Mum says swimming improved work-life balance and her relationship with her son

Mum, Charlotte Power-Mcleod, says swimming has been crucial in helping her build a stronger bond with her son.

Since returning to work full-time, Charlotte says ‘it’s easy to feel guilty as a parent’ but being in the water with her little one has supported her in managing her work-life balance.

Swimming is the best activity for making pre-school age children happy and creating special bonding moments with their parents, according to a new study.

The research is part of the latest #LoveSwimming campaign and revealed toddlers being active in the water with their parents or guardians can lead to them enjoying better sleep and improved movement.

It also stated that 79 per cent of mums specifically felt swimming helps alleviate the guilt they feel about being a busy parent.

Charlotte, who relates strongly to this dynamic, said: “I work full-time but the 25 minutes I have every week, even though it’s a relatively short time, it’s the best time of my week where I can be together with my child. It’s just me and him where the phone isn’t ringing.

“It’s easy to feel guilty as a parent. I’ve worked full-time since he was six months old. That’s why I love the swimming school with him and from such an early age.

“We started going when he was just 12 weeks, and we incorporate what we have learnt into our swim time together outside of the lessons, I’ll try and do a fun swim element as well.”

As part of the #LoveSwimming campaign, the aquatics sector has united to highlight how according to parents themselves, swimming with their little one ranks as one of the best activities for boosting happiness and bringing children and parents closer together.

The findings show that swimming not only boosts the physical and psychological development of children but parents have also noticed many other benefits.

Nine in 10 agreed it has helped to develop their child’s movement and co-ordination skills, with four out of five pre-school parents say that swimming helps their child sleep better.

Charlotte added: “The difference swimming has made to our lives is so obvious to me. Anyone who can make that time should do it – for all the benefits I’ve seen, I would recommend it to anyone.

“Obviously the exercise element it brings is so important but also the learning and being in the pool together. Just enjoying bonding as mother and son. I really want him to love the water as much as I do so that we can also swim as a family.”

A total of 96 per cent of pre-school parents also agreed swimming is what makes their child happy.

Swim England and 10 leading operators are working together to urge more parents to consider the benefits of swimming with their children.

After a successful Commonwealth Games for the nation’s swimmers, Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson emphasised the value of swimming at a recreational level and to the nation’s health and wellbeing.

Jane said: “This new research is the first to explore the benefits of swimming for toddler age children and their parents, and supports what we know already regarding swimming’s invaluable contribution to the health and wellbeing of the nation.

“Swimming saves the UK health and social care system more than £357 million a year and clearly its’ benefits are felt by both parents and their children.

“Owing to our new research, parents report that their child’s sleep habits, happiness, mental wellbeing and confidence are all improved by swimming.

“But not only does regular swimming support children in their broader development and provide them with an essential life skill, we now know how much parents value that bonding time spent with their child in the water, and how much of a positive impact this has on their happiness levels.

“I would urge any parent to make the most of time with your children, and prioritise quality time together – swimming is one of the best activities you can do as a family that makes you happier and healthier together.”

To sign up to adult and toddler sessions at your local pool, visit