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You know it’s bathing suit and swimsuit season when school is out and summer is here. You have sorted out end of the school year activities, organized summer camps, vacations, swim lessons, and play dates. So, you feel great. Everything for the kids is in order until you realize it’s the last day of swim lessons and you are supposed to get in the pool with them. “Fffuuuudge, I have to wear a swimsuit. In front of people.”
This was me. The other day. In a panic, because once again, summer has suddenly arrived, and I am not bathing suit ready. It’s not like I don’t excpect June to happen. Despite the baby brain that seems to still be lingering, I am well aware of the months of the year, and that Summer follows Spring. I just think, the thought of putting a bathing suit on my pasty, post-twin birth body makes my brain push the realization that summer is coming down into the “pretend it’s not happening” part of my mind that stores other things like “I don’t have lines across my forehead.”
We moms are tired, and over worked. Self-care is usually last on our very long to-do list. So the March issue of every magazine with the cover “How to Get Your Body Ready for the Beach” just sits collecting dust, under the pile of bills, kids stuff, laundry, Legos, etc.
However, if you are a mother of children who are not old enough to get behind the wheel, then at some point this summer you will be headed toward a body of water. Therefore, this is how I plan to confidently get through this summer in a swimsuit.
Invest the money and buy a bathing suit you really feel comfortable wearing. A good bathing suit will last a couple years. So don’t feel guilty if you spend a little more than usual on a bathing suit. You want it to fit your body right. No one wants to sit on a sandy beach pulling at their swimsuit bottom because it doesn’t fit right and feels uncomfortable. You definitely don’t want to add to the already uncomfortable feeling you have on the inside with a wedgie on the outside.
Invest the time. Ditch the kids and take some much needed you time, and go bathing suit shopping. You don’t want to feel rushed or have to deal with tantrums. Nor do you want to hear them loudly tell you in the dressing room, their honest observations about your body. “MAMA, YOUR BELLYBUTTON LOOKS SQUISHY” is not going to build your confidence. (True story).
Bumping up My Beach Style
Going to the beach or a pool doesn’t have to look like it used to. There are so many great wraps, sarongs, and cover-ups that are cute and still allow you to build a killer sand castle.
For when I have to get in the water, I got a surf shirt that I can put on over my swimsuit. It’s a triple winner. It not only covers up the least “beachy” part of my body, it provides sun protection and prevents my kids from yanking my top down when they climb all over me in the water.
Fake It ‘Til I Make It
I strongly believe that both boys and girls need to see their mother feel confident in her body. Young girls will feed off our insecurities and mirror that on themselves. Insecurities give power to someone or something other than ourselves. I want our young girls to feel empowered. So we need to be their example of a secure woman.
Our boys need to see what real women look like. Not the airbrushed images they will be inundated with throughout their lives. They need to witness a woman, who has grown a human being in her body, be confident and strong. Because there should be no shame in pregnancy and childbirth, and our boys need to understand that. It is up to us, as mothers to be the example to the next generation.
I am Going to Have Fun
I can remember real specific moments of youthful days by the water. My parents red beach blanket. Running down the sand dunes with my towel tied around my neck pretending to be Super Woman. Standing on my dad’s shoulders jumping into the ocean. Eating lunches my mom packed on the beach. Getting to buy an ice cream from the snack bar. Pool parties at our house. I have so many beautiful memories.
But the one thing I can’t remember is what my mom looked like in a bathing suit. I honestly have no idea. I don’t think my kids will remember what I looked like in a bathing suit either. So, this summer, every time I put on my bathing suit, I will take a moment to myself. Cringe a little. Then stand up straight, grab my little boys hands and say lets go swimming.
I will make sure I am focused on having fun with them instead of my thighs. Because this is their life too and right now, I am the driving force in shaping it. I want it to be filled with magic, not my bitching about my body. I want to be present in their memories of the beach or the pool, not the person who lingered back.
So moms, we owe it to ourselves and our kids to let go of our insecurities and have a fun summer. Because I have quickly realized this time with them is fleeting and we shouldn’t miss it because we didn’t like wearing a bathing suit.
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