In the business of finance, you have the three piece suit. In the business of chasing small children around a beach, you have the one piece swimsuit. And for this mom, that’s exactly the job I want.
Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny
For many years I ventured onto the beach wearing swimsuits that were really more “sitting suits.” Strapless two piece swimsuits, stringy bikinis, unnecessarily low cut tankinis. These suits were really great for sitting on beach chairs, reading John Grisham novels, and dipping into the ocean to just cool off a bit.
Then along came children.
The kids of course did a number on the ole bod. To be expected. But whatever, it’s fine. My pageant days are behind me and I’m not looking to woo a gentleman caller. My gentleman caller has already been wooed and signed some pretty official paperwork that says he’ll hang in there for better or for stretch marks.
But the swimsuits I was wearing simply weren’t practical for a mom of small children. I was lifting toddlers in and out of waves, inspecting every shell on the Eastern sea board, and performing Cirque du Soleil while trying to sunscreen toddlers. Things were moving and shaking and falling out and it wasn’t great.
Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes
Yet I still hung on to the idea that to buy a one piece swimsuit was to fully cash in my youth card. So I bought slightly more practical bikinis that were essentially sports bras with granny panty bottoms. I topped these suits with gym shorts and maternity tank tops and called it a day. Maternity tank tops are the best, by the way. I haven’t been pregnant in over two years and they are still my go to and I’m not ashamed. The length on these bad boys is amazing.
Then last year the two genius minds over at #IMomSoHard put out a video that made me spit out my Pinot. We’ve all read the “just put on the swimsuit, mama, go play with your kids” articles – which are great. All for them. But the #IMomSoHard ladies brought a new element to the conversation that made me cry laugh. My favorite kind of laughing.
Oh man… the moat part KILLS me! So when it came to buying a new swimsuit this summer, I marched my mom bum over to the one piece section at Marshalls, snagged a stripey number off the rack, didn’t try it on because it’s probably fine, and brought it home. I really wanted to be comfortable at the beach while playing with my kids. No more adjusting, no more tank tops.
And it. Is. Awesome.
I wish I had been less concerned about showing my age and easily peeing without fulling disrobing YEARS ago and embraced the one piece suit. I can bend in this thing. I can frolic in this thing. And yes, I can build a moat. It’s not going anywhere. My life has seen a positive impact from a little more coverage, sturdy straps, and some ruching.
Putting on the Career Suit
True to new form, I’ve promised some career lessons as part of these stories. And today’s one piece swimsuit story brings us three:
1. Embrace Change. Change jobs, change departments, change career paths. Will it make you question old beliefs? Yup. Will change make you uncomfortable as first? Sure. But building a moat in a thong would be more uncomfortable.
2. Know Yourself. Let’s say you know you want to do more creative thinking at work – find a cross-team project that allows you to do that. Or a new job that allows you to express yourself. Or a hobby that fills that void if changing jobs isn’t a real option right now. But just be honest with yourself that you really want to build the moat and you need the appropriate moat building gear.
3. Dress for the Job You Want. No further explanation necessary.
So whether you are rocking an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini or a full on wet suit this summer, I hope that you are embracing the idea behind the suit you want to wear.
No one else is wearing that suit except you, so make sure it fits.