Sacrificing Memories

by jessicaturner on June 20, 2009


Elias and I have gone swimming the past few weekends. It has been the best part of my summer. I have lived in our condo for almost five years and I think this is the most I have gone swimming since living here. I don’t know why. I just never went to the pool. But now that I have Elias, it is a priority.

One of my friends, who had a baby a few months after Elias, mentioned that she and her two young kids are going to go swimming at the country club with her parents, but that she probably wouldn’t go swimming because she felt too fat.

Of course, I can relate to how she feels. My body is far from what it was prior to having a baby. Sure, I may be almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but everything is saggier – you moms know what I am talking about. Shopping for a new swimming suit (there was no way I was wearing a bikini this year) was not an enjoyable experience. But, I found a cute “mom” one-piece and it works.

Her candor about not going swimming because she feels fat made me so sad because she is missing out on creating memories with her kids! There is nothing like lifting Elias up into the air and having him giggle as we splash in the water. I would rather feel a little fat in my “mom” suit and enjoy Elias than not create those memories because of my self-consciousness.

So every weekend possible this summer, Elias and I are going to go swimming.

I know I will remember the splashes far more than my flabby belly.

As a mother do you find ignoring how you feel (ie: feeling fat, tired, wanting to do the laundry) in an effort to enjoy your children more? When is it important to put yourself first? I think this is a great topic for discussion – especially given this week’s giveaway!
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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn Moors June 20, 2009 at 3:36 pm

I have always been this way about pictures and have made it a habit to always be the one taking the picture rather than being in it. In fact, I always joke that I had kids so I could stop being in the picture. However, I've come to realize what a huge disservice I am doing to my children. I do my best to give them memories that will last a lifetime, and I make sure to document those times with photos. And yet, I am not in very many of them. It has saddened me to think that they will someday look back on these memories, knowing that I was indeed there but not able to see the joy I had through photos. So, over the past few months, I have made it a priority to get into the picture with my kids. Have I come to like pictures of myself? No. Am I thrilled to see myself with my kiddos and to have physical evidence of the love I have for them and the fun times we are sharing? ABSOLUTELY!

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Samantha @ Mama Notes June 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm

totally. My babe is only 3 months old but for the longest time (well, 3 months, ha!) I didn't want to be in pictures. Then I realized I didn't have any pictures of him and I together-how horrible! I got over it. I want there to be lots of pictures of him and I together. And I definately don't want to put on a swimsuit, but I love swimming and I'm so excited to play in the water with Lucas so I will and I'll forget about my body that day. It's also a motivator to get to the gym more often!! :)

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Kayla Grace June 20, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I like this post. Thanks for the inspiration. I'm far from having children, but this is something I'll keep in mind when I do have them.

My own self-consciousness throughout high school really inhibited me from being involved in a lot of fun things. I was so embarrassed by my size that I would suffer through summer days in jeans and cardigans instead of sporting the normal summer shorts and tank tops and would skip out on pool parties or beach trips for the same reason. I became a lot more comfortable in my own skin this year because I realized that later on down the road, it really won't matter what I look like as long as I feel good looking like this. So I have also made it a priority to step out of my shell and get involved in things so as not to sacrifice memories that are special like these ones you have with Elias. Again, thanks for the post. -Kayla Grace

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Anonymous June 20, 2009 at 4:28 pm

I tell you what, I AM fat. I AM trying to lose weight so that I CAN make memories with my kids. They want to go to 6flags but I cant ride any rides with them because of my weight. My husband can, but I cant. They realize it. It is sad. I HAVE to lose this weight so that I CAN do these things with them.

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JosiahsMommy June 20, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Such a great post. I bought a swimsuit for the first time in years this year. I want to get in the water and play with my son so I forced myself to get over my fears. Thanks for this post. It's a great one!

