This post over at the Creative Mom has been going viral, and I love it. It’s totally my philosophy. If you haven’t read it, you should. The author encourages moms to stop worrying about body image and get in the water with their kids.
It’s totally inspirational.
But you know me . . . I’m all about being practical. Inspiration only takes me so far.
So as someone who is committed to taking my three kids swimming at least five days each week every summer, I’ll share what I’ve learned over the past six years of hauling my own Mom Bod to the pool.
Look the Part.
This is the theatre teacher in me. Nothing irritates me more than someone wearing a 1940s costume with a 2014 hairstyle.
What I mean is, be willing to play your role. All the way. Step into your character as Mom with Three Kids.
Sure, it’s awesome if you’re Fit Mom or Slim Mom, but not everyone gets to be cast as that character. Every play needs Frazzled Mom and Overweight Mom and Mom Who Doesn’t Have the Time or Money to Test Every Hair Product on the Market to See Which One Will Keep Her Hair from Frizzing. It’s THOSE characters who make the play interesting.
This is my philosophy. I’m a mom. I’m working on getting fit, but in the meantime I’m embracing my role.
Get swimwear you’re comfortable wearing.
OK. So the first part is more of a pep talk, but now I’m getting specific. (And, just for the record, I’m using some affiliate links.)
There are all sorts of modest, comfortable bathing suits out there. Unfortunately, though, many are CRAZY expensive. Like, in $80-$100+. For a cheapskate like me, if I wasn’t fully convinced I would wear it more than twice in the summer, that price tag would make me decide I just couldn’t do it.
And that would be my final excuse for not heading to the pool.
So here’s what I do. I buy board shorts. I’ve done swim skirts before, but I don’t like how they float up in the water.
I linked to some for a decent price on Amazon, but I generally get mine at Walmart for around $10-$15. You can wear a one-piece with the shorts, but that makes bathroom trips, ummmm . . . difficult. (Especially with kids small enough that they have to come with you . . . )
I grab a bikini bottom from the clearance rack for around $7. I don’t care what it looks like since it’s not going to be seen. It’s like Swimmin’ Undies.
Then, I’ll spend a little more for a tankini top. Costco had them last year for around $15, but didn’t carry them this year. I got mine at Sears for about $18.
Total cost is around $40, but I’ve worn the same swim shorts for three or four years now. The other items usually wear out after a summer of intense use.
Oh, one more hint that’s really just personal opinion: Halter tankinis make you look awesome. Seriously, they lift the things that need lifting. However, if the things you need lifted are somewhat heavy . . . it will eventually (or soon) KILL your neck. I’m all about being comfortable so I don’t do halters.
If you read and relate to this blog, there’s a chance you’re the mom who loves to think of EVERY possible thing you would need to make a trip to the pool perfect. You might even make a list. And that first time, you would rock it.
But then life happens. So here are a few tips I’ve learned from experience.
- Drip-drying works. Towels, schmowels.
- A big box of unmeltable, special snacks marked “POOL ONLY” is a good alternative to making snack decisions on a daily basis.
- Small Sonic slushes are only 50 cents each from 2-4 in case you forget the special snacks.
Honestly, the ONLY thing I never ever forget (because we keep it in the Suburban) is the sunscreen. And FYI, the Banana Boat Kid’s (or Baby) Tear Free Sunscreenis the ONLY kind that doesn’t burn kids’ eyes or faces. No other “Baby” or “mild” sunscreens have passed that test for us. And believe me . . . we’ve tried them all.
Oh, and if (like me) you don’t like smearing goop on your face, get a hat. Moms are SUPPOSED to embarrass their kids. I’m loving this one. (I got it for less at Costco, though.)
I had “get a cover-up” and “bring a friend to talk to”as other things to include, but I’m going to skip that. Just go. If you’ve avoided going with your kids, the first time will be uncomfortable and awkward, but that’s okay. My main motivation for being purposeful about going all the time is that there’s nothing else to do to stay active in the Texas heat. My kids are in AWESOME shape every summer.
My secondary motivation is the joy I get from watching my kids experience childhood.
I do get in the water. I do play with them some. But it’s also perfectly fine for me to yak with my Mama Friends while we tread water (or just stand in the shallow end) while the kids make their own fun.
Without any direction from me, they spend the summer learning to dive by doing 67,001 practice dives. They organize races and relays. They use splash balls and pool noodles to play baseball with kids they wouldn’t even recognize at school when everyone’s wearing clothes. They have Crazy Jump contests and make George Washington hairstyles by flipping their hair up in the water. They learn to do in-the-water handstands and flips.
It’s worth it. Totally, completely worth the hassle and discomfort of stuffing this Mom Body into a spandex suit. Over and over again.
I’d love to hear your tips for getting to the pool/lake/whatever with your kids!
I’m not a fashion blogger. You can stop laughing now. Or a swimsuit model. Seriously, get up off the floor. I just feel the need to say that I’m not giving advice on how to look your best at the pool. This is how to get yourself there. No matter your size or shape.
I suppose it’s possible that Sonic’s drinks cost more wherever you live. Check the price before you order. If you send me a bill for the overage, I’ll throw it away.
I included affiliate links in this post. Every single time there’s a link to Amazon, it’s an affiliate link. I love love love affiliate links. If you follow one to Amazon and buy ANYthing there (even a new refrigerator), I get a teeny percentage of what you spend while your purchase price is the same as if you didn’t go through my link. It’s one of the ways I get to call this blog my job.