Growing up I always wanted to wear the two-piece. For years, my parents preferred for me not to wear a swimsuit that showed too much skin (not mad at that now that I have my own daughter) and then once I was older and very much could, I didn’t care to. Why? Because I wasn’t the skinny girl or the super athletic girl with the abs of steel. For the better part of my life I preferred to stay covered up in my cover-up because I had convinced myself my body wasn't good enough.
So here I am, 32 years old and postpartum x2 with a beautiful, kind 2.5 year old daughter and a curious, giggly 5 month old baby boy. My belly is mushy and I’m not sure where my abs are anymore. Breastfeeding around the clock has made those two assets lose most of their perkiness and I have my fair share of stretch marks. The other day I stood in the mirror in my swimsuit and applied copious amounts of sunscreen (since I finally learned that’s important) when my daughter came in to “help.” Then she said something that changed everything for me:
“Mama, you’re so boo-tiful, when I get older I want to match you.”
Right then and there I decided to embrace my mom bod.
Is it a size 4? Nope.
It it what it was when I got married? Not even close.
Has it bounced back after birthing a giant baby? Not yet.
I smiled because I saw toned arms from carrying around my baby boy. I saw a peplum swimsuit that helped me feel comfortable in a two-piece while keeping it classy. I didn’t care if my stretch marks were showing because I worked hard for those by carrying two babies to term and then some. I smiled because my daughter didn’t care that I was sporting a large and finally, FINALLY I started to believe my husband who had told me since my last delivery my body was perfect.
Once I decided to love this new body I found myself feeling so much lighter. More carefree. More confident. I now focus less on all the imperfections and more on the strength that only comes from being a mama. I spend more time thanking God for my health and less time praying to look like some influencer on Instagram.
I am no longer concerned about how I look on the outside and more concerned with how I talk about my body in front of my daughter who is paying such close attention. I see my body as miraculous and yes, beautiful - one that is forever changed because God blessed us with two babies who turned our world upside down in the best way possible.
So this summer I choose to toss on my swimsuit and get in the pool with my people. I no longer worry about the extra rolls or squishy love handles because you know what, WHO EVEN CARES?! I realized not one single person at any pool or beach we visit will care, let alone remember, what I looked like. My husband and children will remember how much fun we had and how I didn’t hesitate to enjoy every second of summer with a giant smile on my face.
Mom bodies are beautiful and real and strong. They are living proof that God created us to do all the things and you better believe we should be proud of our bodies, regardless of size or scars. Loving yourself is hard and a struggle at times but let’s change the narrative for our daughters. Because they deserve better and they think we’re “boo-tiful” just the way we are.