The Day I Said Goodbye to the “Mom” Bathing Suit


Bathing suits.

Did you just shudder? Crazy how one word instills fear in your heart; fear of going shopping for a bathing suit or fear of wearing a bathing suit in public. Or maybe all of the above? 

Since so many women struggle with body image, it’s no surprise that so many women also hate going bathing suit shopping. Myself included. For years I’ve worn the “mom” bathing suit. You know the kind. A full-coverage top and a bottom that has a skirt on it. I’ve been covering up as much as I could for quite a long time now. I think only once in my entire life have I ever owned a two-piece (stomach exposed) bathing suit. And that only lasted for one summer. 

The Day I Said Goodbye to the “Mom” Bathing Suit | Columbia SC Moms Blog
Me in my “mom” bathing suit last summer. Fully covered, of course.

Well, last year I lost 35 pounds so I knew I was going to need to purchase a new (smaller) bathing suit this year. But as I began to think about it I realized I didn’t want to go the same route as always. I didn’t want the “mom” bathing suit anymore. 

A few months back I had a conversation with my husband about this and told him how wearing the “mom” suit makes me feel old. He agreed and said it also made me look old (don’t worry, it was a comment said in love and I wasn’t mad at him). He then proceeded to tell me I should get a two-piece bathing suit. I had actually been thinking more of a “daring” one-piece, but if he felt I could pull off a two-piece suit that shows my stomach, then why not? 

I realized I have been hiding behind the “mom” suit for far too long. Do I have the “perfect” body? Absolutely not. I may have recently lost 35 pounds but do I still have hang-ups about my body? Of course. But that doesn’t mean I need to fall into the stigma of only being able to wear the full coverage bathing suit. 

Women are sometimes so consumed by being a mom that we forget to be a woman. We lose our identity in our children and think that’s how it’s supposed to be. But, I want more than that. I don’t want to be hung up on my body anymore and wearing a specific type of bathing suit because I’m a mom. I want to feel like a woman and feel confident and beautiful. No more hiding. Even if it means I expose my “imperfect” body, that’s what I want. 

So, I’ve been strutting my stuff at the pool and the beach the past two months in my new suit and newfound confidence. And it’s been great! 

The Day I Said Goodbye to the “Mom” Bathing Suit | Columbia SC Moms Blog
Sporting my new two-piece bathing suit and loving it!

I decided that as much as I struggle with how my body looks, as unhappy as I may be with it, I just need to let it go. I can’t let my feelings about my body control me anymore. And those feelings of worrying about being judged by others? I’ve said goodbye to those too. You know why? Because no one else really cares. Go to the pool and the beach and take a look at the other people there. Are they looking around and checking to see who is wearing what? No. They are just doing their thing and you should be too. 

I was at the pool the other day and looked around and almost felt sad at how many beautiful moms were there in their “mom” suit. These are women who were skinnier than me and yet had (perhaps) resigned themselves to the status quo of “just being a mom.” 

I want to tell you today to let it all go, fellow moms. Let yourself wear that two-piece suit that shows your belly and enjoy feeling like a beautiful woman again instead of a mom trapped by what society tells you that you should look like. Don’t be worried about what other people think. Just enjoy yourself and be free!

Can you relate? Have you felt trapped by the “mom” suit?

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Leah Stuhler
Leah grew up in Western New York, lived in Chicago for 11 years, and now resides in South Carolina. She's very happy for the change in weather! Leah is happily married, and is a proud boy mom. She is a full time Middle School Theatre teacher. When she's not spending time with her family or working, Leah enjoys baking and reading. She is the creator and host of the podcast YA Book Chat, where she and her guests have fun chatting about their favorite books. Leah loves being a part of the Columbia Mom team, both as a contributing writer and Editor.


  1. Thank you for writing this! I have been debating about the mom suit all summer and I took took the plunge for the true two piece . I’m not one to comment on articles but I think the postpartum body image is so tricky to work through. I felt like the article was perfect timing in my life! Getting real about postpartum issues in these articles has be incredibly helpful. I read these articles and it makes me feel less alone and more typical in my experiences as a new mom. Thank you!

    • You’re so welcome! I’m glad this piece really resonated with you. Our body image is something we struggle with so much. Especially right after having a baby. But we also need to just take the plunge at some point or we will forever live in a state of thinking our body is not OK. I”m glad you got a two piece! Go strut your stuff this summer! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. I think some people like the “mom” suit Because it can help keep everything in the proper place so I can run and play with my kids. Wear your suit for yourself. I don’t like to be pulling and tucking all day long as stuff rides up or down.

    • Yes. You are right. It’s all in what you are comfortable in. I’m just saying that some moms maybe don’t feel like they can wear a two piece when they want to. But yes, we should absolutely wear what you are comfortable in. If that’s a “mom” suit, then so be it. 😊 it’s about what works for you. Thanks for your comment! I love hearing g from our readers.

  3. I love this article! Thanks so much h for sharing your open; honest thoughts. Also…I love the swimsuit top so much! Where did you find it?!

    • I’m glad this piece resonated with you! Thank you for your comment. I got the bathing suit at Target, of course! My happy place!

  4. I’m with Alicia! Dads just have to wear giant baggie shorts and t-shirts at the pool. With 2 toddlers at the pool, I’m wearing whatever I’m comfortable in. Not out there trying to be frumpy or trying to be cute…just trying to keep my two kids heads above water and be comfortable playing with them. I would contend that society tells women they gotta wear this or that to be cute on the beach, and I’m saying, we wear what we want and my primary goal isn’t trying to be cute, I”m trying to enjoy my family time in the sun.

    • Thanks for the comment! I always appreciate feedback. I agree that you have to wear whatever you are comfortable with and what works best for you. It is important to be able to enjoy your time with your family. And, yeah, dads have it so much easier! ha ha!

  5. Leah- I love your message but don’t feel sad for those in “mom suits” or covered up. They may be doing it for sun protection! There are more than just body image elements at play here.

  6. Congrats on the weight loss! You look great! I agree that women should feel more comfortable with their “mom” bodies, and that’s tricky in our society. I’m glad you feel comfortable in a two piece. I’ll never wear one again, but not because of my body issues. I simply find them incredibly uncomfortable. I’ve never liked to have that much exposed skin. Even my boys (and husband) wear swim shirts. I don’t think women should ever feel the need to wear a bikini, two-piece, one-piece, or wetsuit to prove something to themselves and others. Just whatever makes you comfy in the water!

    • Thank you for your comments! I love hearing other points of view on my posts. And you do make some good points. It’s all about what you are comfortable wearing and that is different for everyone.


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