Suns out Mums out – feeling body confident in swimwear this summer

The very mention of swimwear is enough for most of us Mums to want to go and hide under the duvet. The summer season is upon us and with holidays both home and away laying ahead, plenty of swimming and if you’re really lucky, a spot of sunbathing, the question arises, what are you going to do it in. 

I, like many of us, haven’t faced wearing a bikini in a public place where I may see someone I know since having the kids. I purchased my first one piece cozzie to take Tigs for her first swim and haven’t ever really looked back.

Woman Wearing Blue Monokini Standing Beside Body Of Water Under Blue Sky

But in all honesty, I don’t feel more comfortable in a one piece. Not at all. My mediterranean genes need the sun like the air that I breathe. I can’t explain it, but I guess I’m hardwired that way – pulled towards that vitamin D boost and essentially at peace baring my skin to absorb that sunshine with maximum surface area. (Well, not MAXIMUM surface area, I’m not that kind of beach goer!).

So this year I began my bikini ready regime. It involved walking into a shop, purchasing a bikini that actually fits (well as good as I could tell with a miserable three year old crawling out under the curtain), and going home. Ta da. That’s it. So easy, you should try it.

Balconette bikini top - White/Flowers - Ladies | H&M GB 2

Here it is, by the way, courtesy of H and M, but no this is not me wearing it.

The last two holidays abroad I packed a selection of tankini bathing suits and a couple of bikini’s (just in case), and after feeling too hot and bothered, damp and clung to, after the first day, I took a breath and bared my Mum tum, slightly awkwardly but a lot more comfortably for the remainder of the holiday. One of those holidays I was in fact 20 weeks preggo (ish) but in the stage I looked more ‘who ate all the pies’ than ‘when are you due’.

So this year, as we holiday with friends abroad, I’m planning to embrace my late thirties body in a way I haven’t in the last few years, and there are plenty of reasons why.

I know my own style

I love clothes. In the last five years I have more than ever found my own style and what I think is beautiful, fun, and most importantly me. Therefore I’ve picked up my swimwear in the same way I choose all my clothes – because they are items I literally can’t wait to wear, and nothing makes me feel better than some gorgeous outfit – new or old. I know what styles suit my figure, hold me up, make me shine and I’m raring to go.

Free stock photo of fashion, person, beach, vacation

I’m realistic

Body confidence doesn’t come down to size alone. I realise writing this, as a size 10-12 (a solid 11) that some people would give anything for a coat hanger with that size on it. But body confidence isn’t a clothes label, and it affects everyone from every point on that size spectrum. We ALL have our body hang ups, and  body confidence isn’t black and white. That said, I have come to appreciate how lucky I am to have a small (ish) build, and stick thin legs that my Mum blessed me with. Obviously, my stretch marks, wobbly bits and less than Britney circa 1998 flat tummy aren’t what you’d see on the cover of Vogue, but I celebrate the fact I am THIRTY SEVEN not SEVENTEEN, and hell I didn’t even have a flat tummy then.

Photography of a Woman Wearing Blue Bikini

So no, I won’t be executing the ‘1000 sit ups a day’ regime of the summer of 1999, which lasted approximately two days, and no I won’t be purchasing any Davina McColl fitness DVDs. I might just switch to a gin and slimline tonic, but then again, maybe not.

I’m happy

One of the best things about being older and wiser, is that you have something those seventeen year olds don’t have. It’s called life experience and it’s the perfect accessory to any outfit. I’m in a happy and secure relationship, my priorities aren’t all about looking good to impress anyone, and I want my daughters to see my real body out and proud so they know what it is to be body confident. I don’t want them to see me covering up my body in fear of being seen less than perfect – in fact I don’t even want them to see any insecurities relating to size or weight at all.

Woman Wearing Swimsuit Photo

I’m sure that first pasty moment of walking out by the pool, there might be a dot of self consciousness. By hour two and run number three hundred and fifty seven of running after a rogue pre-schooler I will have forgotten all about it.

I’m proud of my body

My body has taken me to amazing places, grown three precious babies and pushed them out, breastfed two darling daughters, and nurtured them into wonderful little girls. It might not be as toned as the images we see plastered in the media, but it’s real, it’s a miracle, and it’s mine. I’ll go as far to say I love my body, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to feel shamed into covering it up because I’m no longer that fresh faced seventeen year old with peachy unblemished skin (she also had her own body insecurity issues too by the way – ridiculous). It’s not being vain, it’s being body confident, and that is what I want to be.

Girl Wearing Colorful Halter Top Swim Wear Sitting on a Brown Sand

So this summer, I’ll be wobbling all the way to the pool, happy in my own skin and channelling the likes of Megan Jayne Crabbe, Bryony Gordon and Sally Buchan who over the last year have influenced me so much in appreciating your own body – whatever size or shape. If my wobbly bits and saggy boobs offend you, then that’s your problem not mine.

I might pack a bikini, I might pack a rather lovely stripy swimsuit that I may have accidentally purchased, but whatever I pack, there is no room in my case for body insecurities. Body confidence is about wearing what you WANT with pride, and worrying only about what you are going to choose next from that all inclusive buffet…

Happy holidays.



