I promised my children that when we went to Europe, I would take them cliff diving. When I was younger, it was one of my favorite summer pastimes while visiting Malta. We would jump off of 30-40 foot cliffs… often. It was so exhilarating. My cousins and I would play a game — who could zip through the alphabet the fastest while plummeting to the water?
Such fond memories. Truly.
We never did make it to a cliff while visiting this time around. 10 days simply wasn’t enough time to get in all the things we needed to do. Between family and tours and utter exhaustion, the plan never happened… but we did get to Gozo for the day and enjoyed a few leaps of faith into the sea together off of a stone jumping board. It’s manmade… but just as fun. In fact, it was EASIER for my kids because there was a LADDER to get back up. They didn’t have to climb up ROCK like I did. These guys had THE LIFE!
But while we were laughing and jumping and getting wet, I couldn’t help but notice how free the European women were at the beach. No matter what age, no matter what shape – every woman dressed freely while at the beach. The skimpier the better. An 80-year-old in a thong bikini! Go girl!!! Go on!! Amazing. I sat there and admired them all – envious at first if I am being completely honest with you. I’ve never loved my body – not even as a teen. So, it was so inspiring for me to see these women literally not caring about their suits or even giving them an afterthought. They were focusing on the moment / on their families / on the sun / on the sea. I – on the other hand – was focusing on shielding my thighs from the world with my one piece and skirt combo.
At first, I went to the beach wearing a complete outfit. My skirt was long enough to wear on the streets and my one piece obviously covered everything else up. I stood there looking like I hadn’t disrobed yet… like I still needed to get into my bathing suit even though I actually WAS in my bathing suit and it really just HIT ME. I was being ridiculous.
I took the skirt off and left it in my bag. I wasn’t comfortable.I was very conscious, but it was something I needed to do.
A SKIRT HERE at THIS beach? Insane. I would have looked like a fool.
As I watched my children enjoy the sea, I started to look at myself and register how I’ve started viewing my body after having children. The women in Europe came in all shapes and sizes. They were big, small, tall and short. They were tan, beet red, stark white – it was all the same. It was just a bathing suit. That’s what people do when they go to the beach – they wear a bathing suit and it didn’t matter what you looked like in it. All that mattered was that you were at the beach and enjoying the day.
So, my week without my skirt was truly an eye opener. But I knew that when I got home I would take it a step further. I wanted to buy a bikini for the rest of the summer – even though I have extra skin around my navel from birthing three babies. Even though my abs are not tone. Even though I am not happy with my AFTER since becoming a mom… I thought that it really didn’t matter. I was a woman going to the beach with my three kids. And if I wanted to be who I was before having children then I have every right to be that person once again. I don’t have to impress anyone. I don’t have to turn anyone on. I’m already married and I am happy with who I am.
This bikini was for me…. not for any suitor that I might meet. So, if I don’t look like the model that is wearing it in the catalog, that’s totally fine and not my issue. If someone else has an issue with my body… that’s their load to carry.
Will I ever be in a full-fledged bikini? That I am not sure of. In truth, I do have excess skin from gaining and then losing so much pregnancy weight above and below my belly button and it makes me uncomfortable, but this top is a start in the right direction. I wouldn’t trade that extra skin for the world. My three babies are worth every single wrinkle. 😉
I would love to hear from you – what are your thoughts about bikinis after children? Do you wear one? Are you in a skirt? A one piece? Do you go to the beach at all? Chime in and let me know your thoughts. 🙂
Hopefully, I’ve changed your mind about a bikini – it’s time to start going to the beach with only one things on our minds.
Having a great day out with friends and family.