The boys have been attending swimming lessons since they were 5 months old. It’s part of our weekly routine now and we are used to it, but we shouldn’t take it for grant it. There are so many reasons to go swimming with toddlers, I can’t understand why most of my friends stopped.
Where to start… The obvious one, swimming is an essential life skill.
Compared to most activities is not too expensive.
It’s the only “sport” you can do before the age of 1. Better start them young!
It improves gross motor skills and built confidence. The first time B held on to the side wall by himself he looked like he just won the lottery!
And most importantly it tires them out, which implies a longer afternoon nap! Excellent to catch up on your housework or maximise on cuddle time on the couch.
Despite all these reasons, for us the original idea behind the swimming lessons was very different. We started the lessons in a time in which I was feeling very isolated. I was still on my maternity leave and I was home alone with the boys for hours and hours every day. Despite signing up for a thousand baby and mum courses, I still felt like nobody could relate to what I was going through except for a couple of other twins mums. On top of that, my husband and I only had one type of conversation “at what time does my shift start?”. T was still not sleeping through the night, in fact he was waking up every couple of hours. We were tired, stressed and occasionally desperate. We needed something to do together. Something to do as a family. After all we were starting to believe we made a mistake and we didn’t really want a family anymore. It wasn’t how we pictured it (it never is) and we couldn’t see when or even if we would ever be that nice little family we dreamt of. Swimming came along as a desperate way to force the four of us to do something together every week. And it worked!
We love swimming now and we wouldn’t miss it for anything in the world. It gave us a chance to see how our unit of four could work. Although it was only for 30 minutes a week. Those were 30 minutes without nappies, feeding, screaming and moaning. It was a small window into the future.
Now that we reached that future. Now that we are a nice little family. Now that we can finally sleep. Now that our conversations are back to normal… Now I can finally write about this.
And like Dory said in Finding Nemo… just keep swimming!