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23 thoughts on “Suns out Mums out – feeling body confident in swimwear this summer

  1. […] Suns out Mums out – feeling body confident in swimwear this summer  […]...
  2. Laura: Adventures with J Reply

    Oh I envy your ability to have that confidence. I really do wish I could do it but I just can’t bare my tummy yet. I have lost 10lbs but then I have struggled to lose the remaining 8lbs that I really would like to loose but probably can’t unless I am happy to live on lettuce which I am not 😉 I have started running though instead so I am hoping that by my September holiday I will be able to be brave enough to get into a bikini again. Well done you for being there already! #coolmumclub

  3. Kate Ever After With Kids Reply

    Oh wearing a swimsuit on holiday fills me with dread, it really puts a dampener on my holidays and I know it’s stupid because no one even cares what I look like, it’s so important to build up your own confidence, I need to work on it!

  4. mini human resources Reply

    I love this post. I do wish I could be more body confident and (with the help of slimming world) I am getting there! but still – this summer will be all about the one piece for me! #coolmumclub

  5. emptynestmummy Reply

    Good for you! I’m not sure the world is ready for wobbly belly yet but I’m working on it! I am aware that I need to do this quickly to try, as much as possible, to NOT teach my young daughter the wrong message about body image. #coolmumclub

  6. Tubbs Reply

    So very true 🙂 If you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin then nothing else matters. Have a wonderful summer

  7. mummyswaisted Reply

    I wish I had even half of your confidence! I feel self conscious even in a tummy squeezing navy blue one piece, but I think I always will. I’m working on my ‘who gives a sh*t what other people think’ mentality…..#coolmumclub

  8. craftcartwright Reply

    Good for you, enjoy your summer no matter what you choose to wear #coolmumclub

  9. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    I so needed to read this – we are going to a pool party on Sunday and it means being out in a swimsuit in front of all the other school mums – think I’ll be opting for a one piece! Loving the #coolmumclub body confidence vibes hun xx

  10. Grainne Kelly Reply

    Oh I love this!! There are so many other things to distract when you have children by water… #coolmumclub

  11. viewfromthebeachchair Reply

    I dropped nearly $100 on a swimsuit. It was a BIG stretch for me to spend that much money but I looked good in it and felt great! Totally worth it. I am going to rock the beach embracing my size! #coolmumclub

  12. Kate on thin ice (@kateonthinice) Reply

    They should teach body and mind confidence in schools and we should do all we can to make our children feel comfy with who they are and what they look like. I have an A-Level in insecurity on so many levels but I do think it gets easier with age. Whatever you decide, have a great holiday season #CoolMumClub

  13. oldhouseintheshires Reply

    Strut it! I felt real power in my body in my later 30’s; it was the best it has ever been as I also had to confidence that came with age. I’m now in my late 40’s and nature is cruel as the child bearing years fall away. My body has changed quite a bit in the last year in fact but I still plan to wear a bikini. I like wearing a bikini. I love swimming in the sea. I love feeling the sun against my skin. Looking good in one doesn’t really come into it anymore! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      YES! This is exactly what I’m talking about…I can’t wait to stride confidently into my forties leaving all those insecurities behind me, where they belong x

  14. thisscribblermum Reply

    I have never really been comfortable wearing swimsuits even at pre-pregnancy. I’ve always opted for those ones that look like short short shorts and tight tank tops. #coolmumclub

  15. Emma T Reply

    I prefer a swimming costume (but them I’m a size 18-20 at the moment, and haven’t worn a bikini since I was on holiday pre-marriage I don’t think. I swim most summers alongside work colleagues, so if I can do that, then going on holiday and wearing a costume in front of people I don’t know is easy. It’s much harder next to all my friends (and the husbands) we go with camping. That’s not good – there’s no way I’m pulling myself into a wetsuit. I doubt they’d make one big enough – or they would, it’d be a men’s one and too long! #coolmumclub

  16. Tracey Abrahams Reply

    Over thr past 6 years (since being with Mr A) im gradually learning to accept my body. As someone who doesn’t fit the media accepted standard of beauty this has been quite a struggle over those years and I still have a long way to go. For swimwear i wouldn’t be comftable in anything other than a skirted swim suit, but as it goes im not a fan of sunbathing anyway, so this isn’t a big problem for me.

  17. Lisa Pomerantz Reply

    It’s taken ages, eon and therapy, but I am finally confident. This is the only body we get. I wish I heeded that call earlier in my life. Great post! xoxo #coolmumclub xo

  18. Liberty on the Lighter Side - (LoLS) Reply

    I’m with you on the size 11! I used to be very confident in my body, I was blessed with skinny genes 😀 but in the past three or so years I’ve developed a tummy that I can’t shift. I’d like to say it doensn’t matter what other people think of me but the truth is I don’t like my bulge but I can’t seem to get rid of it. Maybe I’d feel better in a pretty bikin, I do like your H&M coice. Enjoy your summer. #coolmumclub

  19. The Queen of Collage Reply

    Body confidence is something that I struggle with on and off. My hubby will say I look great only for another member of the family to tell me differently. #CoolMumClub

  20. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... Reply

    I wore a bikini this weekend for the first time since having children! I was really self conscious to start with but soon forgot all about it and just enjoyed the beach fun! We need to stop worrying about not being perfect #coolmumclub

  21. nightwisprav3n Reply

    Ya know, I love how you look at this from an amazing perspective. You’re not 17 anymore. Neither am I and I think its wonderful to appreciate our bodies for what they’ve gone through and for holding us together as well as they do. Our bodies rock! Thank you for giving me a new perspective to look at:) #CoolMumClub

  22. crummymummy1 Reply

    Here here – great post! All of this is so true – we should all be wearing bikinis! #coolmumclub

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