Mom, Do You Have Your Swimsuit On?

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mom swimsuit

“Mom, do you have your swimsuit on?”

That is what the girls always ask me when we approach a beach or a pool. You know anywhere where the common attire is minimal water-appropriate apparel.

What they are really asking is…

  • Mom, are you coming in the water with us?
  • Can you build a sandcastle with us?”
  • Can you have an underwater tea party with us and teach us how to do underwater headstands?”

But all I think is…crap. To partake in all those aforementioned activities, it requires that I am in public in a swimsuit.

And not just laying on a lounge chair “sucking my stomach in” with a book strategically placed to cover my mom pooch. This is full-on in the water, everything visible, most likely bending over in a swimsuit activity.

And cue the negative self-talk reel.

  • Who wants to see me in a swimsuit?
  • I’m lumpy.
  • I haven’t lost the baby weight.
  • I have rolls.
  • I forgot to shave my bikini line.
  • I don’t look as good as the other moms.

Over and over, I let those body-shaming remarks absorb until I start to feel uneasy. At the beginning of last summer, I realized I was wasting precious energy putting myself down and worrying about how I looked, when in fact, no one cares but me. The irony also did not elude me that the parts of my body that made me the most unhappy were the parts of the body that I am blessed and grateful to have because I AM A MOM.

I knew in the end, the people I would be punishing most would be my children if I let my negative comments consume me.

I decided I needed to change.

Sure, I’m in good shape, and I love to work out, but I have my flaws just as much as the next person. Putting on a bikini pre-Mom was tough for me. To be honest, the best I have ever felt in a bikini was when I was pregnant. I know that sounds strange, but for me, my “trigger zone” of self-shame is my stomach, and when my stomach was “supposed” to be all big and round, I felt extremely self-confident, even in the most revealing attire.

I am passionate about raising self-assured daughters who feel confident in their skin, and that means that I must SHOW them what that looks like.

So, I found some swimsuits that made me feel good. In other words, I ordered a bunch of swimsuits online (Target, Old Navy, Talbots) and found ones that made me feel ok. Here is the thing, you don’t go from obsessing over stomach rolls to loving every inch of your body. The journey for me to self-confidence was not as simple as a light switch.

Each time I put on a swimsuit, I just try to accept that this is how I look for today. And TODAY I chose to wear a swimsuit and be in the water with my amazing children with THIS BODY! 

So, pick out your favorite suit, whether it’s a one-piece, two-piece, or whatever! Make sure all your “parts” are comfortable and that you feel as good as you can.

When you’re done, assure yourself that you’re beautiful as you are. And when your children inevitably ask you, “Mom, do you have your swimsuit on?”

Proudly exclaim, “YEAH, I have my swimsuit on!” 

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Nikki has called wonderful Fairfield County her home, her entire life. Growing up on a campus of a private school in Greenwich, CT Nikki swore to her educator parents that she would never be a teacher. Well life has a way of repeating itself and now Nikki and her amazingly supportive husband are happily working at a different independent school in Greenwich. A recovering “type a” perfectionist she is learning to let go of her color coding, alphabetizing ways and embrace the mess. Helping her enjoy life’s everyday messes are her two precocious girls Sofie (11/15/11) and Keira (9/7/13). Nikki loves all things mommy cliché including but not limited to walks on the beach, running, reality TV, organizing closets, wine, chocolate and having her kids help her out in the kitchen.

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