After having children, only about 2% of us will ever return to our pre-baby bodies. For those of you who do, I say BRAVO.
I hate you.
Even though you no longer have that girlish figure, you don’t receive a pass from having to walk around in the recreational garment that was obviously designed for super models.
Once you have kids, you are going to spend the majority of your summers at the pool. Because the pool is the one place where your kids aren’t trying to kill one another.
Don’t be that mom in knee shorts, begging someone to save your drowning kid.
You must suit up.
Every year you will be faced with the daunting task of choosing a new suit.
Except by reading this, you can learn from my amateurish mistakes.
When trying to find the perfect suit for your post baby body, you need to be informed.
First mistake: Do not order from a catalog.
I found a reasonable suit. It looked good on the magazine model. So I placed my order.
The package arrived. I didn’t order a bikini. I wasn’t blind. My days of frolicking around in those babies were history. I did, however, order a tankini. It sounded like the next best thing.
Tankini: The bikini for moms of toddlers
I opened the package and wiggled my way into the suit. Then I walked over to the floor length mirror. To say I was horrified would be an understatement.
It was like all of my fat cells was fighting to get out of that little opening between the top and the bottoms. This suit was supposed to have a slimming effect.
I feverishly wrestled my way out of the obviously flawed suit, threw it on the floor, stomped on it a few times, then stuffed it back into the bag.
I then found a tape gun, the kind used in warehouses, and wrapped multiple layers of tape around the bag. All in an effort to teach Victoria’s Secret a lesson.
They had better not ever send anything so hideous to my house again. No matter how much I begged.
It was now apparent that I would have to go shopping. Surely in the sea of retail, I could find a winner.
This is where I made mistake number two: I took my kid with me.
Upon entering the department store I almost had a panic attack. The choices were endless. And all the suits were mocking me. Thankfully a saleswoman came to my rescue.
She asked me what I was looking for. I told her a mom suit that didn’t look like a mom suit.
I warned her that if she brought me a tankini, we were going to engage in a fist fight.
And no one likes violence.
She cruised around the store gathering options.Then showed me to a dressing room, where she hung the suits for me to try. She told me to call if I needed assistance.
Why would I need assistance? I had my precious daughter.
Any woman who has tried on swimwear knows it’s not easy to find THE one. And by THE one, I mean the suit that makes you cry the least.
Some of the suits I ruled out instantly based on pattern or color. That left me with a few to try. Good thing I had skipped lunch.
My daughter was sitting there, ready for the fashion show. All eyes on me.
I took the first suit off the hanger. Don’t they all look so cute on the hanger? It was red and although two pieces, the pieces actually met in the middle, as to not have another tankini debacle.
I slipped on the bottoms, (over my panties, I do practice good hygiene) then the top. For me, the cut of the bottoms is THE most important aspect of a winning suit. It has to make my hiney look good.
And by good I mean tolerable. I looked at my daughter. She scrunched up her nose.
THIS was NOT the suit.
I grabbed the next one, then the next. There was a mountain of casualties piling up on the floor.
About this time my daughter, who had been watching quietly, decided to speak. Why does your stomach fold like that when you bend? What are those lumps on the back of your thighs? Why does your bellybutton look like a crater?
Why did I bring her? Right. Moral support.
Remind me to explain moral support to her later.
Only one suit remained. If this one let me down, I was going to eat an entire pizza for supper. And maybe ice cream.
I gathered my grit and stepped inside. With squinted eyes I peaked in the mirror.
I opened my eyes a little wider. It almost looked…..cute. I turned to survey the back view and for the first time, I didn’t want to run out of the dressing room screaming.
I turned to my critic. She was sitting there looking bored. Which could only mean one thing. I looked good! She couldn’t find anything to critique.
AND THERE IT WAS!
I was not going to be the most embarrassing mom at the pool this year.
I purchased the suit along with a new cover up (a mom essential). I had pulled it off without a single tear. Or curse word.
Okay maybe one. But it was under my breath.
On the drive home I thought back on my life before kids. The days of lounging by the pool in my bikini, with my best girlfriends, were long gone.
These days I arrive to the venue wearing a standard mom suit, carefully covering all my battle scars.
I have traded my girlfriends for four little people who call me mom. I carry a huge bag stuffed with snacks, drinks, toys, towels, floaties and every sunscreen known to man.
And I haven’t actually relaxed at the pool since 2003. I am now the supervising adult.
But you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Not even that little hot-pink two-piece that I wore on my honeymoon.
Well…maybe just for one day….
Nah. I’m good.
I’m just living the dream.