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Swimming as a Family

Swimming as a Family
10 July 2014 2341 Views No comments

Guest parenting blog: About Katie

Katie has two daughters, aged one and three, and writes an award-winning blog over at Mummy Daddy Me all about their family life. She is obsessed with documenting their everyday moments and is never without her camera. As a family they are big fans of swimming, and her eldest daughter currently has weekly swimming lessons at a local pool.

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I often would sit and imagine all the activities we would do together as a family. Trips to the seaside, afternoons at the park and of course swimming as well. I have such fond memories of my mum and dad doing all those different activities with myself and my little sister.

Growing up, swimming was important to us as a family. Both my parents were keen swimmers; my mum actually swam for the county when she was younger. I participated in swimming lessons for as long as I can remember; the pool was on a disused industrial estate and I vividly remember the changing rooms weren't heated, so were absolutely freezing. I used to complain from the second I got out of the pool, but soon quietened down when my mum brought me a Kit-Kat from the vending machine – it soon became a bit of a tradition!

Not only did we do swimming lessons, but we often spent Sunday afternoons at the family swim session at our local leisure centre. My dad would play with us constantly, and I would often bring a friend. He would put us on his shoulders and throw us into the air, pretend to be a shark coming to eat us, and let us swim through his legs over and over again. I have such happy memories of this little bubble of my childhood.

Therefore, now I am a parent myself I do really feel strongly that swimming is such a valuable and fun activity for parents of children of any age. As soon as our first daughter had received her first set of jabs, we took her swimming at the local pool. She loved splashing around in our arms and I couldn't get over how small her little cossie was. From that day forward, we have tried to go at least every couple of weeks. Sometimes we just go to the small pool near us, and sometimes we travel further afield to the large swimming centre which has rapids, slides and a wave machine.

We all really enjoy splashing around and swimming as a family, and I think it is so important to get my girls water confident. We did swimming lessons for them both as babies, but stopped when my eldest daughter was about a year. This was partly due to time and finances, but we went away to Center Parcs last September and I noticed straight away that she was just not very confident in the water. She clung to us and wouldn't float on her own. Therefore, we have recently signed her up to lessons again to get her ready for our holiday this year. She is three now, and after seeing the benefits I wish we had continued them from when she was a baby. I have a friend who has done them since eight weeks, and at three he is already doing his 20 metre badge. Amazing!

We are only a month into them, but already she is a lot more confident than she was before.

Not everyone can afford lessons, but our family hugely benefits from our weekend swimming sessions. Keep a look out, because often pools do off-peak sessions, or the occasional discount or offer. It really is such a great, energetic activity to do with kids, regardless of the weather. And the best thing about it all is that it tires them out so much; my girls generally have a really good nap afterwards!