I’m not going to lie, I needed a little bit of liquid courage to write this post. Why? Because I am sharing photos of my post baby body, stretch marks and all, with about 15,000 people (including my husband’s boss—Hi, Frank!). Yikes. But even more important than being a little embarrassed about not looking how I did before two little boys came into my life is this: if I can encourage just one mom to stop focusing on her imperfections and instead be proud of all that her body has accomplished, my job here is done. So, without any further ado (one more sip of wine), here is why you, dear mom, should ROCK your bikini:
You already bought them—why not WEAR them?!?
If you are like me, you had a pretty decent stockpile of bikinis in your closet that you wore pre-kid. I mean, with only about 100 days of summer in Chicago, when the weather was warm enough, we were at the lake or pool. So don’t toss all of your bikinis just because your body has changed. Instead, sort through them and try them on again. Feel great in any of them? Told you that you could rock a bikini as a mom…and I bet your partner will agree.
High waisted bikini bottoms are the new black
So, I’m not sure who is responsible for the return of high waisted bikini bottoms, but I would like to kiss him or her. Why? Because I finally found a way to deal with my least favorite body part: my stomach. I was pregnant for what seemed like forever (my boys are VERY close in age—a short 20 months) and my stomach has been through a ton of stretching, poking, and prodding. That’s why I love that I can just tuck that extra tummy into the cute high waisted bikini bottoms that you can find just about anywhere that sells swimsuits. It’s glorious.
Fringe is your friend
The perfect addition to high waisted bikini bottoms? A cute top to mix and match with. One of my favorite styles is to find a bandeau top with fringe….because fringe is now “in” and hides a whole bunch of things that you don’t necessarily want on display. Thank you, fashion Gods, thank you. I picked up a ruffled top that hung low enough to almost touch the top of my high waisted bikini bottoms and I loved it. I was extremely comfortable, confident, and never even worried about how I looked compared to the other women at the pool (And I know I’m not the only one who compares like that…don’t lie!).
Set a great example
As a mom of two little boys, the topic of body image doesn’t necessarily come up (other than when they tell me that they love their butts because they use them to fart—awesome, huh?) but I like to think that all of us moms are setting an example for girls and young women out in the world. We are not all supermodels—we are real. And our time at the pool or beach should most definitely embrace that.
Focus on having fun, not fashion
When you find a swimsuit that you love and feel great in, your beauty and confidence shines. Seriously. This past month we went to Mexico and it was bliss (especially since we left Chicago when it was 5 degrees outside), but not just because it was warm and beautiful. This was the first vacation where I felt totally comfortable and happy being in my bikini all the time instead of running to get my cover up. I never built more sandcastles or had more fun swimming and splashing with my boys. My husband even told me that he never found me to be more attractive than I am now (which is saying something because my body has most definitely changed since we met almost ten years ago). And of course, my little guys loved that I was wearing the bikinis that they picked out (one red and one blue, of course) during our last minute Target run.
Wear those “Mama Bear” stripes with pride
Growing a human is a huge deal. I mean, do you ever look at your child and really congratulate yourself? If not, you most definitely should. And if you did not carry a child yourself, you still have “Mama Bear” stripes. Yours might look a little different, but we all have gotten way too little sleep and had a lunch of sandwich crusts and goldfish and our bodies show it. We should applaud and appreciate it. We are moms….and pretty damn amazing if you ask me.
I truly hope this article inspires you to treat yourself to a new bikini, take out a favorite suit, or simply feel great about all that your body is. Oh, and if you like my suit, pick it up at Target—it’s on sale, too!