Summer means lots of outside time at our house. Playgrounds, the beach, and the pool all become part of the weekly rotation in our things to do. It’s just as much about cooling off as it is catching up with friends and enjoying the beautiful weather. But often times if we’re headed to the pool or beach, the moms are covered up. When we’re taking pictures of the kids, they’re hiding behind the kids or scurry to get out of the picture before it’s taken. On the off chance that they’re in the picture, there’s sometimes the “please don’t put that on Facebook” request. Listen. I get it. I really, really do. By no means am I the most fit and attractive person on the planet. But pleases moms. Just wear the suit! We’ve all got a million excuses why we don’t:
I haven’t lost the baby weight
Yes my youngest is six. Nope I haven’t made time back in my schedule to go running after work or work out once the kids go to bed. As insecure as I am about so many things in my life, one thing I won’t do is talk badly about my body – especially in front of my kids. My kids made me this way. Because of them, I gained 100 pounds over three pregnancies. I’ve got a huge scar from three c-sections. The last thing I’m going to do is complain about how I look. I wouldn’t trade my babies for anything. My body did what it needed to do to carry those little humans. I earned this cellulite and these stretch marks damn it.
My kids are watching
When I hang back and don’t want to take my cover up off or jump into the pool, my kids always ask why. What am I supposed to tell them? That I’m embarrassed to be out in my swim suit? I don’t want them starving themselves or crying themselves to sleep about the way they look. We don’t judge other people on the way they look or comment on their appearance, so I don’t want them worrying about how they look either.
I’m not happy with how I look
Soon enough, they’re going to start dating and I want them to date people who are beautiful on the inside and the outside. Heck, my kids are going to see me dating at some point. Just because I’m not rocking a bikini at the pool doesn’t mean I’m not a good catch. It just means that’s not something I’m comfortable with right now. I’m not in love with the huge scar on my back from kidney surgeries when I was young but there’s not much I can do about that, other than buy a suit that covers up what I’m not happy with showing off.
So what can you do?
Well I know this is easier said than done, but you need to get over it and just wear the suit! Here are some things to help:
- Find a suit that you’re comfortable in. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a bathing suit. I also suggest taking some time to try things on. This might mean you’ve got to go shopping without the kids, but it’ll be worth it. If you can’t make it to the store, try ordering a few different kinds to try on at home and return the ones that don’t work (make sure to check the return policy before you order!). Here are a few ideas if you’re not sure where to start.
- Cover ups are ok! There’s nothing wrong with wearing a cover up. I live in the South and the sun is strong here. You’ve got to stay covered or you’ll burn. And it never fails…someone forgets something so we’ve got to run into the store or gas station on the way to the beach. It’s not as bad running in wearing a cover up instead of having to go in just wearing my bathing suit.
- Non-traditional is ok too. Maybe you’re more of a shorts and swim shirt girl than a bikini girl. That’s totally ok! No one is going to tell you what kind of suit you need to get. Find something that’s functional for you – even if it’s not the expected bathing suit. (And if you’re cool with wearing a bikini – more power to you!)
- The memories are more important than you’d think. All too soon these kiddos are going to be grown up and these memories of splashing in the pool are going to be cherished by you and them. Don’t miss out on a special time with your kids because you didn’t feel comfortable, confident, or good enough for whatever reason.
- Take baby steps. So you might not be ready for a full on photo session on the beach. That’s ok! Just wear the suit and get out there. Here’s the thing – let the mom who’s sitting at home on her couch because she’s too self conscious judge you for wearing your bathing suit and having fun with your kids. You’ll be far too busy having fun splashing in the pool or waves to even care.
Get out there and have fun this summer!! Share your pictures on social media using the hashtag #justwearthesuit and encourage other moms to do the same. We’re all in this together. It’s far to hot and boring to be sitting on the sidelines missing out on the splashing, fun, and giggles.