Holly’s swimbabes journey
Most of the older swimbabes swimmers and their mums know me as swimbabes Rachel, before I left for maternity leave I had worked for swimbabes for 8 years. I worked in the swimbabes office arranging all the little swimmers’ classes and at Inkerman pool and other pools teaching the swimbabes programme.
So, when Holly was born it was a given that I would enrol her on the swimbabes programme as soon as I could, right? Of course. Holly was born in December 2015 and was at her first swimming class in January 2016.
On the run-up to her first class, I didn’t give it as much thought as some new mums might have done, as I know the programme inside out. No worries, no thoughts, no questions, no panic, I got this, it was going to be a walk in the park.
A few days before Holly first lesson I thought it was about time to get her swim bag ready, as Holly was a small baby I knew that she would benefit from a baby wetsuit but I also know she needed a splash about happy nappy as these are required at all swimbabes pool. I went for the happy nappy wetsuit as there is no need to wear a Happy Nappy underneath, it has full upper body covering and long sleeves and this fantastic product worked really well for us. Next I checked we had towels, some huggies swim nappies and some normal nappies. Right good to go, I thought.
On the morning of Holly’s first swim I was still super calm, I knew where I should be, what time to be there and what I should take with me. I knew exactly what to expect, what could go wrong? Well Holly had other ideas, of course she did the ‘I will do a poo as soon as my mums got all the coats bags, hats, scarfs on trick’ (it was January remember) this then made us late but that didn’t matter as I knew where I was going and the plan when I got there.
When we got there (10 minutes late) we headed to the changing rooms to get ready, Holly decided from day one that she was going to scream the place down getting undressed (and dressed again) at each swimming lesson. Although I knew this was normal, at the class it still felt different when it was happening to us! It took Holly ages not cry before and after her lesson and we just accepted it (it became a bit of running joke as she was so settled in the water).
When we got in the water for our first lesson my thought completely changed, I was no longer swimbabes Rachel, I was Holly’s mum Rachel! I was here with all these other new mums and everything I knew left my brain. I was experiencing our first lesson together just like everyone else. It was great. The teacher was fabulous making everyone feel relaxed and at ease. We did our first underwater swim at week 2 of the course and that was it, Holly’s swimbabes journey had started. We loved our weekly lessons so much more than I thought I would, it was so different experiencing the lessons as a mum. I loved (and still do) the time we got to spend together bonding from such an early age.
At around 18 months Holly hit the classic water wobbles stage, she started to protest swimming and would only do things she wanted (the same was happening at home), as a swimbabes teacher I had the advantage of knowing this was a common phase and knew that perseverance was key and sure enough, she was soon back to her happy self in the water.
From the very first swimming lesson our journey has come on so much, we have been to underwater photoshoots and got some amazing pictures, we have wowed strangers in the pool on various holidays and we have even shocked family as to how confident Holly is in the water.
We are currently advanced level and I can wait to see what our swimbabes journey holds for us next.