For new moms, a trip to the beach or local water park can be daunting. On one hand, you want to live your best life and scream #AllBodiesAreBeachBodies. On the other hand, society's standard of "beauty" is extremely unkind and, thanks to all the new changes and fun (read: not fun) hormones, a new mom's confidence can be at an all-time low. Then you have to deal with the terrible things people feel fine saying to postpartum moms in bathing suits and, well, what should be a fun family outing can end up being a horrendous blow to an already sleep-deprived, hard-working mother's self-esteem.
I’ve never been the sort of woman that's super confident at the beach or in a pool. It took me a long time to get to a point where I was at least comfortable in a swimsuit. I grew up in Miami, land of the tiny-waisted, large-breasted model types, and it was hard not to play the comparison game. Still, I didn’t let it prevent me from enjoying the warm sun in tiny bits of clothing.
When I had my son, though, it was a bit harder to get into that IDGAF mindset. I even bought a one-piece when I was postpartum, convinced I couldn't show the parts of my body that proved I had done something as incredible as childbirth. Eventually, and thankfully, I stopped caring and lately I've been hitting the pool in my pre-baby bikini with my family. It’s awesome, and if someone wants to rain on my parade with any of the following remarks, they can go fly a kite.
"No One Wants To See Those Stretch Marks"
Yeah, cool, thanks. It's funny, though, because no one wants to hear your useless opinions, either. Doesn’t seem to stop either of us though, huh?
"Maybe You Should Cover Up That Scar"
I don’t have a c-section scar, but plenty of my friends do. Sadly, I've realized there’s always that one jackass around who talks about not wanting to see scars. Loudly. Obviously. Clearly with the intention of someone hearing. Well, dude, you better buzz off or you’ll be the one with a new scar you can’t hide.
"Have You Thought About A One-Piece?"
Sure? I mean, I think everyone does at one point. And hey, some of those one-pieces are cute, too. But what’s it to you? I might also be down with wearing a bikini from time to time.
Perhaps the better question would be, have you ever thought about keeping your mouth shut?
"You’re Kind Of Bursting Out Of That Top"
OK, so this has never actually happened to me (because my boobs still won’t grow much no matter how many Judy Blume-style workouts I do). However, if someone told me that (as I know people have told other mothers, especially breastfeeding mothers) I’d probably just smile and rock out with my big, postpartum boobs out. Haters gonna hate.
"Would You Let Your Daughter Dress Like That?"
I feel like this is one of those things that people always say to women whenever they’re dressed in a way that someone arbitrarily decides is “inappropriate.” And yet, I don't think I've ever heard someone ask, “Would you let your son dress like that?” to a father. Why? Because he’d probably say, "Sure, why not?"
Moms, that’s what our response should be, too, whether it’s in a postpartum bikini or a pair of wrinkly sweat pants.
"Maybe You’re Too Old For That?"
There’s this weird notion that you’re not allowed to be revealing or sexy once you have children, as though your needs end when you procreate. They don't, though, and neither does the need to express yourself through clothing. Us post-baby moms are allowed to wear crop tops and flaunt our postpartum bods if we so choose.
"I Wouldn’t Have Dared To Wear That After I Had My Baby"
Oh, really? Well, good for you. Why do people always have to tell you how they would never do something that you’re doing, as though that’s a compliment?
"That’s Really Brave"
No, actually, it’s not. Rescuing a baby from a burning building is brave. Standing up to a corrupt government is brave. Wearing a bikini is just comfortable for me. End of story.