Never said this before. I LOVE my bathing suit.

Summer is not *my* season. I don’t feel all glowy with a tan or relish in walking around in skimpy tops you can’t wear a bra under. Not since I was 12 could I get away without wearing a bra, and I am of the pasty white variety, so pasty that it is actually impossible to tan. It is possible to burn, peel and freckle enough to maybe look like a tan, but I just don’t feel the cancer risk is worth it to get to the sun damage that looks like my skin is a shade darker stage. (This just in. Did you know tanning beds can cause cancer????? SHOCKER!!)

True story- I actually bought a tanning bed membership in college and spent two months going 3 or 4 times a week. I rubbed the glittery oil on myself and even put that dolphin shaped sticker on my hip so I could get a “sun tattoo”.  All this so I would have a base tan for spring break in Panama City. You know, the kind of tan that’s supposed to keep you from burning (I don’t even know if this is a proven theory or just some desperate college girl urban legend).  Well, the Florida sun annihilated my base tan and I came home as blistered as a pork rind. I haven’t intentionally “tanned” since and apologize to my skin daily for the hell I put it through. I believe these lines around my eyes may be it’s way of telling me it can forgive, but it will never forget.

And I’ve never been one of those girls who looks smokin’ hot in a two piece. I looked okay at one point, but the whole pasty white thing really doesn’t help when you don’t actually have a six pack. For some reason, the whiter you are the wider you look. Regardless, I would spend months doing crunches and bicycles and various other ab workouts, trying to make myself feel confident in my two pieces. I never did, though. In hindsight, I really should have enjoyed my stretchmark free stomach more. 

When it came time to find a new bathing suit this year, my first thought was, “Good God, you absolutely can NOT wear a two piece. NOBODY wants to see these stretchmarks.”  What, then, was I supposed to wear? A one piece? No. Terrible, terrible choice for me. I have such a short torso and look so top heavy in them (the boobs may be deflated, but they still make up quite a bit of real estate). Pair that with my chicken legs and they all make me look like a walking lollipop. So a tankini, yes? I mean, this seems to be the swimsuit of choice for 90% of moms. In fact, the tankini screams MOM so loudly to me that I have had an aversion to them for years.

I didn’t want to give in to the tankini. To me, it was like one step away from a fanny pack, but, after going over the options in my head, it was the only one that made any sense. Okay, I promised myself one thing. I would absolutely NOT get anything with any sort of skirt on it. The good news is I still have great legs. They are my best asset, and thankfully, not a stretchmark to be found on them. So I decided to focus on the positive and went on a tankini hunt. I found the perfect one at Kohls (of course, the mecca of mom shopping). The top is long enough that I don’t have to worry about it rising up to show off the stretchmarks, and there is ruching along both sides that, combined with the busy blue/brown/yellow pattern, completely disguises any bit of belly pudge. It also shows off an appropriate amount of cleavage. The bottoms are simple brown bikini bottoms with side ties. It’s. Perfect.

As I put it on the other day for another trip to the pool and looked myself over in the mirror, I had to ask myself, “what was I so worried about?” I have never felt more confident, sexy, beautiful in a bathing suit. Ever. It’s accentuates the positive, disguises the negative, it’s comfortable, and I don’t have to worry about pork rind belly burns anymore. Granted, I don’t feel like a college co-ed ready for body shots on the beach in it, but I don’t feel like a “mom” in it either. I just feel good in it. I don’t stress about putting it on and keeping things tucked in while I’m wearing it. 

I have to laugh at how long it took me to finally feel comfortable in a bathing suit.  Who knows? Maybe it’s because I AM a mom… maybe not. It’s like as soon as I gave myself an excuse to not squeeze myself into what I thought young and sexy women wore to the pool, I was able to finally feel young and sexy at the pool. I’m not saying this has turned me into a summer girl. I still long for fall when my pale skin looks lovely against jewel toned shirts, and I can pair my pointy toed boots with form fitting boot cut jeans. Fall is *my* season. But, at least some of the pointless stress of summer is gone for me now.

Kendall is three days away from 15 months old

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  1. I believe those are called “tan-toos” LOL

    And I hear you. I am the whitest white girl there is. I dreaded this summer having just given birth in April. But alas, went to TJMAXX and found the cutest tankini of my life. And I refuse to believe its a mom suit because my boobs looks FANTASTIC. Like porn-star boobalicious. At least I got one good asset postpartum!

  2. I have that same bathing suit (actually 2 of them – the other pattern too!!) and I LOVE IT!! I’m extremely tall and had a hard time finding a tankini long enough to cover the stretch marks. What a glorious bathing suit – I’ll have to be gentle with it & hope it lasts for years 🙂

  3. I am impressed! I found the first bathing suit I LOVED and then found out I was pregnant a week later. Yeah, that was short-lived. I’m a very pale girl myself so I feel your pain… I am so jealous of those who can tan way their stretch marks and imperfections.. my glow with the whiteness of my skin! Grrr.

  4. I have exclusively worn a tankini for years – longer than I have had kids because I have always felt that my stomach is not flat enough for a two piece (and the of course now there are the stretch marks). I love them!!! Glad you found the right swim suit for you.

  5. I could have written this myself! After my first son, I still wore a bikini since I bounced right back minus the stretchmarks and a little extra skin. I looked fine, but I felt so self conscious! The following summer I broke down and bought a tankini and felt SO much more comfortable. Tankinis all the way for me! And I think I look cute!

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