This summer I am determined to get into a good swimsuit.
Note, I did not say, “look good in a swimsuit,” or “get an over-priced, good-looking swimsuit.” I am aware that nothing on the planet can transform my body to look like Jennifer Aniston’s, nor do I plan to spend $200 to find something that is good quality, or good-looking.
I am, however, searching for a comfortable swimsuit (read: that doesn’t require regular extraction from between my butt cheeks, or the constant pulling up over my cleavage). I am determined to find something that looks like more than two lace doilies sewn together, but less than a tent passed off as a sun dress.
I don’t plan to sit on the beach and sunbathe, hello skin cancer. I’m also not in the market for a rash guard because I believe they should only be handed out to those with an excellent amount of coordination. (I’m smart enough to avoid learning how to surf or body board—or anything else including the word board.)
I simply need a modest suit that will hold up to my children hanging off me and giving the gawkers on the shore the #wardrobemalfunction moment of the summer. And of course, I want it to be beautiful.
I’m determined to buy a good swimsuit because I have a goal; I’m actually determined to get in the water this summer.
Last year my girlfriends and I sat in our lounge chairs on the beach. We chatted, the kids built sandcastles and waded in the shallow area and all was well. But this year, they are a little bit older and they want to venture deeper and play in the water longer. (And when I say, “longer,” I mean, the whole time we are at the beach.)
While I don’t plan to spend the entire day in the water, I have resolved to be the “fun mom.”
You know, the mom that all the kids beg to play with. The one who is in the water with her cellulite clearly visible without a worry about what the whisperers are saying. The mom who is confident and laughing and whose kids are contagiously shrieking next to her.
I don’t want to hear my school-aged kids complain about how they wished I was like so-and-so’s mother who took them into the deep water or built the coolest sandcastle. I want my kids to enthusiastically tell daddy over dinner about how much fun they had with Mommy at the beach. I want them to get excited when I yell, “Get your swimsuits on!” not exasperate me with questions like, “When will you come in the water with us?”
I’m a mom. I have a mom bod. Granted, I try and take care of it, thank you, Tony Horton and Jillian Michaels. The few stretch marks I do have will be there forever, and my hips and thighs will probably never look as glorious as they did in the pre-kid days. I’m closer to 40 than to 20, meaning my metabolism isn’t speeding up anytime soon and I’ll have to really work at it if I want to rock a bikini. And while I’m not thrilled about these facts, and some days I’d love to swallow a magic pill to make me look like the newlywed version of myself, I’m not losing sleep either (nor am I going to try any of those magic pills).
I’m not writing to tell moms what wear to the beach. If you want to sport a bikini, go for it. If you’re more comfortable in board shorts and a tank, then fist bump to you. What I hope this little challenge will do is encourage you to be the fun mom— to get in the water.
Get your hair wet; let your mascara run. Splash around like a kid and laugh when they dogpile you (even if you’d just spent 20 minutes drying out). Teach them to cannon ball, especially when there are other people are watching, and run with them on the beach, even if it more closely resembles a hilarious Youtube video, than a scene from Baywatch.
Maybe you were the lucky kid growing up — with the mom known as being the “fun one” in the neighborhood. No doubt the rest of us envied you and your cool mom and you either hated it, or had no clue. I encourage you to act like that mother. Choose to be the mom you wished your mother had been, the one your kids pray for, the one you want to be.
Get a good swimsuit; one that is beautiful and comfortable and makes you feel like something closer to a million dollars, than ten ― and then spend your summer committed to being the fun mom. Decide to get in the water and play with your kids; make this summer one they will never forget.