This is me in 2004. I had just given birth to my first child days before. I was such a newbie. I had so many things swirling around in my hormonal brain. I was going to be the best mother in the universe. I was also going to have my pre-baby body back in 6 months tops.
bahahahahahahahahahaha!! That poor sweet, naive girl. What was she thinking? Here I am, almost 9 years later and I am STILL waiting on that pre-baby body. It is probably a good thing that I didn't know then what I know now.
After having babies, only about 2% of us will ever return to our glory days. That is why THIS is my least favorite time of the year. It is almost March and that is close enough to summer, that you have to start thinking about swimsuits. That's right, when you have kids you have no choice in the matter. Your little sweeties are going to spend the summer at the pool, and unless you want to be that mom in khaki shorts, begging someone to save your drowning kid, then YOU must have a suit.
Don't make the same mistakes that I did. First I tried ordering a new suit from a catalog. The package arrived. Thrilled, I raced to try it own. I didn't order a bikini. I mean I wasn't blind. My days of frolicking around in those babies were over. I did order a tankini though. Do they still make those? DON'T DO IT! I put the suit on and walked over to the floor length mirror. To say I was horrified would be an understatement. It was like all of my flesh was fighting to get out of that little open part between the top piece and the bottoms. This suit was supposed to have a slimming effect? I feverishly wrestled my way out of it, punched and kicked at it a few times, then stuffed it back into the bag. I found a tape gun, the kind you would use in a warehouse with cardboard boxes, and wrapped and wrapped layers and layers of tape around that bag. All to teach Victoria's Secret a lesson. You had better not ever send anything so hideous to my house again. No matter how much I beg.
Now it was apparent that I would have to go try on suits. I was NOT going to go through that again. This would require a trip to the mall, where there are large department stores, with racks and racks for me to try. Surely in the sea of retail, I could find a winner. This is where I made mistake number two. I took my kids with me.
Upon entering the store, I immediately saw the huge selection of colorful, synthetic materials. There must have been thousands in there. So many that it was difficult to focus on any one section. What brand, what color, what cut, what size? It was too much. Especially with my daughter handing me every pink suit that she could find and my young son asking me why bikinis looked more like bras and panties. Thankfully a saleswoman came to my rescue. She asked me what I was looking for. I told her a mom suit that didn't look like a momsuit and if she brought me a tankini there was going to be a fist fight. She cruised around the store and before I knew it she had one of every pattern, color and cut of a swimsuit that you could possibly want. She told me to follow her to the dressing room. She hung the suits all around the room. There were even chairs for my kids to sit in as I tried each one.
Any woman that has tried on swimwear knows that it not easy to find the perfect one. It takes 20 no-ways before you find the perfect fit. Some of the suits I ruled out instantly based on pattern or color. That left me about about six to try. Good thing I had skipped lunch. I take the first one off the hanger, a cute little number. It was red and although two pieces the pieces actually met in the middle as to not have another Victoria's Secret debacle. By this time my kids were eyeing me, waiting for the fashion show. I slipped on the bottoms, (over my underwear, don't be that lady who tries on suits without your panties) then the top. I looked in the mirror. Then I did the dreaded turn-to-see-the-rear-view move. The cut of the bottoms is THE most important aspect when making a decision. It was to be cut in just the right way to make your hiney look as small as possible. THIS was NOT that suit.
I grabbed the next one, and the next one. There was a mountain of casualties piling up on the floor. About this time my daughter chose to hit me with one of her famous rapid fire question sessions. Why does my stomach fold up like that every time I bend over? What are those lumps on the back of my thighs? What was I saying under my breathe as I slung that last suit across the dressing room. What was I thinking bringing these kids with me?
I burned through that pile in no time. Why was this so hard? It didn't used to be? I looked and there was one suit left. All the rest had gone into the NO WAY pile. This was my last hope. If this didn't work I was going to be at the pool this summer wearing a moo moo, eating an entire bag of cheese puffs. I closed my eyes as I slowly pulled it on. I turned toward the mirror and barely opened my eyes, looking at myself through a squint. It didn't seem so bad. It was a classic black halter top with silver embellishments. It almost looked.....cute. I turned to survey the back view and for the first time, I didn't want to run our of the dressing room screaming. This one may just work.
I turned to my little critics, I mean helpers. My daughter was smiling as if to say that I looked acceptable. I looked into my then three year old son's eyes. He said......"Mommy you're pretty." AND THERE IT WAS!! We have a winner!! Finally! All of my work had not been in vain. I was not going to be the most embarrassing mom at the pool!
I got dressed, gathered my things (including my kids) and stepped over the mound of rejects on the floor. At the counter I purchased my find along with a cover up because let's face it ladies, after kids you always arrive in a cover up. I had pulled it off. This year when the pool opens, I would be ready.
Sure the days of slipping on my bikini and lounging by the pool with my best girlfriends are long gone. Now I arrive wearing my momsuit that covers my war scares, with my posse of 4 little people, carrying my beach bag stuffed full of snacks, drinks, toys, towels, floaties and every sunscreen known to man. True I don't actually get to relax at the pool anymore because I am the supervising adult that must make sure my kids are safe. But you know what? I wouldn't trade my life now for that little hot-pink two-piece that I wore on my honeymoon. Except, maybe for just one day? Is that an option? No? Okay. I'll just sit here and drink my iced tea in my Tervis Tumbler World's-Best-Mom cup and watch my kids splash around. Living the dream........
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