We are beaching it right now in beautiful Destin. Every year since the kids have been born, we come here to have a little fun in the sun. Our family loves the beach. When I was a little girl my family always vacationed once a year to the beach. I have such fond memories of those trips and I’m glad we are creating sweet memories for our family to cherish just the same. Packing for a beach trip means lots of sunscreen and swimsuits because we pretty much stay between the pool and beach all day long.
I love splashing in the waves with my babies, building sand castles and looking for sea shells or crabs on the shoreline. Seeing the joy and excitement in their faces warms my heart and I don’t want to miss a moment. So I don’t, I make sure I have on my sunscreen and a great swimsuit to play just as hard as they do each day.
“So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.” ~Ecclesiastes 8:15 (NLT)
I am going to be completely honest (and I don’t think I am alone). I struggle with insecurities about my body. I have come a long way and lost over 80 pounds, but slipping on a swimsuit is certainly not a time when I feel most confident. In fact, it’s more like a time when I feel you can see all my flaws concerning my body. I’m not one of those moms that ever did or ever will be rocking a bikini (and no offense to the ones that are, rock on momma). What I’m trying to say is if I personally wore a bikini, I would be lying poolside trying to make my belly look as tone and flat as possible. I wouldn’t be the one playing in the pool with my kids or chasing crabs on the beach because I would be so self-conscious about how I looked or what other people thought (like that should even matter). Honestly, if I wore a bikini, I would suffer because I would be trying to suck it in all day long. What’s worse is that I would regret not taking every opportunity to create and make those lasting memories with my kids.
The Three Reasons Why I Will Never Wear A Bikini
Reason Number 1 :: My Kids
I’m a mother to a 3 and 4 year old. They are always running, which means I’m always chasing. They tug and pull on me and my swimsuit constantly, and I’m definitely not interested in having any type of swimsuit catastrophe. Like I said earlier, I want to play and have fun, not worry about constantly fixing my swimsuit or covering myself up to hide all my insecurities.
Reason Number 2 :: My Kids
Having back to back pregnancies, 12 months, apart really did a number on my body. At my heaviest weight, I hit the scales at a whopping 230 pounds. I eat healthy and workout, but my abs are playing a good game of hide and seek – meaning they are hiding and no matter how hard I try, I can’t find them. Maybe one day, I will have six pack abs, but unless my hubby takes me on vacation to some deserted island (sans kids), I personally don’t see me ever wearing a bikini. It just isn’t a goal I have. Don’t get me wrong, finally seeking my abs is a goal, but sporting them in a bikini is not a goal I desire.
Now with that being said, I cannot believe I am actually going to put this picture on display for the entire world to see. Getting healthy was a goal I set for myself. I workout and wear clothes that compliment my body (I’m not trying to accentuate the negative parts of my body). My friends often tell me, “you could wear a bikini, you totally have the body for it.” They just have no idea about the loose skin that hangs around my mid section; no matter how much hard work I have put into my lifestyle, that skin won’t tighten up. I honestly should embrace the skin and let it serve as a reminder that my body is a beautiful and amazing thing that carried my two most precious gifts in my life. So let me take a deep breath and exhale and show you that even though I workout and eat healthy, my body is not perfect. This is probably the HARDEST thing I have ever posted, but this is REAL life, and I hope other moms can relate. Please keep your judgment and negative comments about my picture to yourself; I can assure you I’m my own worse critic.
Reason Number 3 :: My Kids
I know there will be mixed opinions regarding this next issue, but I do not want my daughter wearing a bikini. I personally feel like the message of TV and magazines today focus too much on showing more skin and of course being super (almost unhealthy) skinny. We have already established I am self-conscious about my own body. My daughter notices everything. She recently has been saying, “I want to be just like you,” which just melts my heart. If I were to wear a bikini, I know she would want to wear a bikini also. I know at three years old there isn’t any real harm in her wearing a bikini, but in a few more years, it may only serve as a reason for her to be self-conscious of her own body which could lead to body image issues down the road.
