I have pool phobia

Not for myself, anyway. Well, unless it’s too deep.

It’s summer in Dubai, actually summer-ish here all year long but the time has come when finally, you would want to spend your body soaked in cool water for hours when you’re outside. Going to the pool is a fad, an addiction, a want!

My seven year old daughter Pristine loves to be in the water. She longs for the pool. She tugs my skirt on the weekends. I cringe. I don’t like going to the pool – not because I am not bikini worthy, or I hate the water with pee and chlorine in it. I don’t even mind the sun’s rays that pierce my skin like a thousand needles at this time of the year.

I’ve had my bouts about paranoia with regards to my child’s life but when I am at the pool? I morph into that ultra-paranoid, intense mother type.  I jump in with one and only mission – keep my child alive at the end of the day!

No one should ever take a photo of me while in the pool because I pass beyond that nervous wreck distorted face. Besides, I don’t have time to look at the camera because it will take my eyes off my child, remember? I freak out when the husband is there because like normal people, he feels like wanting to have the time of his life while on the pool. He talks. He laughs and he distances himself from the child that if ever she topples over, there is no way she’ll gonna be able to stand for at least 5 seconds.

And five seconds is too long.

I see mothers at the pool side chatting with other mothers; flipping gossip magazines and even worse, reading lengthy novels. How is that even possible!?

Whenever she asks for the pool, I secretly pray for thunderstorms and rain so we could not go but hey, this is Dubai where the sun shines 330 days a year so you see, I’m in constant fear. And it doesn’t help that we have a friend who’s son drowned and survived and now has to spend all his life in a wheel chair, can’t talk, walk or even look you straight in the eyes.

There I said it. I HATE the pool.

I don’t really mind if no one gets me or if you scream to my face “Crazy Lady” – if that would mean I could keep my daughter warm and alive in my arms everyday, I don’t really care.

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19 thoughts on “I have pool phobia

  1. well…. you are a normal mother and thats not a problem it is grate you take responsability on your child
    i write about nlp it could help you to reduce the phobia it doesnt mean you will stop worrying but it may help you to be more calm while you are keeping an eye on her!


  2. I understand this. Actually my younger daughter fell into the deep end and I dove in and saved her life. All I could see were red curls floating on the water. Terrible. Yes, I understand your anxiety!


  3. (Hey Grace, do you think you could change the font colour? or put a background behind it? It’s really hard to read! Thanks)

    The pool is something I’m not really used to…we “swim” in the ocean in the summer, but I don’t like going in past my waist since I want to be on the lookout for crabs and jelly fish. So I just bob in the water lol
    There are so many instances in the news where children drown at the public pool on a family outing or party. BUT the main problem here is that the children in question can’t really swim, and they’re mindless (mostly immigrants from countries who don’t learn how to swim) parents don’t pay attention or think someone else will watch them!
    Anyway enough with my rant…I’m going to enjoy the 32C
    weather today in Ottawa…if that’s even possible without a backyard pool…


    • Do you have a hard time reading even if the page loads completely? The background color is just white in my blog posts…I am using Firefox.

      32C in Ottawa!! I can’t imagine the great white north can reach that temp in summer! Enjoy your warm days!


  4. you’re not a crazy lady, I’m a bit like you who’s just scared to take my eyes away from my son while my husband is the opposite.

    *after clicking the comment link the background color of the post is dark brown that’s why its hard to read.


  5. No you are not crazy. In fact you are reading my mind. I’ve been reading recently about the child pool deaths in the UAE. My son hasn’t even gone near a pool yet and I’m already paranoid about it. I think to myself “okay if we go to the pool, I won’t take my eyes off him.” I’m amazed at these stories where the mom or dad left the kid to go do something and came back to find them drowned.

    On another note, I’m also having a hard time reading your blog now with the brown background and gray letters.


    • Thanks for letting me know about my blog theme being an eyesore…was it always like that? Because it loads fine at my end.I’ll check why…:-(

      About the child pool deaths – yes it is very, very much on the news here and it makes me feel very angry at the parents. Children are practically mindless when at play in the water. Negligence can cause avoidable accidents.

      If parents want to enjoy the sun and the pool, don’t take children with you, as simple as that. If children are present, don’t ever take your eyes off them no matter how adept they are with swimming!


  6. I don’t think you are crazy at all. When I used to take my kids to the pool I would get in there with them and stay right next to them just to be sure they were ok.
    I don’t know how moms can ignore thier kids when they are at the pool, even now when I go and I don’t have any kids of my own, I still find myself watching all the other kids to make sure everyone is alright.
    It’s because you have a heart as big as the whole world.


  7. Hmmm, Grace, I can understand, but this doesn’t sound healthy.
    I don’t think you should read while you’re supposed to be watching children, but I think your level of fear isn’t good for you. As you mention in another comment, she’s had swimming lessons. Do you still have her signed up for them? At her age you can never do them too many times.
    And perhaps if the instructors teach them about pool safety she will listen rather than to the “mom”. 🙂
    Good luck!


  8. You are definitely a normal mother with normal fears Grace-Personally, I think fear is part of what keeps us all on our toes; especially your kind of motherly-instinct fear.

    This is another instance where education and awareness need to come in to play-Education and awareness on how many accidents there are with kids and the water, and teaching children how to swim when they are ready to learn.


  9. Hey Grace, totally understand your dilema.
    swimming lessons and while your at it allow her to do a course in water safety.
    at 2 years old my son decided he was going to be a swimmer and dove into a friends pool before I could catch him. He’s 9 yrs now and has taught himself to swim.
    so yeah i do understand what you go through.
    continue her swimming lessons, then you need to get to a point where you can throw paranoia out the window and trust her and her new abilities.
    Good luck


    • P has swimming lessons in school once a week for 4 months a year. She’s just a beginner and I don’t trust her swimming skills at all – YET.

      But any how, just because a 7 year old knows how to swim, it isn’t the reason to lounge by the pool side and read books or talk like you are alone. It’s different if with children. A few seconds of negligence can cause avoidable deaths!


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