My Pool Rules

Growing up we had a pool. It was fun. Summers were a blast. My house was inviting and my friends would hang out and spend all day with us. I never gave much thought about how being a pool owner would be as an adult.

It’s not the same.

With 4 young boys ranging in age from alomost 2 to almost 10 the pool is frankly a pain in the ass.Yes, you heard me right. Sure I love to hang out and relax under an umbrella, but how can you do that with kids and without help?

Now that the days are growing warmer, my kids are asking to swim more often and while I would love to induldge their requests, I have to admit, it’s stressful managing 4 kids by a pool. With hubby most often working or travelling, I’m solo and 4 boys at a pool is like corraling cats.

There’s so much to consider when at the pool. Drowning is said to be the #2 cause of death for children. Just a couple of minutes not paying attention can be fatal. It’s easy to assume the older kids have a better grasp of their abilities than they may actually have, but that’s just asking for trouble…you never know what can happen.

My approach has been to try to wait until the little guys are napping, then go in the pool with the bigger two. Sometimes I have no choice – it’s too hot – nobody wanted to nap – then I’m stuck with 4 crazy kids with energy to spend. These are days I try to wear them out and put them to bed early.

Another pool-related issue that causes me stress is inviting friends of the boys. I’m not really a fan of this. It’s been my policy that kid pool guests are required to be accompanied by an adult. Pain in the butt for the kid’s parents – less stressful for me. This has resulted in canceled playdates because a parent was not available. Sound tough? Here’s why: I really don’t want to be responsible for other people’s children. God forbid if anything happened that resulted in injury or worse. Everyone parents their children differently. While I make sure and explain my pool rules (no diving in shallow water, no jumping in the spa, no running, no pushing, and respect one another)…I’ve watched kids (mine included) ignore my rules. I’ve had to yell at someone else’s child to convey the severity of a message (while the parents were present) – and they still didn’t listen – so for me it’s just better to make sure their parent knows the rules and is with the child. If not – find another pool.