The life of a Swim Parent is a complex one. We juggle real life responsibilities with making sure our swimmers get to every swim meet and have everything they need. Things don’t always go to plan and sometimes we aren’t perfect. Sometimes we mess up, but the truth is we all do. Here are 5 confessions of a swim parent:
1. Missing Out Happens
It’s hard to be present for everything – that’s just a fact. So sometimes we do miss out. When something crops up and we can’t make that meet, we feel guilty about it for weeks. Even when we’re present, we can sometimes miss out. For example, another swim parent wants to show us photos of their new puppy – All of a sudden, you just missed your child’s new personal best. It was a cute dog though.
But you know what? It happens! We may miss moments, but we are there for the journey which is what matters most!
2. The Endless Laundry… Isn’t Fun!
As much as we love the enjoyment our children get from swimming, we do not love the endless bundles of towels, suits and club tops that needs washing. Oh, and remember - that technical race suit you bought needs meticulous hand washing and care! Sometimes you get home and see the pile of swimming laundry re-appear the following day and you could give up! Yet we do it, again and again…
3. Over Our heads
As much as we have picked up the swimming lingo, there are times when it just doesn’t make sense. While the coach fires out technical advice and sets at a hundred miles per hour we sit there, we smile and nod. Inside though, we have no idea what he’s talking about. Even when our own swimmer’s come back from practice and recites a complicated warm up routine, we say “That sounds great!” or “That sounds tough!”. We’re learning, slowly, but sometimes we just won’t understand. And that’s okay.
4. The Food Shopping is ENDLESS
One of the things EVERY swim parent experience is the endless flood of food requests. As soon as we’ve stockpiled the cupboards, they seem to empty themselves within days. The endless routine of food shopping is draining – but it’s what our swimmers need to keep fuelled up! We’re practically on a first name basis with everyone in the grocery store and we’ve heard “Back again so soon?” plenty of times. Sometimes it grates us, but the fridge and your swimmer need filling!
5. We Love Swimming as Much as our Swimmers
Despite all of the stress, hassle and commotion having a swimmer can cause, every single second is worth it. To be a part of the journey of having a swimmer, watching them go through every success and reach their goals makes it all worthwhile. Sometimes we make mistakes, we aren’t the perfect swim parents and there are many parts of it we don’t enjoy…. but it’s still our favourite job in the world.