Tuesday, September 4, 2012

on bikinis after babies

So, there are lots of other things I want to blog about (Isaiah's birthday party, seeing ourselves the way God sees us, thankfulness...) but due to beach pictures from yesterday I thought this would be a good time to write on this topic... I might be a little overly honest in this post, but this is mainly to encourage other moms, and I will say whatever I need to for you all to find yourselves beautiful!

So. I have had two babies. I don't have a perfect body. (What is a "perfect" body anyway??) But I still wear a bikini on the beach. So here you go, my thoughts on bikinis for moms.

Our culture celebrates an image of perfection in appearance that hardly anyone can actually have without surgical help. Most women have a few things on their list of what they would change about their bodies if they could (I am no exception...) But why? Is it insecurity? Or is it that our culture has said to us that we are only beautiful if we are a "36 34 36" (or insert whatever elusive measurement you think of here)? How about this: Jesus designed you, He is the artist who sculpted you, and he thinks you are perfect in every way. What if that was how we see ourselves?

This is not an excuse to eat all you want, lounge around, never exercise, and say well Jesus made me this way... although I know it is harder for some people to lose weight than others, and I know some people have limitations in their ability to exercise that others don't have. But this is not a post about eating right and exercising, this is a post about feeling confident, especially after you have had children. I am talking about the changes having a baby makes to your body that you have no control over (i.e. redistribution of your weight, moms know where I'm talking about lol), not the things you do have some control over (i.e. your total weight/exercise)

Back in february or march, you probably wouldn't have caught me in a bikini.... it took me longer to take my weight off round two than it did round one. I don't run, but I do eat right and do crunches a few times a week. And I like to be at a certain weight. But even when I am at my goal weight, my stomach doesn't look the way it did before babies. Here's how I think of it. I had surgery on my knee when I was a junior in highschool after I tore my acl and meniscus playing basketball. When the dr. told me there were ways to try to make my scar fade afterwards I said no, that my scar was kind of like a badge of honor of all I went through and I wasn't going to try to make it go away. So.... stretch marks anyone? Kind of like a badge of honor for all you went through for your babies.... what if we saw them as beautiful? Our mom bodies are not something to be ashamed of.... maybe they are even something to be proud of!

I am twenty five, and not ready to give up my bikini yet, as long as I am at a weight that I feel comfortable at I have nothing to be ashamed of in my mind. I like to have a tan stomach. And besides that, I have found that certain designs of bikini tops offer a lot more support than tankinis and one pieces (but if anyone knows of tankinis that they would recommend for support please let me know!! There are definitely times I would prefer to wear one!)

K, so bottom line... wear what you feel comfortable in. But not because you feel ashamed of what your body looks like as a mom. You have sacrificed yourself completely for your babies. You went through back pain, sleepless nights, having to pee what felt like every 5 minutes for months, carrying a PERSON inside of you, labor and delivery for goodness sake, and nursing your babies, not for your sake, but for theirs. You are selfless, awesome, and beautiful. Don't be ashamed of what you look like, you are a hero. And if you want to wear a bikini on the beach, you go girl. :)


  1. oh Jessi, Once again you have brought me to tears :) Thank you for this post. I must admit that I don't struggle with my weight after having babies, Like you I feel like I have "earned the right" to carry around a few extra pounds.... I don't mind my thunder thighs or my love handles BUT I do struggle with my ponch-belly that makes me look like I am still 6 months pregnant and the fact that I don't have anything to ware that is very flattering for my figure right now. But thank you for the encouragement and reminder that my "new mom" body is the result of 3 God given miracles!!!

    I just did my first workout since I had Dax and it felt so good physically. Then I read this post and now I feel good mentally! Thank you friend :)

    1. Aw, Salena I am so glad this was encouraging to you!! Now it's my turn to thank YOU, because you were the first one that ever said to me that the way we look as moms is something to be proud of... I think you phrased it "it took a lot of hard work to look the way we do!" It was the most revolutionary thing I had ever heard pertaining to self image at the time, and has really stuck with me as my weight has gone up and down and up and down again with babies. You are awesome, and beautiful, and have had three babies in the time I had two, and still managed to get back to a good weight in between... I have no doubt you will do so again this time, but don't put pressure on yourself with how long it takes. And know that you are gorgeous at this very moment :) Love you Salena!!

  2. Hi Jessi! Not sure if you remember me from school, but I just found your blog through Jeani's! Thank you for this post! It was a very timely read as I just had my little girl five weeks ago! I look forward to following your blog! :)

    1. yay! so glad it was encouraging :) congratulations on your little girl!! isn't the blog world lovely all the connections you find/make?! :)