This week has been all about looking back at how far we’ve come.
As a new mum, every single day is a new opportunity to learn something you didn’t know how to do before. And parents have to adapt to each new thing so quickly, we don’t find the time to stop and remember how much we’ve accomplished, in that first year especially. This is why I like blogging, it gives me a setting to reflect on these things, a forum to take a step back and go, wow, look at the journey I have been on… WE have been on.
Outside of blabbering on within the walls of this website, I’ve always found the swimming pool to be a good place to take stock of everything, a short time-slot during which I can focus on nothing but my baby. There are no purees to prepare, no highchairs to clean, no clothes to wash… just me, him and the water.
During today’s lesson at Swim Works, as well as thinking about my own progression into motherhood, I was able to look at his developments, notice how much he has learnt in such a short space of time and at just eight months old. Our lesson today was the second in a whole course, and focused on lots of new things – we sat on kick boards, we practiced holding on to a raft, did turning, kicking and reaching, and at the end even had a go at a little (teeny tiny weeny) unsupported ‘swim’ from instructor to parent. On a side note, despite each week being cleverly themed, jam-packed with new things to try and learn, it never feels overwhelming (I talked about this a lot in my blog last week).
As we left the pool this week, as the older babies waved goodbye, we brushed shoulders with proper new parents, those taking 8 week old babies to the next session. It’s not until you see real newborns again, do you realise that you’re not there anymore, your baby is completely different, soon to be a toddler, in fact. I suddenly remembered those very early swim experiences, before he started splashing, kicking, smiling, holding, listening, grabbing, responding… things that come so easily to him now. I had forgotten the days when these things weren’t the norm, the days when he would cry mid-swim for a bottle, the days when I stood on the other side of the door, looking-in at the big kids.
It all flew by and I didn’t even notice.
Today, watching my no-longer-a-newborn son now mastering so many new skills, made me realise that I had learnt so many new skills too. Babies are incredible, and so are their parents, who adjust so efficiently to brand new lives without even realising they’re doing so. Pregnancy, birth, breast and bottle feeding, sleeping, teething, weaning, swimming… not so long ago it was all completely uncharted territory and look at us now, less than a year later, having conquered it all.
Like our little ones in the water, we are all so amazingly adaptable, so responsive, so determined. Being part of a structured, progressive lesson, where I am able to observe both of our personal changes each week, will never let me forget this. It will always encourage me to celebrate how much we’ve both overcome.
The swimming lesson is never just about the swimming lesson. I wonder what I will learn next week.
Swimming lessons courtesy of and photography by Swim Works