Featured, Parenting
Comments 4

Swimming Lessons? Not for me.

We are learning to swim. Not me, my daughters.

They had their first ever swimming lessons yesterday… Hooray!

Excited and dressed up in their uncomfortable swimming gear. And, on their heads, painful constricted swimming caps, I drove them to their very first swimming class somewhere in Surrey.

I am so thrilled that my girls are now finally enrolled with experts. Experts that can teach them different techniques like backstroke, front crawl, butterfly, breaststroke, etc., etc.

Why is she so thrilled about swimming lessons, you may wonder.

For me, it’s the process of getting to this point that makes me happy. You see, for over a year, the word “swim” or the phrase swimming lessons have caused a lot of  husband and wife disagreements in my home. My husband J and I just couldn’t agree on how we should get our daughters swimming.

Declaration time. I do not swim.

I have always wanted to embrace swimming, but swimming has always shied away from me. In the past, I have forked out good money for swimming coaches to help. They have been unable to do this. They offer no explanations for their failure in teaching me the art of aqua body movements.

I have my explanation.

Hefty bones.

I have hefty bones. My bones are too heavy to float in water. I sink. I may be wrong but what other explanation is there? By the way, I am not portly. In fact, I have solid and lean muscles covering my skeletal system.

If you are of African descent and you are a paddler, your advice is greatly needed.

After that declaration, I better tell you why J and I did not see eye to eye on the best way to get our daughters swimming.

J, who is not a swimming teacher, felt it was his burden as a dad to get our daughters swimming. His own father got him swimming. This type of parenting, I call automatic parenting. This is when you impose on your family what your parents imposed on you.

As an obeying wife, not!.  I agreed to J’s proposal. Did his proposal work? Since I do not want a divorce yet, I’ll let you answer my question.

After the first swimming lessons yesterday, I have concluded; my daughters have not inherited my hefty bones. They had better not for their own sakes.

Many have advised me that the skill of swimming is necessary in the western world. Not that we live by a river nor do I plan to throw a swimming party but I am not a careless mother; I have agreed to go with what the western world advises.

Hopefully one day, when they are able swimmers, they may just coach their mother.

And as for my husband, I hope he has now made peace that automatic parenting was not the best way to give our darling girls their swimming skills.

Thank you J for losing this battle.

This entry was posted in: Featured, Parenting


At 23, I left Nigeria where I was born and moved to England.In England, I got my Law degree and married John. I like things to be tidy and organised but as a working mum with young daughters, that is hard to achieve. But thanks to John, I have coped so far. If you'd to know more, it's all on my about page.


  1. That you can’t swim does not mean you can’t have fun in the pool, I get into my swimsuit and mess along with my children in the pool, and other children for that matter whilst their mothers will be lounging in clourful agbada and Senegalese lace dresses by the pool side consuming suya, adding more weight and looking at me with envy.


  2. Uhmn… ‘Water no get enemy’ goes Fela Kuti. Congratulations on getting the girls to the pool –
    The first time I ever stepped in a pool, I thought I’d drown, it was the longest 14 weeks lesson ever – I came out thinking I did not learn a thing as I could not even float because all the fear in the head weighed me down.
    Then I read about stereotypes of black women and swimming – our hair excuse and statistics about drowning of blacks especially in the States and news in many areas in Nigeria – well that did it for me.

    So after 13 years from the first lesson, I enrolled again for lesson with mindset that I can do this but it will take a long time, I had thought I’ll be the only adult but I was wrong.

    I wouldn’t be in Rio in 2018 competing 🙂 but can now comfortably swim lanes. Takes time. Mr J was right, swimming is a life saving skill.


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