Swimming class. You got this, mama.

If you have been following my blog you will notice I posted this morning about a swimming class for babies that myself and Eleanor were going to be attending. You’ll know just how much I was dreading heading out to this class. Especially with the rain lashing down. I’m sure you will want to hear the follow up and how we got on so I will give the update.

I got myself together and left the house at 12.15pm to get to the class for 1pm. It was quite a large stretch to walk along a main and busy road, the rain was pouring down and the cars and passing traffic were happy to splash me with water. Before we even reached the pool, I looked as though I’d just got out of the water. Awesome.

I carried Eleanor in her sling with her snowsuit on as we forgot to take the Pram from Euans car and he was off to work. In hindsight, the carrier was the better option anyway due to the nature of the day. I didn’t have to contend with the hassle of the Pram and finding a place to leave it. Eleanor was kept nice and cosy, don’t worry. As we walked, she smiled and babbled the whole way. I was feeling reassured for the class with her being in good spirits.

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When we reached the pool, I was met by friendly staff who showed us around as it was the first time and I’m not a frequent visitor of the swimming pool. It’s the one place I stray far from, deliberately. I got myself a changing room and a locker and got us set for the class. I decided to double up on nappies for Eleanor, even though I had swimming nappies, I didn’t want to risk any pool accidents. Especially on our first visit, I’d not be welcome back.

I wore a high waisted mix match bikini. Basically the only two items of swim gear that I fit in right now, or at least thought I would fit. My bikini top had other ideas.  I spent a whole lot of time and effort trying to contain my ever bulging, breast feeding boobs. Turns out a size 6 isn’t much good for keeping these puppies at bay. Damn those milk boobs.

After we got ourselves ready, with Eleanor still in good spirits we headed to the shower and then out to the class. At registration, there were three other Mothers with their babies. A mix of male and female. Each older than Eleanor which was no issues, we were made to feel just as welcome as everyone else.

When we got into the pool, I was surprised at how calm Eleanor was. I initially had worried she would have a fuss and cry her eyes out. Nothing, Eleanor was happy to bob around and move with myself and the class. As this was a baby class, and our first time in the pool, it was a nice easy session and good fun. It certainly lifted my spirits and changed my mind about swimming class.

We would sing songs in the group and follow the action of the instructor. Lifting our babies in and out of the water, chasing coloured toys and singing nursery rhymes. Splashing was encouraged. Eleanor really seemed to take this whole class in, I watched on as I held her and followed her movements. I could see the curiosity in her eyes as she soaked in her surroundings. There was a lot to focus on and enjoy. It was also good to be around other babies and this is something that Eleanor is unfamiliar with. On the social front this will be great,learn to swim and socialise with others at the same time. Two birds, one stone.

No swimming strokes were covered. It’s too soon to begin this for a baby but we did have to dunk our babies into the water and cover the head. I was anxious of this, I knew she would hate it. I mean, I hate being underwater, how would a baby feel? Any times when I’ve covered her face during bathing she goes a bit crazy. I knew what to expect.

One, two, three.. DUNK. Done. Oh man, the look of shock and surprise on her face and the tears that followed. Not nice to see but completely necessary to introduce her to the water as being submerged will be part of the class over the weeks. It’s only right to start her off early. After bobbing around and some distraction she came okay, everything was good.

I think I will work on covering her face with the water more often at home. Encourage this at bath times. Only a little though, just to get her used to this so that it isn’t upsetting come time.

After the class, we said our goodbyes and got ready to leave. I knew the crying would start when we went to change. Eleanor is not happy being dried and changed at the best of times, this would be no different.

I wasn’t wrong, we had tears but you know what, we got through it and it didn’t last. As soon as I had us organised and dressed again, I got her into her sling and she was sound asleep within seconds. The instructor did tell me that I could expect a sleepy baby. Bonus.

Overall, I am pleased with how the class went and we will be back for more. Eleanor took me by surprise with how well she took to the water and how calm she remained. Perhaps this was just a good day and next time will not go the same way but I can do it.

Getting out and stepping away from my comfort zone has taught me that I can do this and I can manage. I just need to get out of my comfort zone and my negative mindset.

I got to the class and dealt with my baby and the water all on my own. It’s not easy to try to get yourself sorted at the pool, never mind having a baby to contend with at the same time. Trust me, it’s no fun getting them dried off and sorted out as you stand there bloody freezing in a wet costume with dripping hair as your baby cries because she too is wet and cold.

Saying that, I done it. We done it, Eleanor had a great time. I loved seeing her in the water and playing with her. It was good to bond in a different setting and take in new surroundings together. She absolutely loved it and soaked it all in. I’m so proud of my baby girl. Seeing her so content and at one with the water made it all worthwhile and I left the class is good spirits.

Remember, swimming is not my thing and I am probably more uncomfortable than she is when in the water.

Let me say, overall it wasn’t that bad. I got wound up and upset for nothing. At least now, I can look forward to the next class rather than try to hustle up an excuse not to go. Although, I’ll be wearing a different swim top next trip, save myself some embarrassment.

I don’t know what triggers the human mind to be so negative and harsh on ourselves. We really need to ease off and cut ourselves some slack. I need to try to put a little less thought into things and just go for it, give things a try before I make my judgement on how it will be. This class has not only been a learning curve for Eleanor in the form of learning to swim, it has brought to myself some new found self respect and self worth. Some mummy points as I like to call them.

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Getting out and doing something I was so uncomfortable with that I was ready to turn back home, and then pulling through to continue and complete the task has taught me that I can do things, and I can do them alone too. There is nothing to be scared about and if I don’t start to get out and try things, I never will. What sort of example is that to set for my baby? I don’t want to continue to set myself up for failure. Of I do that, I’ve already failed without even trying.

If you too, have the same thoughts as I do, if you are afraid to do something and I’m to go all out there and encourage you to go for it. Nothing is as bad as it seems and the feeling that you are left with afterwards is pretty great. I feel so proud of not only Eleanor but myself for getting out and doing something I was most dreaded. We have to cut ourselves some slack.

We can all do anything that we set our minds to, no matter how big or little. Every step is a step, right? It’s better to try than not at all. You will only thank yourself for it later.

Until the next time, I’m off to online search for a swimming costume that is publicly acceptable. Take care.

Keren x

 

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