my swimsuit | earrings | shoes | sunnies
Shelbi's sarong | swim top | swim bottoms | hat | shoes | bag
photos by Ban Avenue Photography
I recently posted a photo on Instagram of myself in a swimsuit and within 5 minutes, had 3 not-so-nice comments criticizing what I was wearing saying that it wasn't an appropriate "mom suit". I'd be lying if I said comments like these don't bother me because I'm a people-pleaser by nature and a pretty sensitive person. I realize that in my field of work, criticism comes with the territory and you have to have pretty thick skin to survive the world of social media as a blogger. However, these comments and messages have started to occur more frequently for me and as a mom I have to wonder sometimes....are they right? Should I be in a black tankini with a matching skirt that goes to my knees? Should I be wearing a hat because sun protection is so important and my kids are learning through my example? Should I not be laying out because it's an invitation for melanoma? There are a million things I could do and million things that I don't do, because I'm not a perfect human. But that's not the point. The point is that as mothers, and women in general, we have got to stop hating on one another.
What we see on social media is only half the story (less really)- I refer to my Instagram as my "highlight reel" for a reason. There's always a big mess behind the scenes, but that's life! What the women who commented on my swimsuit photo on Instagram failed to realize is that I wasn't having a pool day with my kids. One fellow mom wrote: "This is a pretty provocative swimsuit for a pool day with your kids (insert frown emoji)", which has since been deleted because I want my page to be a place of happiness rather than negativity. The real reason we were at the pool at all is because I was doing a photoshoot there, and my boys (Zach included) got to come with me. There wasn't a single other soul there- we had the place to ourselves. Zach was watching both boys (#superdad) while I did photos, so a "mom suit" wasn't needed that day. The only reason Bear was actually getting to swim, and he had the time of his life by the way, is because I was shooting at the location. Had I been able to get in and splash around with him like I normally would, of course I would've chose a suit more comfortable for play. Honestly, it has nothing to do with how "provocative" the suit is....I'm breastfeeding so my boys see my boobs all the time. Bear could care less what swimsuit I have on as long as I'm in the water playing with him. And you know what? I'm not looking around at other moms, judging whether or not their swim attire is "appropriate". Because I'm in my own lane, doing my own thing. As we all should be. I'd much rather be enjoying my time at the pool with my little fishies than worried about what someone else is wearing.
We're currently teaching Bear the timeless Bambi rule- If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all. It's amazing how many adults struggle with this simple concept. I realize that every outfit I wear is not going to appeal to everyone. In fact, I look back and don't even like certain outfits that I've worn! I don't like everything I see on Instagram; I don't think anyone does. But I would never, ever comment something negative on someone's post because....what's the point? It accomplishes nothing. If you don't like what you see, it's easiest to unfollow someone or just keep scrolling. It's quite simple, really. If something deeply offends you, of course you have a right to say something. But a bathing suit photo shouldn't rock your world to that extent. Rather than pointing out what you don't like, focus on what you do. We should be building each other up, especially as mothers. This parenting job is HARD, y'all. We should be rallying around each other and telling one another "You got this, mama!", no matter what outfit we might be wearing. While it's my job to promote things like clothing, that's so trivial in the grand scheme of things. Our focus as moms should be on raising our babies as best we can and knowing that the mom down the street might do things a little differently, and that's okay. If I see the mom down the street on the struggle bus one day (Lord knows I've been there), I'm going to encourage her and tell her what a great job she's doing. A few kind words could make all the difference in her day.
I want to be better about this....I think back to times when a stranger has paid me a compliment and how much that made my day. I want to be better about giving strangers I pass in the grocery store or the mom I always see but never speak to at baseball practice a compliment. You never know how a kind gesture could positively affect someone and help them in some small way. I'm challenging myself to spread more positivity and do everything I can to stop the mom shaming, because it's a real thing and it's not okay. We're all just doing the best we can as wives, mothers, daughters, friends, sisters, girlfriends, etc. Empowering and encouraging another mom might help them more than you even realize; it means the world every time someone does this for me. If you are a mom and you're reading this post, know that you are doing an amazing job and you should be so proud. You may be exhausted, running on fumes, having your fourth cup of coffee at 10am, and trying to tackle a mile long to-do list, but know that you are killing it. You love your kids, and they know that, and that's what matters. Wear what you wanna wear, do what you wanna do, and keep on mommin'. You got this.
my swimsuit | earrings | shoes | sunnies