Facing my fears

Facing my fears – water

When my son was born I was determined that he would not be afraid of water ……

I have been afraid of water for as long as I can remember, not in all forms I must add.  I can actually drink a glass of water and have a bath, but I have issues!!

Before I was 26 I couldn’t swim, having a shower was a total trauma if the shower head was fixed, froze halfway across some stepping-stones which crossed the shallowest stream in the Lake District you have ever seen, was petrified of boat trips on exotic foreign holidays and on and on the list went – I drove my ex-husband mad on many occasions with my total dread of H2O.  I did however manage an undersea walk in Mauritius, to this day I have absolutely no idea how I did it – I have never been so scared in all my life. Facing my fears – water!

When I was 26, as part of a personal development course at work I learnt to swim and got my 10-metre certificate – you have no idea what an achievement that was, especially as I had to sit on the bottom of the swimming pool!  It is still one of my most treasured possessions.  I wanted to be able to snorkel in the Maldives later that year, sadly I didn’t manage that – a bit like learning to drive – too many things to think of at once – lol.

I still don’t like standing under a shower and would really struggle to put my face in the water, but we’ve made progress.  However, when my son was born, it had been a number of years since I’d been in any sort of swimming pool so a lot of the anxieties had returned.

I really didn’t want my son to have any of my fears and wanted him to enjoy swimming as he grew up.  He was a big baby so I was very concerned about being in the pool with him and keeping him safe, as well as myself.  One of my NCT Mum’s was so brilliant with me and my ‘issues’, (she’s a pediatric physiotherapist and is used to being in a pool with young children) she came along to our local pool with us and her son and spent time with us; giving me the skills to be confident in the water with my son as a starting point.  I owe her a lot 🙂

Once I realised I could actually be in a toddler pool without either of us drowning in minutes, and saw how much my son LOVED the water I decided to take the metaphoric plunge and sign us up for baby/toddler swimming lessons.

We started this time last year, although my son loved the water he wasn’t so keen on a structure to our water play to start with, and tried to strangle me for most of the first few lessons.  But we stuck with it, I’m as stubborn as they come!  Slowly, it all started to come together and he was doing really well.  I had to explain to the teachers that my son might be able to blow bubbles in the water but I’m NEVER going to be able to!  But they have been fantastic at helping both of us on our journey.

Sadly, at the end of last year, there was a large maintenance issue with the toddler pool, which is still not resolved as I type so he’s had no lessons since.  That was until this week…..

All this week we are having half-hour lessons in the ‘big pool’.  I was full of dread on Tuesday morning, getting in an adult swimming pool by myself would be a task, getting in with my son was on a whole different level.  Luckily the teacher knew both of us, and as it happened we were the only ones who signed up for the course – so one on one lesson, which gave both of us the chance to get used to our new environment.

Day 2 – I wouldn’t say I love water, but I’m dealing with it and my son is doing so well, and is so confident in the water – he puts me to shame 🙂


21 thoughts on “Facing my fears – water

  1. You are so brave! Well done. I have the same fear of water, and my greatest achievement was snorkelling on holiday, even if it took 4 hours just to put my face in standing on the shore! I had the same thoughts when the boy was born and made myself go to those baby swim classes, the ones where you dunk the baby under! Very freaky, but so worth it now, he swims like a fish and has no fear at all. He just cant understand why Mummy doesn’t like swimming, and why I wont go under water!! Keep going it will pay off, and its great to see them loving time in the water!

    1. Well done you on the snorkelling, major achievement – I do regret not being able to do that! I’m so pleased that he just seems to love it. If my husband was ever around in the evenings properly I would sign up for adult lessons again, I’d love to enjoy it with him, especially when he can really go for it. Small steps :0) Nice to know someone who understands my weirdness – husband number 2 doesn’t get it any more than number 1 did!

  2. Great stuff – sounds as though you’ve faced your fear so directly that it’s left no imprint on Monkey. That’s impressive!

  3. Well done you! I know how you feel, I am petrified of water, well big expanses of the stuff anyway. When I was younger I started floating out to sea on a rubber ring and, not being a strong swimmer, I just sat there screaming until my Dad thankfully managed to reach me. I hate going on boats, flying over large expanses of water, even bridges scared me! I have had to travel across the Humber Bridge now numerous times over the last few years and am getting more used to it now. Swimming is not too much of a problem in pools and I really want to teach my children to swim, I would hate to pass on my fear of water to them so I think it is great you are facing your fear for the sake of your son. Keep up the good work and I hope you continue to face your fear head on! 🙂

  4. How fantastic you are, even through your own fears you are helping him! I used to love the water and even sailed the sea in a yacht to Holland but now i am scared strange isnt it!

    1. Wow sailing a yacht, not a chance in **** of me ever doing that! I do think as you get older your fears seem to intensify, or perhaps you are just aware of your own mortality!

  5. Well done! I think once you have kids there are things that you just have to do, whether you want to or not – with me it’s to sit still (or at least try…) when there’s a wasp around and to not pass out when they have their imms (or worse, blood taken). We’re all much stronger when it’s for our kids – but water is a really big deal and I’m so impressed with you for taking swim classes with your son – just fantastic! #PoCoLo

  6. What a fantastic post and well done you for getting in the water. That’s an amazing achievement. It’s funny how we change things so our children (or child in my case!) don’t experience the same as us. POD loved the water as a baby but we had a years break and she’s now petrified of it, except in the bath, so we have some work to do.

  7. Good for you! Kids often take me way out of my comfort zone. I want to admit that I’m finding certain things hard, so that they’ll see it’s good to push yourself to face important stuff. Hope your confidence increases each time you’re in the pool. Good luck!

  8. Absolutely and utterly well done to you :)) getting over a phobia is one of the hardest things EVER! But it is amazing what strength we find in our children to get us there. Thank you so much for linking this post to PoCoLo and for all your valued support xx

  9. Wow, what determination! I’m not mad keen on swimming myself and I’m afraid to say I have only ever taken my son once – he is now 2 1/2… Perhaps I should take a leaf out of your book, find a supportive friend and try again.

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