Do any of these sound familiar?
- My tummy just isn’t the same since giving birth.
- I have cellulite
- I just need to go to the gym for a few months first
- I don’t want to get my hair wet
Throughout my life as a Mother and Swimming Instructor I’ve heard these reasons and many more countless times, they are the excuses used to not to get into a swimming pool. I’ve heard Mum’s say them with real pained expressions on their faces, they really, really don’t want to strip off down to a swimming costume and walk through the pool area half naked!
I understand, I really do – I’ve had four children and I’m not 18 anymore but yet nearly every day I’m donning one of my swimming costumes, introducing myself to people on poolside and getting in and out of the pool in front of the lifeguards and other swimmers! I may have an advantage, I have a history with water – I’ve been swimming since I was young and I’ve never stopped so I suppose I’m not fazed by the whole experience but that’s not the reason why I get in the water. I get in because I want to teach babies how to swim, I want those babies to grow up confident in water and have those all-important life-saving skills, I want to see them progress, to dive to the bottom of the pool, to swim widths then lengths, to roll about, to blow bubbles in the water, to do handstands and then to get out at the end and confidently walk back to the changing rooms.
Now we all know the benefits of getting babies into the swimming pool as young as possible, you are literally exchanging one watery environment for another – babies love it! You are helping your child to boost their intelligence, to strengthen their muscles and to socialise with others.
But let’s say you’re past that stage, your child(ren) already love going swimming and pester you to take them to the local pool at every opportunity, you really want to take them but can’t face putting your cellulite or love handles on show so you sit by the side whilst they splash about in the shallows complaining to the Mum’s around you “I’ll get in once I’ve got rid of this extra weight” or “once I find a swimsuit that covers all my body I’ll be happy to get in” – you may notice your child(ren) go quiet and absorb what you are saying – this is what they hear “I can only have fun if I’m physically perfect”.
It may sound severe but that is literally what you are saying, you can only wear a swimming costume if you look flawless! In this day and age of media pressure, expecting everyone to want to look like a super model it is not surprising that’s how you feel but is that also how you want your child(ren) to feel? They look to you to be the example so I say now is the time to shrug off those expectations, show your children that you can have fun whatever you look like and throw on your swimming cossie and get in that water!
Thanks for reading