Practical Tips for Getting Your Mama Body to the Pool

Practical Tips for Getting Your Mama Body to the Pool with Your Kids at ASlobComesClean

Me directing my 10 year old how to take the picture. And NOT drop my phone in the water.

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.

Practical Tips for Getting Your Mom Body to the Pool with Your Kids at

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.

Prepare realistically.

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.)

Just Go

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.


Scattered but Resourceful

Frozen Doll Cake at

I may not think ahead far enough to check the instructions before I go to the store to get the ingredients to make a skirt-shaped cake for my daughter’s birthday . . . but I’m creative.

Creative enough to solve the oh-I-need-to-make-two-so-I-can-add-enough-length-to-the-skirt problem I faced last weekend:

Making the Skirt Cake Long Enough at

What’s easier? Have Hubby run out for 2 cake donuts in the morning, or run to the store at 10 p.m. and then bake another cake?

The donuts are easier. I promise.

Note to self: Photos taken from slightly above make anyone (even a donut-skirted princess from Frozen) look less hip-py.

Instructions for this cake.



Aaaaahhhh. Clean(ish) Kids’ Rooms! (And Decluttering Party Week 4)

Photo - Decluttering with My Kids at

Monday was a school holiday.

My kids were (not so) thrilled when I announced on Saturday that Monday would be a Day of Decluttering.

I narrowed my eyes (for effect) and warned them that I was thinking of implementing the “Sure, you can get on your Kindle Fire as long as your room is clean!” policy.

I was thinking about it, but knew it would be a recipe for disaster with the current state of their rooms.

So I casually encouraged them to start thinking about how much easier it would be to clean their rooms if they had less stuff in them. (A strategy I know well.)

On Monday morning, after they’d had a few days to let the concept percolate, I declared it was time to get to work.

I restated my theory about less stuff being better and gave the boys a black trash bag and a donate-able Donate Box.

I told them to do the easy stuff first. Like trash.

I pointed out that they rarely go looking in their rooms for things to play with anymore, so there was probably a lot they could donate. (They’re ten and twelve.)

I worked with my daughter on her room. She plays with her stuff, so I respect that she wants to keep it. She also knows, though, that it’s much easier (and more fun) to play in a clean room. We used the same tactics with her. Trash first, laundry in a pile and donations next.

And here’s where I give some encouragement to those of you who dread days like this so much . . . that you put them off forever.

It gets better.

While we don’t have the keep-your-rooms-tidy-all-the-time thing down, we definitely have ALL gotten better at decluttering.

Kind of like with the random five-minute pick-up paying off, repeated decluttering sessions pay off.

While they used to fret over how they would live without a certain broken or un-played-with toy, they now know they did survive after all. So they’re more willing to get rid of newly broken and un-played-with toys.

Where would you look for this first? isn’t a mind-boggling question like it was the first time I asked it. It still takes some talking through, but it’s not a completely new concept.

I really was proud of my kids. My daughter came up with the logic on her very own that she really only needs to keep one (of FIVE!?!) jumpropes. My boys were excited to find a dart board that had been buried under a pile, but then decided that some other kid would be REALLY excited to have it if they donated it.

Once my daughter and I were through with her room, I helped the boys. We made more progress in thirty minutes together than they had in two hours on their own, but whatever.

Floors are clear. Too-small baseball cleats are in the Donate Box.

Photo - Cleaning Out the Kids' Rooms at

And the boys decided it was logical to only keep their two favorite light sabers since they could really only play with two at a time.

Photo - Two LightSabers

Wow. Makes a Decluttering Mama’s heart swell with pride.

The Donate Pile at

Two bags of trash and a decent-sized Donate Pile later, the rooms are soooo much nicer.

And maybe the “Clean your room before you play with your Kindle” will work.


At least for a while.

(At one point a while back, one of my kids expressed dismay about me showing pictures of his room on my blog. Therefore, I didn’t take pictures this time. When I told them that, though, they assured me that they don’t care if I show pictures. So while there aren’t any boys’ room before pictures, there will be some in the future. Unfortunately.)

How was your week? Did you declutter anything?

I’d love to hear about your own decluttering adventures in the comments or you can link below to a post on your blog.

In case you link up a blog post, here are a few things to consider:

Be creative with your title. Last week, links with a post title showing instead of a name got significantly more clicks. If you want comments, please consider turning off your captcha code thingy. When I started blogging, I had that set up too because I was paranoid about getting spam or rude comments. But that extra hassle just discourages people from commenting. Seriously, don’t you hate entering those awful codes? Just put your comments on moderate.

Also, be SURE to click on the title of the post you want to link up. Once that one post is the only one showing on your screen, grab that specific url and use that as a link. If you link to your homepage, people won’t be able to find your decluttering post.



© 2009 - 2013 A Slob Comes Clean All rights reserved. | Blog Header and Button design by Many Little Blessings.