These are the reasons I choose to be a bikini free mom. Yes, I do have insecurities about my body (now on display for the entire world to see), but I will never let that stop me from making memories with my kids. I never want to have regrets that I missed opportunities to share special times with my children over my body image issues. My kids could care less what I look like in a swimsuit as long as I’m right in the action along side them in the pool or at the beach.
Great job on living healthy and being the woman in the swimsuit you need to be for your kids, not your vanity or someone else’s!
As to letting your daughter wear a bikini, I am not a fan of little girls wearing the tiny triangle tops whether they have anything to really cover or not. My stepdaughter is almost 9 and her father and I have a no triangle top rule. She wears two piece suits with bandeau or handkerchief tops because she’s so tall for her age that one pieces end up showing off more than a modest two piece! We are of the opinion as parents that there is no reason to sexualize our little girl with revealing swimwear. She’s more interested in playing and running at the beach and pool then “showing off to get a boyfriend” (her words) and thank goodness for that!
I think you look fabulous and, most importantly, healthy. You are choosing suits that compliment your body and that exudes confidence. I was an athlete for years and had a super bulky build when all of my friends had dainty figures. I am now one of those moms with the ‘abs’ (they never went away after sports). I will wear two pieces because for once I am comfortable in my skin. Maybe I should rethink that, though, because my girls won’t be allowed to for quite some time. Great post! Thanks for sharing!
Love this post! Heading on a beach vacation on Saturday, and taking my tankini’s with me, along with the new, longer board shorts I just bought so I can play in the sand with the kids without worrying about anything hanging out. I feel like it was about me 10 years ago, and back then, I sure as heck rocked a bikini. 10 years and a set of term-twins later, my tummy isn’t what it used to be! Thanks for reminding me I’m not alone!
You look amazing! I’ve just had two kids back to back (my youngest is 3 months) and I agree with everything you’ve said. I am happier, more confident, more comfortable and a lot more fun in a one-piece so that’s what I’ll be rocking at the beach this year. As women & mothers we should always have each other’s backs – support the choices other women make ladies! Don’t judge but rather be good friends, neighbors & citizens because you don’t know what battles people are fighting on the inside.
I choose to wear a tankini or one piece. It all depends on the brand. Even when I was a teen, I usually wore a one piece. I did have a bikini but unless I was lying down, I always wore a t-shirt over it. I always worried about swimsuit catastrophes. There are definitely some sexy one piece swimsuits out there. The sexiest you can be is to be comfortable in what you are wearing.
Thanks for sharing your photo. I think you look fabulous! I still have the baby weight, I wish I had a tummy like yours. It’s all about perspective.
I don’t like bikinis on young children. A bikini to me is a grown up type of clothing and shows more skin than is appropriate for a young child. I think children should get to be children in every sense, even clothes. Also, with issues of sun exposure and skin cancer I think our forebears had it right to cover up as much as possible. I’m glad the swimsuits aren’t wool anymore though, lol
As a wife and mother I enjoy the freedom of wearing what I feel is comfortable and functional. My husband would find me attractive in a potato sack so I dress for me and my lifestyle. My daughter wants to be just like me and I think it’s important to impress upon her that it’s my actions and beliefs that make me who I am, not clothes.
I have a few problems with the wording here. Yay for you feeling healthy and all that. But. Saying you were a “whopping” 230 pounds is a slap in the face to anyone who is near that weight and reading this. What is big to you is a happy healthy place to others, and a a huge accomplishment to others still. It’s insulting the existence of women who weigh that much- both publicly insulting their weight and assuming it’s unproblematic to do so. Why? Because you think they’re unhealthy? Aside from the fact that you have no idea what their metabolic markers are, and weight does not correspond to the same body fat percentage in all people, and last but not least, fat does not indicate poor metabolic health… The fact that maybe you think all these things does not give you a free pass to be a bully, intentional or not.