Sports classes for kids have become essential. I don’t know if it’s due to an increased level of awareness or if it is just a trend. However, as a mum of a 4-year-old girl, I was advised by my friends to let her practice swimming as it is known to be very beneficial for children at such a young age.

My little one is the kid who is really scared of swimming pools. She swims while holding me and her father firmly. She frequently  refuses to join us in the pool. So, thinking about enrolling her in a swimming class was impossible.  It was my goal to help her get rid of her phobia during summer vacation. And here came the challenge!

The judgment 

It was very difficult. She used to cry every time I asked her to swim with me and whenever she agreed, she would continue crying throughout the swim. The day would be ruined if any of the kids in the pool splashed her with water. When I gave up and let her be, she became – in my eyes – the only kid who was afraid of the pool, while others were swimming happily.

The moment of realization

A wave of emotions woke me up. An inner voice started asking me who the little girl standing by the shore refusing to swim is. Ironically, it was me! While blaming my daughter, I remembered how swimming wasn’t my thing during childhood and how I left at practice because I was too scared. Trying new things was always a bumpy road I wouldn’t choose to take and my comfort zone has always been my favorite spot. So, what was the point of asking my daughter about her fears when I knew the answer by heart?

This is not the story ending! It’s only the beginning.

Image source: Nada Khattab

The challenge

Approaching the big 30, I decided to attend a swimming class for adults. I searched for a nearby place that suited my working schedule as a mom and started a month ago. It’s an experience that not only taught me techniques and made me fitter, it also helped me realize why I refused to face new challenges at work.

Without saying a word, the positive vibes started transferring to my kid.

The inner child

I found out a lot about myself, like the fact that I feel bad when I’m not performing well which made me feel like a burden to the class even though I only just started.

I remembered a therapist’s opinion when I asked him why my daughter refused to go to the gymnastics class even though she does all the moves at home. The doctor told me that she might be comparing her performance to her peers. Moreover, it was funny how I felt defeated after one swimming class, and yet I was mad at my daughter for screaming after failing to place blocks together after her first trial.

An Open Letter to Rahet Bally Mamas

Here I go

It will never be easy to swim as my muscles were on pause for years. I was never the gym type of person; and ironically, I am concerned that my daughter would not become Rania Elwani! Sometimes I feel swimming backward is as intense as child labor.

However, I’m trying for the sake of my health, gaining new experiences, and understanding my daughter’s fear. Not the fear of swimming, but the fear of MAKING MISTAKES while learning new things and ACCEPTING YOURSELF!!

To be continued…

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