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Kaycee June 20, 2009 at 9:18 pm

I can so relate to this. My parents have a pool and of course kids love pools. My issue is my sister-in-laws BOTH are tiny tiny people. They seriously both look like they did before they had two kids a piece. I didn't look that good before I had my daughter and I sure don't now either. But I also refuse to give up the memories and I get in the pool too. I have saved some pictures of my daughter and I too that I am NOT a fan of myself in but she looks so sweet and I want her to know I was there too. Like most Moms I am usually behind the camera so I can't throw out a nice picture just because of my issues. :) I know she will enjoy the pictures later and appreciate them and not see anything wrong with them and it's more important to me for her to have them. :)

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Bonky's Mom June 21, 2009 at 1:33 am

Hi there! I totally agree with you…I am not exactly shouting 'look at me' in my swimming suit…but I realized that I can either buy a mom suit and build memories with my kiddo/family…or I can lament the fact I don't like great in a swimming suit. I choose the first option.

So here's three cheers for cottage-cheese legs, bulging bellys…and a summer of memories with my Bonky. :)

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Bonky's Mom June 21, 2009 at 1:34 am

oops…I mean "look great" in a swimming suit instead of 'like great'.

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Rebecca (Sam's wife) June 21, 2009 at 1:46 am

yep-defintely there…

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Jennifer B. June 21, 2009 at 3:43 am

I really needed this post today. We are planning to take my daughter to the beach for the first time next month and I attempted to look at swim suits today but got upset and left without even trying anything on. I told my husband I would just watch them play in the water and take pictures. But you are right, Jessica, I would be missing out on creating that memory. Maybe I will bite the bullet and had back to the swimsuit section!

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Kim S June 21, 2009 at 4:47 am

Oh this is so true for me….sad but true. I hope to "get over it" this year but like you said things sag and its never like it was. I hope this is my year, I mean really who cares but me ???

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jayfersgirl June 21, 2009 at 7:09 am

I so agree with you — creating the memories and spending time with your kids is so much more important than being self-conscious. Besides, all the other moms are sitting there worrying about how they look, not taking any time to judge any of the rest of us, right?:)
I sacrifice doing housework all the time, to spend time with my daughter instead…of course, I have way more fun with her than I do when I'm doing housework, so it's not much of a sacrifice:)

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The Amazing Trips June 21, 2009 at 7:39 am

I recently read somewhere that our children know what we look like. They know our rolls and our excess skin. The pictures that we take – are to preserve the memories, now. Five years ago you probably looked better than you do NOW, five years from now you'll probably look more aged than you do NOW. So, make an effort to capture YOU in THIS moment in time so your children will have something to look back on and remember. I have very, very few pictures of my own parents when I was a child and it's sad.

Over the past four years, I have taken almost 25K (25,000) digital pictures of our triplets and singleton baby. But of those pictures, I bet there are no more than 100 of me. If that. And I bet that I really only like 1 or 2 of those photos.

So the point is: I need to pass the camera off more often and let people take pictures of me. Or, request that they do it – because it so easily happens that Mom (or Dad) is always the photographer.

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Rebecca Louise. June 21, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Cute pic! x

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Anonymous June 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Jess…This is a very good subject..I can relate to all the post. What I have found in my years of knowlege on the subject is that you will look back on the pic's years later and think I looked great there,the hec with what others think it will be forgotten…but your childrens memories last a lifetime.Love you…thanks for picking other womens brains on this subject….why can't we all afford tummy tucks? Got one of those to give away??? I'm in xoxo Mom

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Stephanie June 22, 2009 at 12:05 pm

You should come to my pool…I'm 6 days away from my due date and go almost daily! While I am incredibly self-conscious, I know she loves the water already and am looking forward to taking her swimming once she gets here. Thank you for the reminder that my daughter won't care what I looked like when I played with her, she'll just remember the love.

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The Lowells June 24, 2009 at 3:52 am

Thanks for your thoughts on this subject. My weight is something that has tortured me for years! The times we've had formal family portraits taken are the times I'm the most comfortable with the number and those times that I'm not wild about it, I'm always behind the camera. I understand the comment about the swimming suit in public because I cringe when my little ones are invited to swimming parties. We swim in the backyard but I won't do it in front of other people. It's silly, really! Those people see me in my clothing and I don't miraculously lose 50 pounds without my swimsuit on!

I'm sacrificing recording the memories with my kids. I'm going to play that over and over in my head and see what happens. Thanks again!

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amber June 26, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Can totally relate to this post…I'm just four months post baby and I have a ways to go…my heart just isn't into getting out in a suit and it's pretty sad. I would love to enjoy the summer but it's definitely holding me back. At least little Colin is still a bit too little to be out there anyway…sigh…

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