Jayne Gautreau: Forget the stretch marks, play in the water with your kids

As the days are getting warmer and summer is just around the corner, I am seeing more commercials on TV in regards to diet plans and getting your body swimsuit ready.

Beautiful women prancing around in bikinis with healthy suntanned bodies and no signs of cellulite or stretch marks does not encourage me to go find my suit and put it on. After having gone through three full-term pregnancies, you might say my body has changed quite a bit over the past decade. For me, getting "swimsuit or bikini-body ready" would probably require a lot more than just a good diet plan.

As I watched one of these particular commercials recently, it reminded me of something that happened last year.

Our oldest boy was celebrating his 9th birthday and asked if we could go as a family to Splash, the water park in Eugene. I was about five months pregnant; I had very visible and swollen varicose veins on my legs. I really did not want to put on a swimsuit and go in the water, but it was really important to both my boys that I would join them in the fun of celebrating Ethan’s birthday. They had no idea the insecurities their mama was feeling about how her body would look in a swimsuit, or the fear that other people in the water park would notice the very swollen veins on her legs.

I had mentioned to a friend about the struggle I was having, and she shared a beautiful blog post with me. It was about a mom who had been feeling the same insecurities about her postpartum body. She had decided, though, that it was better for her to not be so focused on how she looked but to enjoy her children and not miss out on special moments because of her feelings of insecurity about her body.

After reading that encouragement, I decided to put on my modest two-piece maternity swimsuit. I covered up as much of my legs as possible, and I went and enjoyed an afternoon with my family. I would love to say I wasn’t conscious of how I looked while I was there, but at the end of day I will never see those people again.

More importantly, there were two precious boys in my life who wanted their mom to join in the fun. My boys never noticed or mentioned that my legs needed a good suntan, or about the bulging veins or the stretch marks on my body. The chatter in the car on the way home was about how much fun they had with us, and they thanked us for getting in the water with them.

Our children see us for who we are and the quality of the time we spend with them. They love us for who we are and not how we look. So, mamas, can I encourage you this summer to not miss out on those fun moments with your children? Even if it means putting on a swimsuit ... let's not miss out on those special moments and memories with our children that far outweigh how we look and feel about ourselves!

Jayne Gautreau is married with three children. Read her Mondays on Douglas County Moms.

Our children see us for who we are and the quality of the time we spend with them.


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The News-Review Updated Nov 18, 2013 07:34PM Published May 21, 2013 11:09PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.