Stories Of Summer : Sacrificing Memories by Jessica Turner

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Do you love how you look in a swimming suit?

I don’t.

Summertime makes me painfully aware of my body. Since having my son, Elias, two years ago, my curves are curvier, my tummy is softer, and my breasts are saggier.

My bikinis lay in a pile on the bottom shelf of my closet, along with dust bunnies and forgotten stilettos. For some reason, I can’t part with them, though I know I will likely not wear them again.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t go swimming with my son.

It just means I wear a one-.jpgece. :)

I refuse to miss his high-.jpgtched pool-induced giggles because of my insecurities.

I refuse to let other women’s judging eyes at the pool prevent me from exposing his eyes to the wonder the sun glittering on the water.

I refuse to let my self-image influence his.

I refuse to sacrifice memories with my son because of a soft tummy.

Because at the end of the day, it is not about me.

It is about him.

I want him to remember his mom twirling him in the pool.

I want him to remember water fights.

I want him to remember jumping off the edge of the pool into my arms.

I want him to remember that his mom was there, with him.

As a reminder to myself of this desire to never sacrifice memories because of my insecurities, I created this layout:


THE STORY : Some of my favorite summertime memories are taking you to the pool, Elias. Since you were born in July, you were almost one the first time we took you, and from that moment, you've been a water baby. While my body doesn't look as good in a swimming suit since having you, I like putting one on more because it means I get to now swim with you! I love splashing together, twirling you in my arms, and you jumping into my arms. I love being your mommy.
photos: summers 2009 & 2010; journaling June 2010

Today, I hope to encourage you to push your insecurities aside. Put on that bathing suit. Run through the sprinkler. Jump in the pool. Splash.

Have fun.

Your child will remember those moments and your freedom – not how you looked in your swimming suit.


ABOUT JESSICA : Jessica Turner blogs at The Mom Creative where she discusses “a little bit of this and that” including crafting, parenting, faith, photography and great deals. She is also a writer for DaySpring’s (in)courage, Southwest Airlines’ official mommy blogger and a teacher for Big Picture Scrapbooking.

SPECIAL OFFER : For 20% off her BPS class: Don’t Blink: Scrapbooking Your Child’s First Year, please use the code: blogblink. (Offer expires: 12/20/2010)

35 thoughts

  1. Melinda Wilson

    2010-06-23 12:33:01 -0400

    Such sweet memories! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Stephanie Hanes

    2010-06-23 12:39:54 -0400

    What a great post, Jessica! Thanks for this reminder! I'm trying to remind myself in many circumstances where I feel insecure that my body IS beautiful because it carried my two children (23 months and 8 months) at one time and they are a blessing I do not take for granted.

  3. jennifer hamilton

    2010-06-23 12:42:07 -0400

    I struggle with insecurities daily and reading this has made me look at the bigger picture. Thank you.

  4. dawn

    2010-06-23 12:46:27 -0400

    This is so true I have a hard time but it's also my insecurities of swimming that get in my way. We just got our first pool so I'm hoping soon to put those behind me and just have fun swimming with the kids. Thanks for sharing this I needed to hear this.

  5. Jana

    2010-06-23 13:24:17 -0400

    When our first baby was a year old, she received one of those cute little blow-up kiddie pools. My husband & I were more than happy to relax & cool off in it with her! It began the tradition of always having some kind of kid pool in our backyard on scorching hot summer days - even after the kids out grew the pool (or refused to use it!) My husband & I still will float around in the kiddie pool in our backyard - and my "babies" are 21 & 25. Nothing will stop me from having a "water feature" of some sort when it gets hot! Neither belly bulges or old age ;)! Pools, lakes, any swimming/water play in the summer has always been something we partake in. Good advice for everyone in this post - Don't stop having fun, just because you don't look like a magazine model!!

  6. Heather

    2010-06-23 13:42:26 -0400

    Please tell Jessica to wear her bikini again. It will inspire so many other moms! Why can't mothers who have "soft tummys and saggier breasts"! We've birthed children - dammit!! Be proud of this body who created a miracle! ANY mother who is a mother (whether adopted, birthed or foster) can wear a bikini! We are beautiful because we are mothers!!

  7. Robin

    2010-06-23 13:57:22 -0400

    Thank you so much for this post. I completely relate! I have been trying to get myself motivated to take my daughter to the pool and I think that you did it. Thank you!

  8. Leora

    2010-06-23 14:04:50 -0400

    Such fabulous advice!

  9. Jackie

    2010-06-23 14:34:45 -0400

    Here, Here!!!

  10. kelli johnson

    2010-06-23 15:28:22 -0400

    AMen friend :) What a great post and so uplifting!

  11. Jessica Warrick

    2010-06-23 15:47:08 -0400

    i say screw allthe women with flat bellies and no love handles and were your bikinis. look like a women that isa mother but still a women.

