Finding My New Family Friendly Career My Baba 26 March, 2018 Living, Mum, Parenting, Work It’s not unusual for parents to consider a change of career at the end of maternity leave, a job that ideally fits around childcare. The idea of a career centred around working with children is appealing not only because of the rewards it involves but also the working hours available. Aquatots have been swimming babies in the South East for over 20 years, and are proud to be one of the companies that can provide mums with a healthy work/mum balance. Aquatots teacher Laura explains first hand why she became a swimming teacher and exactly what that involved. “Maternity leave with my second child was approaching its end and an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach would come over me every time I thought about going back to work. This time it wasn’t because I felt guilty about leaving my children – even though that was still a factor; it was because I was returning to a job of long unsociable hours. My partner and I would work from one end of the day to the other between us and we barely saw one another. Neither of us wanted that life anymore. We had already decided that our youngest would be our last child, so I needed a new challenge, something flexible but also something fulfilling and rewarding. Like most mums I did not want a full time job which meant relying on grandparents and childcare for the majority of the week, I was looking for something to fit around the children. I remember searching every avenue for a part time job – a job that interested me and that ultimately suited family life. There was always one activity I loved to do and I looked forward to it every week, and that was taking my son to his Aquatots swimming lesson. It was thirty minutes of time spent bonding with him, and daily life was forgotten for those thirty minutes. I loved it, and I looked forward to it every week. As much as I enjoyed the lessons I also felt really passionate about my son learning the skill of swimming and water safety from an early age, just like my daughter had before. I found out Aquatots were looking for new swimming teachers in the area and once I had researched this further and realised this wasn’t a franchise option where I would have huge outlay to start, I was determined this would be the new career for me. The training course was intense, it got my baby brain working again, but it was so much fun. There is some classroom sessions spread out conveniently across either weekdays or weekends, with even some completed from the comfort of home via web link, and also pool sessions once a week across a full Aquatots swimming term. During these sessions I would be in the pool for three to four hours watching and assisting various levels of baby swimming classes with my Teacher Development Trainer (TDT). The time would pass so quickly, I would get totally absorbed in the lessons! Each week I would need to prepare and present skills to each of the classes and my TDT would give feedback on how it went and what areas to focus on for the next week, with a view to taking my exam at the end of term. Most of the time you don’t feel as though you are training as it’s such a pleasure to be in the pool and see how the babies take to the water so naturally, and during that time you build up such lovely friendships with the parents. After my training term and final exams I was ready to teach my own classes on days that suited my family life with a mixture of some weekday and weekend work. My Teacher Development Trainer and mentor were there every step of the way and were so supportive. I made friends for life with my fellow trainees and the support we gave each other was what really made me feel this was all definitely worth it! Now I am proud to say that I am a qualified Aquatots Teacher and I’ve since taken on advanced training to become a toddler and older child teacher along with Aquanatal sessions. My days are varied and never boring, I love every moment of what I do! My children and my husband enjoy having me at home more often too, although perhaps getting a bit bored of my talking about Aquatots all the time as I am so passionate about it! It’s the best decision I ever made and couldn’t recommend highly enough. If you have a love of swimming and think this might be the career for you, take a look at the information on the Aquatots website and get in touch. You won’t regret it!