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Amanda Beard Juggles Olympic Swimming and Raising a Baby

Swimmer Amanda Beard is a 7-time Olympic medalist, but these days her most prized possession is six-month-old son, Blaise, with photographer husband, Sacha Brown. The new mom spoke to Babble about trusting her instincts, the TV family she’d love to be part of, and turning her baby into a little fish.

What’s your parenting philosophy?

I’m still new [to parenting]; Blaise is only six months, so it’s learn-as-you-go. I try to take everything in stride and enjoy it.

What shocked you the most about parenting?

How there’s not one second of my day that I’m not thinking of him. I’m always wondering, “Is he okay?” Even if I’m away from him for an hour, I’m stressed about how he is. It’s that feeling of being totally obsessed and in love with something. It’s indescribable.

Who spoils Blaise more – you or your husband?

Me! I used to spoil myself but now everything I buy is for him – little clothes, onesies, and toys. I can’t even remember the last time I bought an article of clothing for myself. I’m even buying toys for three-year-olds, and just putting them at the back of the closet until he’s three! Now is really the chance to spoil him, because he doesn’t realize he’s being spoiled. When he gets older, I’ll have to cool my jets.

What advice would you give to new moms?

Follow your instincts. I had never held a baby, changed a diaper, or given a bath before, but when you bring your child home, everything kicks in. I felt like, “I’m a mom, I’m in charge, I know how to do things, and this is my son.”

Is he showing traits that remind you of yourself or Sacha?

Everyone thinks he’s a spitting image of my husband. I carried him for nine months, give me something! But I have a big mouth, and he definitely has my smile. I’m excited to see what his teeth look like!

Are you hoping Blaise gets the athletic genes?

He’s definitely going to be athletic, just because my husband and I are very athletic. I’m more mainstream; I’m a swimmer, but I love baseball, basketball, football and my husband is into extreme sports. He can’t wait to have him on a dirt bike!

When are you going to get him in the water?

We’re going to start Mommy and Me classes in two weeks, but this past weekend we went in the pool in our backyard for the first time. He loved playing in the little waterfall and splashing around. He was having a really good time in the bathtub, so we decided to give the pool a shot!

What is your biggest parenting challenge?

Sleeping! He still wakes up four to five times every night, and I’m in a full-training schedule, so it’s, well, interesting to not sleep and then work out four to five hours a day. And when I’m home, all I want to do is play with him, so I’m not taking naps.

If you could be any TV or movie parent, who would you be?

Modern Family cracks me up! If my household was like that, it’d be so fun. It’s so smart! Good writing and great casting!

What do you do for “me” time?

Get a pedicure! It’s not crazy expensive, doesn’t take all day, and it feels so good!

Any more babies in the future?

We want two! But right now, I’m in full training for the 2012 Olympics, so hopefully once that’s over, we’ll have another.

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