Last year we went to the beach for vacation, and it was glorious. I was 750 weeks pregnant with our third child and gave not one single darn. I wore two borrowed maternity swimsuits and walked around the beach and pool like I owned the place. People moved out of my way.
This year it’s different. I have now had three babies in 5 years, and swimsuit shopping is below having a root canal on my list of fun things to do. But I am going to do it, and I think you need to, too. Because if hanging at the pool is on your summer bucket list, you need a swimsuit, mom.
Maybe this is your first summer after having a baby, and you are discouraged with how much you don’t feel like your old self. Maybe this is the summer after having your third baby, and you don’t even remember your old self. It doesn’t matter if you are here, there, or somewhere in-between. I see you, mama who is just planning to just wear shorts and a t-shirt to the pool party, or mom who will just sit on the sidelines while your husband plays with the kids at the beach. You deserve better than that. There is no baby weight loss litmus test you must pass before you are entitled to run into the waves of the ocean. There is no size you must be down to that makes you worthy of a fun day at the lake. So find that perfect (or adequate) suit and plan for this summer to be one for the books.
Here are some tips for making that process a little less soul-crushing. (If you just had a baby, look exactly the same as before, and are back in your string bikini, congratulations! Please close this tab and go buy all the lottery tickets.)
Figure out the kind of coverage you want. Are you planning to lay by a pool in Cabo with your husband or are you planning on chasing your kids around on a crowded beach?
Here are some of my favorite mom-friendly suits from this season:
Even Gisele Bündchen doesn’t look good in a cramped dressing room with florescent lighting, dirty hair and toddlers hanging off her or playing Endless Alphabet at her feet, so you surely won’t. You deserve better than a quick try on during a grocery shopping trip at Target. That is a recipe for tears and an un-keepable promise to start Whole 30 on Monday.
Go home. Make a plan. Order 5-10 swimsuits online. (Perhaps give warning to anyone else with whom you share a credit card)
Wait until they all arrive. Pick a good hair day. Put your child(ren) to bed. Have a glass of wine. Now try on all the suits. Keep at least one- this is important. Not loving anything you wear is not an excuse to not have a swimsuit for the summer. Return the others (prompt returns is the key here.)
With the swimsuit checked off your list, let’s make like Office Space and add some flair. Maybe you don’t love being in a bathing suit in front of people no matter how great of a suit you found. Resist the urge to throw an old tshirt on top to get you to the pool or beach. Find a recipe to make the whole look something in which you feel like yourself. Add cutoffs and a baseball cap for a minimalist cool. A short tank dress with gold sandals and straw fedora to grab lunch without changing. Grab an insane cover-up with pompom fringe and ruffles with a floppy hat and sunglasses like an extra on a reality show.
That’s it. You are done. Now go and enjoy the summer. You deserve it, and you’ll never get this one back.