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.


How A Busy Mama Crafter Is Whipping the WIPs (in 5 Steps)

{Editor’s Note:  Today we have a guest post from Emily Chapelle at So D*mn Domestic.  She has set up 6 different houses in 7 years of military moves so she knows a thing or two about having stuff, maintaining it and decluttering what you don’t need… even if she is a crafter with the corresponding crafter’s stash!}


You know what WIPs are, right? If you’re a crafter I know you do. Works-in-progress. Those half-done, almost-done, or barely-started projects we’ve been “meaning to get to.”

Whip the WIPs (Works in Progress) with

The problem is, when our craft stashes (not as trendy as mustaches) grow, WIPs multiply, and soon we’re spending most of our time managing, organizing, and digging through embryonic projects instead of actually crafting.

I can’t tell you how much craft stuff I got rid of when we moved into our new house in December. But it was at least three big boxes during my craft-area-focus day. Plus other random stuff I decided to declutter at different times. It can be bad enough when you’re a die-hard knitter or something, and the yarn piles up. But what about people like me (I know you’re out there) who are kind of a Jack of all trades?

ASCC pic 1

I have clothing blanks in different sizes from when I was doing toner transfers on T-shirts and baby clothes for my local La Leche League. Paint, blank canvases, paint brushes. Yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks. Embroidery hoops, embroidery thread, various sewing notions, and a rainbow of sewing thread. Scraps of fabric, clothes to upcycle, quilt batting, polyfil stuffing, 10,000 buttons, baby carrier hardware, and on and on and on….

We’re moving cross-country again in January. So we’ll be in this house just over a year total. I’ve decided to take this time to Whip the WIPs and get my craft stash under control. How am I doing it?

ASCC pic 2

  1. I got rid of the obvious stuff. The projects I didn’t WANT to finish anymore. The craft items that no longer sparked ideas of stuff I actually wanted to make with them. I donated so much stuff. Someone else can make all of that into something. It’s no longer my responsibility, and I’m glad about that.
  2. I realized the constraints of my time. Real life happens. Every day. And somehow I’m not sitting down to craft every day. If it were my main priority, it would happen. But it isn’t. I craft around once a week, and sometimes even less. So I might get 10 multi-weekend projects done in a year, and a few smaller ones. I don’t NEED materials for doing 200 different projects.
  3. I identified which WIPs were my priorities. Once I got rid of the stuff I realized I wasn’t ever going to DO, a few projects stood out to me as being more important to me than the others. These are the ones I’m making an effort to complete first.
  4. I set an expiration date. If I don’t complete those projects by the time we move again in January, I’ll realize an entire year went by without me making them priorities in my life. And it will be time to let go. And I REALLY WILL let go.
  5. I’m not buying more craft stuff. Really, until I have significantly cut down on my craft stash, I can’t justify buying more stuff. I don’t need to browse fabric stores and craft stores when I have so much I can work with in my home. So I’m just not. If I need something tiny to finish a project I have most of the materials for already, fine. But I’m not going to just buy materials for no reason, or for an inactive WIP.

Here’s to a crafty year, more actually-finished instead of in-progress projects, and a shrinking craft stash!


Emily Chapelle headshot Emily Chapelle has set up six different houses in seven years of military moves. She’s also the mother of two adorable curly-haired kids, wife to a Navy fighter pilot, and a former teacher, childcare provider, and nanny. Now she works from home to spread encouragement and inspiration to other homemakers with a no-nonsense attitude and lots of tough love. She blogs at So D*mn Domestic. Get her free eBook, Finding the Awesome: 3 Steps to Doing More & Stressing Less for more inspiration and guided, broken-down exercises to find your Awesome.


Wise Words from Dr. Huxtable

Wise Words from Dr. Huxtable at


My kids are currently obsessed with (affiliate link coming up . . . now) The Cosby Show. I find myself laughing out loud while I’m making dinner and they’re watching in the living room. That show really was a classic.

One of Heathcliff’s Fatherly Wisdom Speeches struck me.

Theo (my boys’ favorite) had been struggling in math. He worked hard and brought up his grade. The speech, however, came AFTER the good grade.

Dr. Huxtable was encouraging him to USE his success. To not bask in it and then let the momentum fizzle.

Sound familiar? It did to me.

He shared a story his own father/college professor/some-other-fictional-character-I-can’t-remember-exactly had told him.

It went something like this:

“Do you know that a jet uses the vast majority of its fuel during takeoff? Taking off requires way more energy than flying. An airplane uses much less fuel by taking off and then flying to its destination than it would if it went the same distance but kept landing and taking off again.”

Hmmmm. Pretty profound, Cliff.

It reminds me of this post. I used a wagon wheel as my analogy, but it’s the same concept.

If I can just maintain altitude, SO much less energy is required than if I start and stop and start and stop.

Over and over again.

How’s your summer going? I’m trying to maintain my altitude by doing the basics.


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