot of classes during this time but also keeps him entertained. Be prepared for crying when you drop your kiddo off (if they are not used to outside childcare) and short workouts at first. There were many times my workout was interrupted 15mins in because he would not stop crying. But keep going back and eventually the separation anxiety will end and you and baby will benefit from time at the gym!

  5. My husband and I have used the child care at Mountainside Fitness and we really like it! The little ones (babies) are kept separate from the toddlers and older children and we can view the whole thing on the t.v. monitors that the equipment has. Parker went for the first time at 5months. They have a great system fro keeping track of whose child and diaper bag, etc. belongs to which parents. And best of all-it is FREE! 🙂 With a full belly and a clean diaper, I know he is perfectly fine for the hour that we leave him there.

  6. I go to Gold’s Gym and I don’t know why, but both my kids adore the childcare. Perhaps it’s the indoor slide? I try not to think about all the germs! It’s totally worth it.

  7. Today was the VERY FIRST TIME EVER to drop my little one off at the gym daycare center. I sat her down on the mat I brought along with her rattle and special wubby and began to talk to the care giver about what she likes and doesn’t like. Typical first time Mom stuff. Moments later she began to cry. SHE NEVER DOES THAT! I immediately started feeling like I wasn’t doing the right thing, questioning myself and then the tears came down my face. Keep in mind this was my very first workout in 19 months and the first time to leave her with a perfect stranger! Once I took her in my arms and calmed her down she was fine and I went on to have a great workout. Much to my surpirse, when I picked her up she was being held and was laughing and squeeling in delight! It was the best 1.5 hours I have spent on myself in 7.5 months and I can’t wait to get there tomorrow!! :0) Thanks for the post!

  8. I love this post. I haven’t been to the gym in 4 years since I became pregnant. Mr O and I used to go together, but discussed going back to the gym in shifts.. but alas the gym I will be signing up to has a creche – so we can go together again. Now the gym will be a time for just me, and also a time for ‘us’! hooray!

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