I grew up as a competitive swimmer. To say that swimming is a repetitive and sometimes monotonous sport is an understatement. When you swim for up to 4 hours a day, you have a lot of time to yourself. Even when you share a lane with 5 other people, it’s not like you can talk to each other during the workout. I think swimming suited my introverted nature well and, as weird as this sounds, I think it prepared me to be a mom.
All the moms that I know are busy people, but I have a theory that most of us only do a few tasks. We’re busy because repeat those tasks over and over and over. It reminds me of swimming laps in a pool….
There were a lot of times (and I mean a lot) that I didn’t feel like going to swim practice either, but I made myself do it. Likewise, sometimes I really don’t feel like cutting a hot dog into 32 pieces, but I do it. I get a little tired of changing diapers after I’ve done it a dozen times in a day, and I remember getting tired of counting to 200 yards after I’d done that a dozen times in one practice, too. I guess they call that discipline and I learned it from swimming.
I don’t mind being alone, either, which is helpful when I spend all day with 2 babies who can’t exactly carry a conversation yet. That okay though, I learned at a young age how to be alone with nothing but bubbles and my thoughts. I seriously can go days without seeing anyone besides the twins and my husband. I wonder if that’s normal?
One of the most useful skills I transferred from swimming to child rearing is hands-free nose plugging. I smell a lot of smells in a day and it’s nice to be able to turn off my nose and still have both hands available. Also, like waking up for morning practice, I rarely sleep in. I don’t even think I know how to sleep past 6:30 anymore.
I think I like being a mom a lot more than I liked being a swimmer, though. There’s generally more giggling when I’m hanging out with my twins than when I used to do a timed mile. Motherhood also doesn’t turn your hair green. I’ve heard that knowing how to swim is a “life skill” but now I know that swimming also teaches mom skills. 😉