  12. Sarah

    2010-06-23 15:51:39 -0400

    Thank you for posting that!!! I can relate on almost all accounts and have struggled with the thought of my "mommy body" in a swimsuit. I tried on the bikinis that lay on the floor in my closet; they do NOT fit this breastfeeding mommy body AT ALL!

  13. gitz

    2010-06-23 16:10:58 -0400

    I don't have kids or pool in my future, but I definitely need to keep reminding myself not to let my insecurities influence my moments and memories. When steroids changed my appearance it affected my self image so much, and even though I look better now, I have a hard time letting go of not looking how I used to - not looking my best. And I'm teeing really hard to let that go so my memories aren't clouded in that.
    Good stuff, Jess. As always.

  14. Lisa

    2010-06-23 16:32:20 -0400

    OMG three kids later...absolutely can I relate to this. Good for you, knowing the "important" stuff. Wishing our society would get that!!!
    Can anyone help me out or give me a suggestion maybee. I was one of the winners from Ali's blog last weekend. Winner of the canvas and vinly covering. Problem is she asked to email all my contact info. Have done that, well like 4 times and get no response??? Wondered if any of you were lucky enough to win and how long it takes for someone to respond OR something. Just have no other way to reach Ali. It seems like it has sent. Even took the time to call our internet provider and they said it may of sent, but may of gone into her spam. Anyway appreciate any insite regarding this. Thank you.

  15. Kaycee

    2010-06-23 16:38:05 -0400

    LOVE this. And I have actually thought about this since reading your thoughts on your blog about it. I was in the pool twice with my daughter in the last four days. We had SO much fun. It really is so worth it. Now I just need to get my husband to pick up my camera and get a few pictures of ME in the pool with her to put with the ones I have taken of him and her. :)

  16. Tracey Holdyk

    2010-06-23 20:34:14 -0400

    Thanks for reminding us that what we do and who we do it with is far more important that how we look doing it. I for one gave up the idea of bikini's a very long time ago, the freedom was amazing.
    love me :-)

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    2010-06-23 21:45:40 -0400
  18. Jill D

    2010-06-23 23:54:34 -0400

    Thank you for writing about this. I almost blogged about it the other day but didn't want to sound judgemental of others. I couldn't figure out a way to make it personal to me. I think it's just crazy that people do not swim because "they look bad in a bathingsuit". I come from a long line of women who wear skirted bathingsuits on the beach, at the pool, at the lake, you get the idea. Why deprive yourself of something wonderful because of what other people might think if they stop worrying about their own bodies in a bathingsuit to make a judgement about yours. Life it too short for that. (And Annie Lamott has a great essay called "Aunties" about this where she has to learn to accept her wiggly thighs. Very funny!)

  19. Chrissy

    2010-06-24 00:46:50 -0400

    I so agree with you!!!!!! I have to fight to put on my suit and go to the pool. I know I will battle with myself this summer but I REFUSE to let my daughter see me insecure about my body. My body is the way it is b/c of how I treat it. I haven't been working out ... that's my fault ... I haven't been eating right. My fault again. There is no way I'm ruining my kids' summer by refusing to get my butt in a swimsuit. And the reality? How many of us really judge other moms on how they look in a swimsuit?? I know I don't!! And if someone is judging ME based on how I look? Well, that isn't a woman I would ever want to be friends with anyway.

  20. Cindy McDannold

    2010-06-24 00:47:29 -0400

    I do not like the water. I have only had one swimming suit in my 60+ years, but two years ago I put on a suit and my husband and I took our great niece (9) and great nephew (7) to a waterpark for the day.
    We had a blast! You know, not once did the kids notice that "Dee" was chunky and didn't have a tan. They noticed that we had a great day! Kids are really smart. They live in the moment and without worry over unimportant things. I need to remember that.

  21. Liz Navarro

    2010-06-24 04:58:06 -0400

    Jessica - Love this post!! Love the layout too!! I feel a scraplift coming on :-) All you young and older moms - lets all put that one-piece one and jump in the pool!!!

  22. goshery

    2010-06-24 05:34:04 -0400

    Yep, I totally relate! I recently went on a trip to Florida with 5 girlfriends and before we got on the plane I made them all sign a contract that they wouldn't post any pictures of me in my swimsuit on Facebook!! I wore my swimsuit for 5 days straight and had a great time even though I knew I didn't look like a Baywatch babe in it!!

  23. annette

    2010-06-24 07:12:30 -0400

    Well said!!!!!!!

  24. kimberly

    2010-06-24 11:43:35 -0400

    Love this, gets to the heart of how I have been feeling lately, grabbing my suit, my husband, my kids tonight, driving to the pool and going to HAVE FUN!

  25. Carmen

    2013-06-24 19:11:42 -0400

    Ladies, a swimsuit is not the only option. I am fit but aging (you can't control your skin and gravity :( and I wear a bikini, but over that a long sleeve rash guard due to previous melanoma and board shorts. I feel more confident and the rash guard keeps you really cool when it is wet! Take care of your skin--if you don't it will show up in a few short years! Have a blast with your little ones--I so miss that time!

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