Mother in a Swimsuit

By Veronica

I wore a swimsuit in public today and the sky did not fall.

This frumpy overweight mom wore a swimsuit in public, and no one pointed and jeered. No one turned away in disgust. Dogs did not let out howls as I walked by, and potted plants did not wilt.

Not a single bird fell out of the sky.

In other words, it went better than I expected.

Having four babies has been hard on my vanity. You all know the story: extra pounds, stretch marks, wrinkles, blah, blah, boring blah. I can feel aggrieved by these changes, as though no one! has ever! experienced aging before! (And all of it gets chalked up to childbirth, as though those of you who became parents through adoption are perfectly toned, blithely dancing in bikinis on tabletops and slurping up free margaritas from smitten strangers. Or are you? If you are, I clearly don’t know enough about adoption.)

But the truth is, nobody stays young forever. Except Madonna and Cher, and the zombie hordes will be reclaiming them any day now. For the rest of us, aging is a part of life. Sometimes I have been afraid of it, but today, standing in that pool with other moms, my feelings surprised me.

I felt free.

I watched my girls play, swooshed them through water and showed them how to hold onto the wall and kick. I did not think about my body at all, except to feel grateful that I could stand there in the sunshine, splashing and laughing, enjoying the youth of the young.

Those of you who read my personal blog, Toddled Dredge, already know that the pool visit ended badly, but I still enjoyed the first part. And I’m ready to take the kids back to another pool – as soon as I find one that will have us.

11 Responses to Mother in a Swimsuit
  1. Stephanie
    June 2, 2009 | 12:13 am

    Oh, this is so inspiring. I hope I can do that someday…


  2. Happy Geek
    June 2, 2009 | 1:13 am

    I take my boys swimming all the time. I’ve realized that they are so cute that everyone is looking at them and not their tubby mommy. It is freeing to realize that very few people are actually noticing me.

  3. Melissa
    June 2, 2009 | 6:20 am

    i think its just a misconception that we have really that people look at us….the old generation would to pass the time and the really young look at others their age to flirt… the in betweens just get on their business so we should never feel bad about the way we are looking….i know easier said than done but in reality very few people will notice us

  4. Beck
    June 2, 2009 | 8:56 am

    Lovely – and one of the places that I really feel least self-concious is at the pool because nowhere is it more evident that my mid-30s body is the normal state of things.

  5. Janet
    June 2, 2009 | 9:08 am

    Whenever I’m feeling self-conscious about my body I always think of something my mother used to say when I complained about acne or small boobs when I was a teenager: you could have no legs. Essentially, she was saying “Get over yourself, you’re healthy and able.” Moms are smart.

    Also? The title of your post reminds me of the English Beat song Mirror in the Bathroom:

    Mother in a swimsuit
    You felt free…

  6. kgirl
    June 2, 2009 | 9:10 am

    I just bought a real bathing suit for the first time since before I became pregnant with my first child. It was a big step to eschew my maternity tanktop and boy shorts for a real tankini.

    I might actually wear it.

  7. Carrie
    June 2, 2009 | 11:29 am

    That’s wonderful – I’ve always struggled with my weight, even before kids, so I’m always happy when I get to slap on a maternity swimsuit & blame it all on pregnancy – yay for this summer at the beach! 🙂

  8. Mozi Esmes Mommy
    June 3, 2009 | 7:27 pm

    Yeah for you!

  9. Kelly
    June 5, 2009 | 2:33 pm

    I agree with Beck.

    (I should start all my comments this way; I’d be thought of as a brilliant, brilliant woman.)

    The pool (or the lake, in my case) can be a great equalizer. No one looks perfect in a swimsuit once they are 22 or older.

    Lack of self is an amazingly freeing thing.

  10. Wally
    June 16, 2009 | 11:17 pm

    Wally thinks some pics are needed, sweetie! 😉

    Seriously, that’s a really sweet article. You know where I stand on the body-image issue (if you keep up with my facebook). I hope to manage myself with such grace and aplomb when I get called to walk the grim mile between the changing room and the pool.

    “Jiggly man walking!”

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