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Do you have fears in your life about you, or your children which hold you back, stop you doing the things which you would really love to do? I do which is why my recent experience showed me just how important it is to face those fears. Read on as I share my story…..
We have just spent a lovely weekend in the fun, relaxing place that is Center Parcs, Woburn Forest. Think trees, tranquility and squirrels running around and it will bring to mind a picture of calm serenity. Even the ‘sub tropical swimming paradise’ creates an image of sunshine, relaxation and calm.
Um, maybe not……
So yes, it is a beautiful environment with gorgeous surroundings but that entertains my children for all of 30 seconds! I remember our holiday to Canada a few years ago and we did a tour of the Rockies and myself and my husband were just drinking in the amazing scenery around us.
Unfortunately our boys were not so enamored, eventually responding with ‘not another view’ every time we stopped!
Hey ho, it was a holiday of a lifetime and an experience they haven’t forgotten even though my youngest was only 5 at the time.
So back to the tranquility of Center Parcs.
We entered this sub tropical swimming paradise which was just a cover for ‘indoor water park’. It truly was awesome, and a paradise for kids, big and little. Water slides, wave machines, water rapids, the list was endless. Everything apart from the opportunity to actually ‘swim’!
And the slides – well.
My husband commented that he did not know what kind of person would design slides like the ones they had here. They involved massive inflatables and serious speeds into the water.
Clare before children would have embraced it all, Clare after children has become more cautious. My boys, however love slides and seriously could not wait to start throwing themselves down these things.
At this point I had a choice. I could stay on the sidelines and watch, or I could grit my teeth, secure my bikini bottoms and throw myself, literally, into the fun.
My youngest, who is a little more cautious than my adrenalin seeking oldest guided me down the first slide, ‘it’s fast but it’s fun mummy’. Supported by my 8 year old (?) I braved the ‘typhoon’ and it was indeed, fun, and enjoyable and a laugh to go down with my boy rather than just watching him being regurgitated at the end.
Okay, big tick for mummy.
Then they upped the anti. ‘Come on try the Tornado’. This was a slide, for up to 4 people in an inflatable where I was ‘told’ you dropped down into a tunnel and then came through into the water at high speed. Still riding high on my achievement of managing the ‘Typhoon’ I bowed to the pressure that all three members of my family were bestowing on me and assumed the role of ‘brave mum’.
The queuing was the hardest part, or so I thought. Listening to the distant screams of grown adults as they disappeared into this deep, dark hole, I was flippin’ petrified. My boys had been on this numerous times the previous day, what on earth was I thinking letting them do that!
And then it was our turn, and no going back.
Words cannot describe the experience, neither can I repeat here the language which came out of my mouth! The big drop turned into a sideways sliding motion which lifted you almost up and over the tunnel several times and the water reduced any friction which meant it was MEGA fast.
You had to hold on otherwise you would be thrown out of your inflatable seat, it was how I would imagine being flushed down the toilet would feel like, with water being propelled at high speed down a hole as fast a possible. My screaming probably exceeded what was safe for any human to be subjected to, I was absolutely scared witless.
But I LOVED it!
When it ended, I was laughing so much my husband had to help me out of the boat, i was literally hysterical. the boys thought my reaction was so funny, and my oldest, who is sweary sensitive, didn’t even mention my language!
I can, hand on heart say that it was one of the most awesome things I have ever done.
Really? I hear you ask.
Yes because in those 10 minutes, I was not mummy sitting on the sidelines issuing directions and carrying the towels. I was the mum who had a go, who faced a fear and loved it, who overcame the ‘what if’ and just did it!
It will be an example which I will be using with my boys in the future when they are struggling to overcome something which scares them. I am still riding the wave of absolutely (and literally) letting go 3 days later, I feel great, just for one experience on the scariest flume ever!
So, my message today lovely mums is, how can you actually get more ‘involved’ in what your children are doing, what they are experiencing. I don’t mean standing on the sidelines and ‘supervising’ but actually doing it and remembering what it was like to be that kid again, screaming like you don’t care, free wheeling down the hill without worrying about crashing at the bottom. When we let go, we de-stress, we find the fun, we produce the happy hormones in our lives. Trust me, my sensible mum brain was telling me that going down a massive flume called tornado was the last thing I wanted to do, but the pride and excitement on my boys faces when I did it was an experience, and a feeling I will never forget.
Don’t forget that life is meant to be fun lovely mums.
Love Clare x