It had been on my mind for most of the week. When I found out that our family had been invited to a pool party, my first thought was to shut the idea down as fast as the invitation had come. It was hard enough for me to take all three of my kids anywhere, but the pool was an entirely different story. Not just because the kids were difficult, but because going to the pool made me difficult, too. I think you already know where I’m going with this.
We got to the party and my kids ran right into the pool, joining the other kids already in the water. The parents all stood along the side of the pool, talking and watching the kids playing. Before too long, all of the kids were begging their parents to come in, trying to coax them by splashing water their way. One by one, we all gave our kids excuses as to why we wouldn’t get in, watching their little disappointed faces as they swam back out into the water.
I sat there and fidgeted under my cover up, knowing that pretty soon it would be my own kids begging me to come in and play. And once my middle daughter’s eyes caught mine, I knew it was my time to give an answer. “Mommy! Mommy! Come play with me!” Her little voice cried out, as she spat water out of her mouth. And in that moment, my daughter gave me a choice.
She gave me the choice to sit on the sidelines in my insecurity or to get over myself and get in.
Going to the pool can be such a hard thing for us as moms, let alone finding a suit we feel beautiful and confident in. The insecurity we tend to feel about our post baby bodies can be so consuming that it easily takes away one of the most joyful gifts that we get to experience with our kids – the gift of play. And I don’t know about you, but it can be consuming enough that I find myself sick with anxiety any time I know I’m going to be seen in my bathing suits in the near future. To me, my size more than matters.
Here’s the thing, mamas. Our kids are only this little for this short amount of time. They’re only going to beg for us to get in and be a part of their world for so long. And why should we spend the years of their littleness sitting on the sidelines in the insecurity of our mom bods, rather than being fully present in the moment and choosing to get in? I don’t know about you friend, but I don’t want to look back ten years from now and wish that I could have jumped in just one more time. And oh, my goodness, I don’t want to look back in regret and realize just how many memories the insecurity about my body stole from me.
No. More. Memories. Stolen. Mama. Your heart is too precious to let these moments keep passing you by.
And in case you were wondering, I took the cover up off. I got in the pool that night. My kids jumped off of the side and into my arms, I gave them piggy back rides, we splashed water into each other’s faces, and we laughed our heads off. I didn’t let my size matter because when I live in the moment with my kids I’m a size mom. And it’s the most perfect size I could ever want to be.
This is an excerpt from Lauren Eberspacher's new devotional Midnight Lullabies - Moments of Peace for Moms.