Hell Camp: Day Four

I am nothing if not dramatic. I am prone to overreacting, I am prone to thinking the worst when things are bad but equally when things are good they are over the top fantabulously good. This is not the best trait to have when parenting. I think a level headed, calm, patient parent is probably the best kind of parent and one that I am not. When we are deep in the throes of a bad sleeping phase I tend to go for the “this is bullshit and has been going on forever” when in reality, it’s probably more like 2 weeks or sometimes even just 4 days. Whatever.

After Monday’s class I was ready to throw the towel in {pardon the pun}. I was ready to take my baby away from something she didn’t want to do, and clearly hated, and not worry about the fact that she couldn’t swim. But I didn’t. I lamented over it for 24 hours making myself sick with anticipation about it. I talked about it to Daisy every 3 or 4 minutes for 24 hours explaining to her over and over what happens in class, why we were doing it, praising and encouraging her and pretending everything was OK. Day two saw pretty much the same as day one except the fact that she made it through the class, Day three tears but not long lasting, Day four no tears and wait for it….excitement. She is nailing it. Slowly sure, but nonetheless progress is being made and that tight ball of stress and worry is turning into a confident, happy kid enjoying themselves. Funny that.

Each day I have relaxed a little more, enjoyed myself a little more, and signed us on for a consistent program next term. Like I should could have done years ago. What’s it matter, we are doing it now, it’s getting done. Like all parts of parenting that suck the big one – breast feeding, teething, bottle feeding, controlled crying, bad eczema, tantrums, head banging, night terrors – you grit your teeth, take a few breaths and get on with it because there is nothing else to do. And what do you know? It gets better. Every single freaking time. It just does. And it passes. And somehow we always seem to forget about it until, sure as sunrise, something elseΒ comes along straight after to replace it. And the ride begins all over again.

No wonder parents are so exhausted all the time.

P.S Don’t you love the clematis vines all over my house? For a few weeks a year it gets covered in beautiful pink flowers that take my breath away each and every time I step outside. How lucky we are!


  1. It is bloody exhausting isn’t it? I am the exact same type as you. I long for endless patience and a quiet sort of ‘weathering’ approach, but instead I am all ‘why mes’ and ‘this is the worst thing evers’ and I just make it so much harder on myself.

    Stoic. That’s the kind of parent I want to be. A stoic one.

    Good for you for sticking it out so beautifully. Oh, and ho ho, of course good for Daisy too πŸ˜‰


  2. So glad it’s getting better, well done you for sticking with it when it would have been a lot easier to put it in the too hard basket.

    And your vines are beautiful, as always. Do they smell pretty too?

  3. Oh Beth, I am so pleased to read this. I have been thinking of you every day, counting them down with you. Bravo for sticking it out. And well done, Daisy girl.

    We are yet to face this hurdle with the pixies. After so many ENT troubles, operations and needing to wear ear plugs when in the pool, Joshie and India are very scared about swimming lessons. But we must persist. As you have, you little beauty! J x

  4. Great work Mama and Daisy. She is a smart tot, I think a degree of apprehension is a good thing anyway. She’s worked out her surroundings, knows her limits and now she’ll just thrive. And your vine, WOWZERS, straight out of Home Beautiful that shot lady. It is certainly breathtaking. Lucky ducks indeed :o) xo

  5. Good on, Daise. Good on you.
    We’ve yo-yo’d on the whole swimming thing many times. I stuck out a year of lessons and got nowhere. I’m taking a deep breath and trying again this term. Wish me luck.

    So agree with what you’ve said. I keep asking myself what I’m doing back here with a newborn. Why am I going through all this stuff again??!! But you know what? I’m actually enjoying it a little more, cause I know it won’t last. Also, I don’t really have the time to stew on it!

    That vine is divine! x

  6. I am late to your “Hell Camp” posts.

    But I am glad you have stuck with it.

    I am volunteering at school swimming lessons all this week (across junior primary – 5-8 year olds…) and the difference in the kids between Monday and today was remarkable. Amazing.

    (Fecking exhausting for all, but remarkable…)

    All these life skills – swimming, bike riding, shoelacing, telling of time…learning (and helping to learn and watching them learn)…excrutiating, boring as batshit, but kinda necessary?

  7. I had a feeling everything would be ok, nice work Mum (and Daisy!).

    Being a parent is bloody hard. I’m yet to discover exactly how hard… because I’m already in struggletown with only one 8 month old! And something tells me it doesn’t get any easier…

  8. I’m so glad I’m not the only person who lives by extremes, my good is also fantabulous, & my bad is he’ll on earth. Oh … & everyone needs to know about it too! πŸ™‚

    Congratulations daisy, you little go-getter you!

    And good on you!

    And the vines. Beautiful. Like everything else πŸ™‚

  9. *sigh*
    thank goodness things have improved.

  10. Oh I do the opposite – I’m all: “OK, well let’s just keep going, everything is ok, everything is fine” and then when it’s all better I look back and think: “Oh that was CRAP!!! Why did that happen to ME!”
    I think I’d rather just be miserable in the moment!
    Good on Daisy (I love writing her name for obvious reasons) and good on you for sticking with it!!! She’s already a champion!

  11. Imagine how boring your blog would be if you were a calm, roll with the punches type of person. Your readers love to ride the roller coaster with you. It is much more fun!

  12. You are a wonderful mom and they will appreciate it some day!! In the mean time we enjoy sharing in your angst πŸ™‚

  13. I’m a bit of an angsty drama queen too. And then when you come through the other side, you wonder what the heck all that worry was for and swear you’ll just roll with it next time.

    And then you don’t.

  14. Yeah. Reactive parenting, I believe the smarty pants call it.
    That’s how I do it, too.
    Not by choice – just by crappy, impatient, obsessive nature.
    Good on you for sticking with the torture, anguish and pain!!

  15. Yay for Daisy and for you!
    Its a battle sometimes that’s for sure
    The clematis is gorgeous though – ours is just coming out too and I love it

  16. I am glad that Daisy (and you) are relaxing about swimming. I know how you feel. The tears (mostly mine) to begin are really draining. Have a fun second week of school holidays.
    The clematis look beautiful. Have a great week-end.

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