It is bathing suit season. I still get excited when I first remember that it’s time to shop for a new bathing suit. That’s before I remember that I have three children and bathing suit shopping is no longer about finding a pretty swimsuit. It has become about finding a swimsuit that can tuck, cover and hide the “I’ve given birth three times” battle scars.
A friend of mine posted this quote the other day: “One day you’re 18, eating pizza for every meal, wearing a size 4 and the next you’re 30, drinking kale and debating wearing a t-shirt in the pool.” She nailed it.
In fact, I recently took my kids to Austin and we joined some friends for a swim date at their hotel pool. My kids were beyond thrilled at a chance to dip their little toes in the water. I, however, was dreading it. I have been close with these friends for almost 8 years. We knew each other before we had kids and when we still rocked our twenty-something physiques. All I could think about was how embarrassed I was to wear a bathing suit in front of them and display my new “Mom bod.” My inner monologue was relatively brutal. There was not one single part of my body that I wanted to expose. I kept thinking about my flaws, the parts that have somehow become extra squishy, lumpy or my awesome new stretch marks and varicose veins – third pregnancy problems. I almost didn’t swim.
Then I made a decision. I decided to embrace it, to own my new mom bod and just focus on my kids that day. It took some mental strength to pull my head out of that negative place. When I finally got over myself, we had an amazing time! I realized that not one person at that pool will ever care, nor remember what my body looked like today. As for my children, they will only remember how much fun we had. They will remember that their Mom gets in the pool with them, plays with them and teaches them not to be afraid of the water. Most importantly, they will remember that when it comes to summertime at the pool, we don’t hold back, we jump in together and always have a blast!
If you are a Mom like me, I encourage you to be gentle on yourself and how you think about your body. We have been given an incredible gift of motherhood. It may come with squishy sections on our body that we didn’t have before and pesky stretch marks. However, those things aren’t worth missing out on childhood memories with our babies. Rock your pretty bathing suit (without a t-shirt) and don’t hold back this summer.