Thursday 19 January 2017

PARENTING: Pushing outside of your comfort zone

Recently I did something that I never really thought I'd do - I went swimming with Isabella. Now, that may not sound like a lot, but for someone who has never been completely happy with how they look it was a pretty big step. For months now I've watched Isabella and my husband go swimming together, they always look like they're having so much fun and there's me watching from the outside. Every time they go swimming I sit there convincing myself I'll go the next time, but do I? No.

After our car crash I started to take a different approach to life, in many ways my anxiety has got a lot worse, but in other ways I've gained a 'I don't care what other people think' attitude. Life really is too short to sit on the side lines wishing and wanting to get involved. What was I really scared about when it came to swimming? Everyone staring at my body? People laughing at me? Slipping over in front of a pool full of people? Getting my body out? Really? When it comes down to it do I really care what a whole bunch of completely random people think about my body? Not really, at least that's what I want to believe. I would never see these people again, so what does it matter if they think my legs are a bit chubby or that I'm covered in stretch marks?

It doesn't, does it? I have missed out on so many happy memories with my daughter, all thanks to my fear of what other people think of me. That saddens me massively; I want Isabella to grow up confident of who she is and the body she has, so I need to model that. Yes I could lose weight and yes I could tone up, but in the grand scheme of things these are not things to stop me enjoying my daughter's childhood.

I don't care anymore. I don't care what other people think about my body. That's their problem, not mine. But in reality aren't most of us just getting on with our own lives? Enjoying time with our children and not really concentrating on what others look like around us. Especially not to the point of judging. As I looked around the children's splash pool today I was comforted to see such a wide range of both women and men, all enjoying time with their care free children. I didn't see anyone laughing at anyone else's body or looking someone up and down in disgust. I saw smiles, happy moments and most of all excited children. Excited to be splashing around, sliding down the pirate ship slide, having a bucket of water poured over their heads, playing in the bubbles, climbing on the crocodile and having their parents there with them too. Aren't these the reasons to ignore your own worries about your body and start living in the moment? I suddenly realised today that they are. They're the important things in life, do I want Isabella to remember me being sat on the side or do I want her to remember me being there with her, in the moment?

I feel silly for wasting so many months, but if I needed that time to get used to the idea then that's ok. I now have the rest of my life to enjoy swimming with Isabella, no more time wasted or memories from afar.

Has parenting ever helped you push outside of your comfort zone?

Feel free to leave a comment :)

Helen x


  1. I can totally relate. I started taking Jenson for weekly swimming lessons when he was about three months old and I've always been super self conscious about how I look. Fortunately it's a specialist pool and we only swim with a few other mums, so not many people see me. I'm most self conscious when we get out of the pool and the next group of mums are waiting to get in and I always rush to one of the enclosed cubicles. We've only been swimming as a family once and that was in a public pool. I felt a lot more self conscious but I eventually realised that nobody gives a shit and I forgot about it after I'd been in the water a while.

    1. It is empowering when it finally dawns that people aren't judging and are probably just getting on with their own life! Happy swimming :)

      Helen x

  2. Good for you and I think you are spot on when you say that in reality most of us are just busy getting on with our lives. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

  3. Good for you! I think a lot of people are still harbouring fear of the sort of judgement you get in high school changing rooms but, as you say, when you're surrounded by a bunch of people who're there to have fun, nobody's looking at you (unless they're noticing how cute your kid is). I'm so conscious of not wanting M to grow up thinking her body is something to be ashamed of (*nods at recent blog post*) and one way I can do that is to never show shame about my own.


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