Mama Love Junkie and Mothertougher: Help! I’m Dreading Being In A Bathing Suit With My Kids
Dear Mama Love Junkie and Mothertougher,
Now that Summer is here and Iâ€™m with the kids every day I have to admit it. I hate my body. I really hate it. I know I am supposed to love myself and feminism and everything, but I donâ€™t want to go to the beach with my kids, what do I do?
Thanks for your thoughts,
Under the Umbrella
Oh I know! I totally hear you. Â I have always been a little rounder than my friends. OK, a lot rounder, especially since I squeezed those two little people out of me. In fact, just last summer, when i was on the beach and my tummy was rolling like dough over the bottom of my (still pregnancy) bathingsuit, my friend said to me, â€œI love how you just love yourself and go with it. Itâ€™s such a defining part of who you are.â€ I wanted to smack her clear across the face. But I didnâ€™t. Because she was just trying to notice without being mean about noticing, which is what friends should do.
So I am going to be your friend here. Are you too round, squishy, cellulite-y, pudgy, to be in a bathing suit? No. Of course not. I could sit here and spew all the reasons why a post baby body is gorgeous and the extra flappiness and stretch marks are just your wings and tiger stripes and everything, but you arenâ€™t going to listen. If you think you are, you are. There you go. I noticed.
Iâ€™m going to acknowledge it. Because yes, your girlfriends at the beach – and all of the other people who are seeing a lot of different kinds of bodies in less clothing than they usually do, and are surprised and mesmerized and a little turned on by all of it – they will notice you. They will. Some will like what they see, some wonâ€™t and you really will never know which is which.
But you will know what you think: You donâ€™t like the way you look in a bathing suit.
OK, we noticed. You noticed. Now try to move on. Your kids are on the beach and they are fun and the couldnâ€™t really care less what you look like in that bikini. I promise. If you donâ€™t embarrass them by picking a huge wedgie or screaming their name as loud as can be when they hit a homerun in beach softball, they do not care. If you give them hot ginger snaps and cold watermelon and smile at them a lot and only take your phone out to take pictures of them, (and then quickly post them to facebook) they do not care. If you wear a t-shirt and pants every day on the beach with them, they do not care. But you might be hot.
Just go. Just love yourself (even if you donâ€™t love your body) and go with it.
Yours in love,
Mama Love Junkie