Coming out of my Shell

With last year’s bathing suit experience still burning a hole in my memory, I headed out this weekend to try on a few suits. The hubby’s (not-so) baby sister is getting married at the beach this summer and a few days of beach bumming and a summer of mornings with peanut at the pool means mama needs a new suit.

Luckily, last year’s post-preggers, still-nursing suit is too big. Once I stopped nursing in August, I was able to drop the last of the baby weight, which means most of last summer’s wardrobe is a no go. I shouldn’t complain, I know, but the thought of going through the whole body in a bathing suit, fluorescent lighting, icky mirrors humiliation just wasn’t inspiring a lot of excitement as I left the house Saturday afternoon.

Because I wasn’t very hopeful, I decided to try on some suits at Target while I was there picking up a sand & water play table for peanut. I figured this would give me a total excuse if they all ended up looking horrible. I took a deep breath, navigated my cart into the aisle, ignored the teens giggling over the itty-bitty-teeny-weeny-pink-and-white-polka-dot-bikinis, and started grabbing just about every style suit they have in just about every size not sure what would look good or what would fit.

First of all, curse the Target six-items only rule for the fitting rooms. It took me about three trips in and out to try on everything I’d picked up. Second, the new Target near my house has seriously good mirrors where you can see front and back without that weird three way mirror widening effect.

There were still some horrible suits out there with too little support, too little fabric or too short torsos that (and I didn’t even think this was possible) pulled the boobs even farther south than Key West. But, as I stood in the dressing room bravely trying on two-pieces, I started gaining a bit of confidence. Considering this body has born a child, it was looking pretty good. Sure, it wasn’t looking like it did at 18, but for 32, pretty decent.

Since I’ve stopped working, I have had a crisis of confidence. The third party validation, the public speaking, the satisfaction of putting ideas in front of people and seeing them work all boosted my confidence while on the job. As mom, it’s a bit tougher. I know I’m doing the best that I can do, but a screeching toddler isn’t always the best job review. So I made a conscious decision while standing in a dressing room – to feel good about me. To feel good about who I am. And so I put the judgements aside and bought two suits. And neither of them is a one piece.

Even as I write this, the thought of wearing them makes me smile. Sure, the belly skin still puckers when I sit, my booty will always be big and I will continue to make sure the ladies get pulled into the right position, but when I play with peanut on the beach, I won’t feel like a fuddy-duddy-mummy. I’ll feel like a hot mama. Even if I’m not one, it’s all about the mind-set, right?

I’m taking a risk in order to take a little ownership of the non-mommy me that is so often given the cold shoulder. Of course trying them on for a dressing room mirror and the hubby is different from wearing them out in front of other people, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

And I have the safety net of wearing my best accessories – the hubby and peanut. Their laughter and fun are the best confidence boosters I can imagine.

See you in the water.

2 thoughts on “Coming out of my Shell

  1. Bathing suit shopping is the WORST. I always used to make fun of those old-ladyish “swim skirts” — and now I’m actually considering one!! They’ve gotten a little cuter & besides, who needs to see the upper thighs of a grown woman?I hear you on the confidence thing. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when the only thing you’ve got to show for your day is that the house is still standing & your child’s still in one piece.

  2. Bravo! I refuse to wear a one piece…not that I’m sporting a teeny bikini though! Someone asked me when my first son was born if I’d start wearing one piece bathing suits. Hell no, I say! Embrace that confidence that has grown stronger and fiercer with each child I bore!

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