There are a lot of days when being a mom feels like being a football player. You get beat up, tackled, scratched, kicked in the groin, your eyes poked out, screamed at by your
coach kid, and every bodily fluid known to man ends up all over you. And game plan? What game plan. Whenever you think you’ve drawn up a winning strategy, you get picked off.
But through all the mud, injuries and agonies of defeat, there are some small victories. They’re the moments that take your breath away (the good way, not the sucker punch to the gut way), and they’re the moments that help you keep moving the ball forward.
This week, I finally gave in to a task I’ve been putting off for way too long — bathing suit shopping. Shoot me now. I’m not in a good place right now weight-wise. After running my first 5K and 10K earlier this year, I’ve fallen off the running bandwagon. It’s partly due to the horrendous Florida summer weather and partly due to my own laziness (there, I said it). In any case, I’m back up a few pounds and I’m to that place where pants and shorts are just a wee bit too snug.
So, clearly it’s the perfect time to go bathing suit shopping, right?
But, the other day at work, I was browsing through a stylist’s book about dressing (she was a guest on our radio show), and one of her theories hit a little too close to home. She says (I’m paraphrasing) that women need to stop deluding themselves that tankinis make them look thinner. They don’t. They make you look bigger. Either get a shapewear one-piece or suck it up (and in) and get a two piece.
Sigh. I think she’s right.
Since I hate investing too much in swimsuits, I headed to House of MomJovi aka Old Navy.
I loaded up the Old Navy shopping cart (which I’m partially obsessed with, by the way. Why can’t grocery stores have those groovy street-racing carts?), and drudged into the changing room. Since DadJovi was at work late, I had to take E. with me. Tearing her away from the TV in the kids area wasn’t easy. But I told her she could pick out my clothes, so she was game.
I tried on the first couple, and Head Coach E. critiqued my game — “No, I don’t like those.” Tough crowd.
But then I tried on this one (same style, different colors. What you thought I was going to take a picture of me in it? Ha!):
I tried it on, and E. says to me, “Oh, Mommy. You look so beautiful.” Not the suit looks beautiful, I look beautiful. No joke. I started to cry. Here I was trying to suck in my stomach, which thanks to my 9 pound, 6 ounce baby and the 16 hours of labor that came with her, has a permanent pooch and some crazy fun C-section scars. She didn’t see any of that though. At 3, she’s starting to figure out that we all have different bodies (today she told me Daddies and little girls have small breasts and Mommies have big ones. She must have another mother somewhere.) but mercifully she hasn’t figured out to hate any part of her body the way we women are so apt to do.
Now it’s my job to not screw her up.
So this summer, I’ll proudly wear my daughter-approved bathing suit and try to live up to the way she sees me.
Thank God for cheerleaders.
Hurray for you for listening to E! By the way, bathing suit shopping NEVER gets easier…
Good for you! I went with a tankini this year cause I still can’t bring myself to show that poochy belly…
Christine (Cook the Story) says
If only I could be as honest with myself as you’ve been with the world! Sounds to me like your daughter and her body image will be just fine. (Note: My choice of tankinis has nothing to do with body image and everything to do with the image of razor burn. No matter what I do, I get red bumps on the bikini line (I HAVE tried everything! I get razor burn even when no razors are involved.), The tankinis hide it from the world, if not from myself or from my hubs).