Pat Payne, mum to Olympic Games swimming hopeful Keri-anne, gives her tale of being a mum to a London 2012 Olympic Games Athlete in her weekly blog. This week, Pat talks about supporting her daughter at the Games...
With the London 2012 Olympic Games now on, our house is a mix of emotions. Keri-anne is still busy training and trying to stay focused so we haven't spent much time together as a family. We are very close and not seeing her is hard - but we make up for it by talking a lot on the phone.
Before she goes away for training, we try to have a family get together. We keep in touch on Twitter - Keri-anne's always ploading pictures - and Skype is great for involving her in family events when she's abroad.
As a mum, it's really important to be there when your child faces tough times. Like after the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, where Keri-anne came fourth and sixth. She was ready to give up swimming and it took six months of encouragement to get her back in the pool again.
Celebrating the highs is just as important - there have been so many in Keri-anne's career. The special moments out of the pool are just as memorable as those in it. I'll never forget when she got engaged to her long-term boyfriend David. He was going to plan a romantic proposal, but got so excited he got down on one knee and asked her in his flat. She was ecstatic and drove straight over to tell us.
There's plenty to celebrate this summer with Keri- anne's race at London 2012 on 9 August and her wedding in September. I can't wait to share these special moments with her.
You job as a mum
Raising three children isn't an easy task. Here are a few tips I've picked up along the way...
- I tried to give Keri-anne the confidence to be independent. That way she knew she could rely on herself to achieve her goals. But I also made sure she knew I was there for her.
- Always be honest with your child. I was always straight with Keri-anne and so she trusted my opinions.
- Most importantly, Keri-anne thrived on lots of praise and plenty of love and kisses.