Moms struggle with body image too, and swim suits have a way of triggering our insecurity.
Summer has finally hit Minnesota and we’ve already enjoyed our first 90 degree day. That day, a generous friend invited the kids and I to join them for a little pool party.
We were excited to spend the day with fun friends, and I knew the kids would love it. And yet in the back of my mind, a shrill, insecure voice squeaked – Wait, do I have to wear a swimsuit!?
This question plagues many mamas during summer months (and possibly year-round). Too many of us allow that once small voice to grow to a loud, dominating decision-maker.
You know which voice I mean – the one that threatens to steal our smiles when we have family photos because we can’t find clothes that fit. It is the one that whispers lies, so what we see in the mirror isn’t what God sees. That voice generates insecurity and fosters self-loathing. It tells us that even though we’re adults, we should have the immature body of a teenager who hasn’t had one, two, three, or more babies. Instead of motivating us to take good care of our body and be content with where we’re at – it paralyzes us.
The result? That voice steals precious, priceless moments with our husbands and kids. And, in doing so, it robs us of fun experiences, memories, and joy.
You know what I told that voice?
Yes. Yes I have to wear a swimsuit – in fact, I get to.
It is a privilegee to squeeze into a swimsuit and wear it to play in a pool with our kids (even if it take a while to find one that stays where it is supposed to stay).
It is my pleasure to help them learn about water, see their anticipation, and to hear their nervous shrieks and giggles as they splash and explore the pool.
It is my job to wear a swimsuit and demonstrate contentment with my body for my daughter (and son) – a healthy body image will be learned by what our kids hear us say about our body, and what we allow that voice to stop us from doing.
It is my JOY to experience water with them, and to know they experienced it with me. Their mama.
Sure, I could have listened to that voice and allowed it to reign over our summer. I could have declined the invitation and thought of a way to stay fully clothed. The kids could have just played in the blow-up pool in our yard, run through the sprinkler, or we could have gone to the splash pad. I could have paid for swimming lessons while a swim instructor experienced all those things with my kids while I watched from the pool deck. But learning to swim in a class isn’t the same as playing with your sister, your friends and your mama in a pool. My kids won’t ever wish I look differently in my swimsuit – they don’t care how I look. They just love that I’m in the pool playing with them, and they would miss me if I wasn’t.
No. Sweating it out in a shorts and T-shirt on the sidelines isn’t good enough for me – I want more for my kids, and for me.
If that means I have to wear a swimsuit and tell that voice to take a hike – SO. BE. IT!
Is watching from afar enough for you?
I didn’t think so.
Tell that voice to shut up. Recognize the purpose of a swim suit is to cover what needs to be covered, and to stay where it is supposed to. If you don’t have one that does these two things – spend the time and money to buy one that stays-put so you can focus on your kids instead of on wrestling the suit into submission.
Just DO IT. Put it on and forget the rest. Bravely wear that swimsuit and prepare to reap all the benefits.
Your and your kids’ summer depends on it.