A few months ago, I started taking my kids to the ice skating rink to watch the hockey players and figure skaters. Ever since we've been going to the ice rink as spectators, my son has been asking when he can try ice skating. He just turned 5, so I told him I would take him as a special day out with Mom.
So, we got all bundled up and were really excited to go. My husband and my little guy came to watch too. Then, as soon as I put on those uncomfortable skates, I remembered why I am so much more enthusiastic about watching skating vs. actually participating in it.
Here are the 10 reasons Why I Think Ice Skating with a Preschooler is like Childbirth:
1) The pushing and the moaning
As I was putting on my son's skates, the similarities to childbirth began. I kept saying "Push, Push" as I was trying to get his little feet into the too narrow skates. I looked up at him and realized he was grunting and groaning as he tried to push as hard as he could. Then... Woohoo! We did it... both skates were on his feet.
2) Other people make it look so effortless
Sometimes, you see these women on TV giving birth in a tub of warm water and the baby just seems to pop right out. Their birth experiences seem as graceful as a figure skater beautifully gliding across the ice. They look so calm and relaxed. But, in reality... things can be a lot tougher than they look.
3) You do it for the love of a child
Before I went ice skating with my son, I knew my feet were going to hurt and it was going to be tough. But, I did it for him, and I'm so glad I did. I think most women know when they get pregnant that pregnancy, labor and delivery can be difficult, but we will endure the pain because we know the joy of a child is worth every second of it.
4) No matter how you try to get comfortable, you can't
When we first got on the ice, I was holding my son's hand and trying to teach him how to move his feet. He is usually really confident, but he looked terrified. So, we managed to get a little metal contraption that's kind of like an old person's walker but it's specifically made to help little kids on the ice. I came up with a technique where I put my arms underneath his arms and we both hold on to the center of the little metal frame. Then, I would skate pretty fast and just push him along with me. It wasn't that comfortable, but it worked! And, that's the goal with childbirth too, right? You need to try and get as comfortable as you possibly can, even though you know it's not going to be pleasant now matter what you do.
5) The calories
You can burn over 800 calories during 100 minutes of Ice Skating. The amount of calories burned while giving birth varies depending on the length of time in labor and amount of strength being used. But, I would guess that it's easy to burn well over 800 calories during childbirth.
Giving birth in the hospital can seem so cold and sterile, so I made sure I had a nice comfy pair of socks to make me feel a little more cozy. I really should have had a better pair of socks for ice skating too, because my feet were killing me.
7) While your in the midst of it, you wondered how you got suckered into this
Just like giving birth, when you're ice skating with a preschooler, you might think 'how did I get myself into this'? But, once you're there, it's too late to back out. You just have to give it everything you've got and make the most of it!
8) At the end, your child is crying
After we were finished skating my son wanted to stay at the rink and watch the hockey game. We had to leave, so he started crying. Ugh! I thought my son would be so happy from finally getting to go ice skating. But, I think it was just overwhelming for him. He even said "I thought it would be a lot easier to ice skate than it really was".
9) When it's all over, you need to come home and put your feet upon the couch
Ice skating, just like childbirth, is hard work. You need to be in shape, and you're probably using certain muscles that you haven't used in a long time. As soon as I took those skates off, I couldn't wait to come home, sit with a nice cup of hot chocolate, and just relax.
10) After some time has passed, you forget the discomfort, and you do it all over again, because the experience is something you will treasure for a lifetime.
There will be a day when my son doesn't need me to hold him up on the ice anymore and I will really miss it. Hopefully, years from now, we'll be laughing together, sitting at the kitchen table and reminiscing about the first time he went ice skating with me.