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.

Huh?

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 ASlobComesClean.com

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!

Disclaimers:

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.

--Nony

Mamas Make the UnFun Decisions

I'm the Mama. It's Up to Me to Make the Un-Fun Decisions at ASlobComesClean.com

One recent Wednesday was a little/lot exhausting. It involved appointments in insanely-busy, far away hospitals and errand-running with my mother-in-law and such.

And then there was that moment when I had to drive an electric cart through the grocery store.

My mother-in-law had an electric scooter-cart-thingy, but it randomly and suddenly died as soon as we got to the meat section. In that store, the meat section is the farthest possible distance from the entrance where the other electric scooters are kept.

I walked back to the front of the store to get another scooter for her, but the girl who assisted me couldn’t leave her station. She called for help, but none was coming any time soon.

She said I needed to take the electric scooter back to my mother-in-law. This was fine, except I quickly learned you can’t walk those things anywhere. They don’t even work unless someone is sitting on the seat.

A nice safety mechanism, but kind of embarrassing for able-bodied me.

When I picked up the kids from school that afternoon, I told them the story and we all laughed about me scooting through the store. All my kids commented that they had always wanted to ride one of them.

I took the teachable moment to explain that we don’t ride them because that might mean someone who needed one (like their grandmother) wouldn’t even be able to shop that day because none were available.

I reminded my kids how, when they were little, I wouldn’t let them use the multi-kid shopping carts at Target if I only had one child with me. I KNEW how life/sanity-saving those special carts are, and I also knew how difficult almost-impossible it was to shop when there were none available and I had three small children with me.

I always explained to them that even though those carts were fun, we needed to save them for the families who needed them. Who couldn’t function without them.

And one of my boys, in a moment of mama-heart-swelling-sweetness, looked stricken. His face showed the guilt he felt over only considering his own happiness (back when he was four!) over someone else’s true need.

Cue another teachable moment: “You don’t need to feel guilty! Kids aren’t going to naturally think through things like that. That’s the parent’s job. Mamas are the ones who have to make the un-fun decisions.”

Teachable moment for me, I mean.

Running the dishwasher isn’t fun. Teaching my kids to clean isn’t fun. Scrubbing toilets is about as far as one can possibly get from fun.

But that’s my job. I’m the Mama, and I make the unFun decisions.

 

 

--Nony

Clutter-Free Christmas Stocking Stuffer Ideas

List of Clutter-Free Stocking Stuffer Ideas at ASlobComesClean.com

 

A few years ago, I wrote a post about how much I hated buying Christmas stocking stuffers. I didn’t want to fill the stockings with junk.

I asked this question at the end of the post: Do you have any great non-clutter stocking stuffer ideas?

And boy oh boy did y’all deliver!

So this year, I’m putting those fantabulous ideas into a post so you can have them in one easy-to-read place. (And so you can share this post on Pinterest and all that good stuff . . . )

Obviously, consider your child’s age and needs.

(Oh. And I am linking to a few of the items using my Amazon affiliate link.)

My Picks for the MOST Ingenious, Space-Taking, Non-Clutter Stocking Stuffers:

Pringles (This one rocked my world! We EACH got our own can of Pringles and everyone was THRILLED. They still talk about it.)

Batteries (Genius!!)

Socks

Underwear

Fruit

More Non-Clutter Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Bubble Bath

Toothbrush

Shower Puff

Hair brush

Shampoo, toothpaste, bodywash, deodorant and other toiletries

Earrings

Hairbows and Headbands

Nail polish

Book

Coloring book

Notebook and Pencil/Pen

Art Supplies (crayons, markers, Paint Set)

Post-it notes

Tape (Scotch or Duck)

USB

Word search or activity book

Calendar

Magazine

DVD

Sippy Cup or Water Bottle

Chapstick

Bandaids

Scarf

Mittens

Playing Cards

Magic Towel (They expand into a washcloth from a little pellet in hot water. Can be found at the dollar store.)

Chore passes or “around the house” coupons

Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes (LOVE these!)

A special breakfast (Small boxes of cereal, apple-juice boxes)

Animal Crackers (The good kind in the space-taking box!)

Goldfish crackers in the small boxes

Add to the list in the comments!

--Nony
--Nony

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