Advertisement

Suit Up, Mama!


You’ll never consider my body bikini-ready or beach-worthy. I’ve never had six-pack abs or been a small person, even in my younger, pre-kid days. I have a soft, squishy tummy; big, strong thighs; big everything. But my body is a powerhouse. My body built two beautiful baby girls, birthed, and nursed them. I love my body, whatever its size, and I want my girls to love their bodies, too. Part of that means living in my body without apology, and I hope you can, too.

As summer rolls around once again, we’re faced with Louisiana heat and humidity. I’m not built for the heat, so getting outside almost requires water of some sort. And where there’s water, there are swimsuits. Splash pads, swimming pools, the beach and water parks–all ways to stay active and have fun in the hot summer sun without completely melting. 

It can be tempting to just sit in the shade (perhaps with a cool towel) and watch your little ones have fun in the water. Or even to avoid being the one taking them to fun summer-only activities that involve water. 

But I’m writing to encourage YOU to put on that swimsuit and get in the water with your little and not-so-little splashers. No matter how you think you look or what others may think, your children will appreciate the time together. The memories made are invaluable. I promise your kids aren’t thinking about what you look like in a swimsuit, and chances are, no one else is noticing either. (People really are more self-involved than we think.)

One of the best/worst compliments I ever received was from a friend, long before I had children, who said, “You’re so lucky you don’t care what you look like.” It was double-edged, of course, and I’m still not exactly sure what she meant at the time. What I heard was the implication that I don’t take care of myself or fit into the mold of made-up, hairstyled, well-dressed women we’re supposed to be. But over the years, it’s settled and the sting is gone, taking on new meaning, and I am proud that my persona could include not fitting into what people expect of me. (Although to be clear, I do wear makeup, nice clothes, style my hair–just not every day–and I absolutely do care about what people think of me!)

The picture with this post is me lifting my then two-year-old daughter at a free splash pad in Minneapolis during our sabbatical last year (lest you think we have something that amazing nearby!). My inlaws were in town to help us with the move back to Baton Rouge. I asked my mother-in-law to take some photos of me with my girls. I’m the photographer in the family, capturing my girls’ lives one snap at a time, so often I’m missing from the record of the life we’re living together. Thankfully, she captured this beautiful moment of strength, and dare I say grace? I don’t see the size of my body, rather the size of my love for the girl I am hoisting and adoring in that moment of fun.

I hope you get many similar moments of joy while you hit the waves, splash pad or pool with your little bathing beauties this summer! Suit up, Mama! And be sure to remember sunscreen.

Reviews

2 Reviews
Lee Ann Moeller
Edmond, Oklahoma
Beautifully suited!!!

Beautifully said, Mari! Moms, grandmothers, aunts and friends need to take this to heart! ( Dads, grandpas, uncle's, too) Time spent together is what is important.

June 2019

Did you find this review helpful?

0
Suzanne
Stillwater OK
Love in the Sun!

Perfectly pictured and expressed!

June 2019

Did you find this review helpful?

0

Recent Articles more articles

A Garden’s Promise

in Things To Do, Amy Delaney

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” I didn’t understand the powerful meaning of this quote from Audrey Hepburn until the quarantine of 2020. While many baked bread and remodeled their kitchens, I got my hands dirty in my little raised bed.

Unexpected New Skills While Staying Close to Home

in Crafts and Cooking, Things To Do, Family Life, Mari Walker

Although stay-at-home orders didn’t turn me into a better homemaker, they did expand my horizons within the domestic sphere, and this old dog learned some new tricks. While my thumb is still black and my house is still…lived in…more time spent at hom

Pandemic Retail Therapy: Shopping My Feelings One Click at a Time

in Family Life, Mari Walker

Filling a shopping cart online is fun, but it’s not as fun as filling up a cart in real life, at least for me. I am sure it has something to do with instant gratification. Online shopping gives that sweet dopamine release, but the payoff is delayed w

Influenza or COVID? Answering Common Questions About Flu Season

in Sponsored Content

In a year that has been dominated by uncertainty from a “novel” virus, one thing that is for sure is that the influenza virus will be making its appearance in the coming weeks. It is important to remember that influenza kills otherwise healthy adults

Advertisement
Newsletter