There’s nothing like swimsuits, tanks tops and shorts to remind me that I again failed at achieving my summer body. I mean, I need to lose about 10 pounds (OK, maybe more like 20). I need to be hitting the gym daily, and I need to be focusing more on working out. I know I need to be doing that.
However, I have one little problem — actually, two. And right now, they need me more. You see, they need me to get up and get them milk in the morning. They need me to pour their cereal and one needs me to change her diaper. They need me to help pick out their outfits, help get them dressed and sit down for a morning coloring session.
They need me to lather them up with sunscreen, fill baby pools with water and turn on the sprinkler. They need me to load up water balloons and squirt guns and chase them around the yard in a water fight.
They need me to push them on their swings, do under-doggies and catch them down the slide. They need me to blow bubbles and “watch this” as they show off their new trick on the rings.
They need me to keep them hydrated — to open popsicles and read the joke on the stick when they are finished with it. They need me to open fruit snacks and string cheese and yogurts. They need me to feed them lunch and dinner and every snack in between.
They need me to tie their shoes and follow them on their bikes down the sidewalk. They need me to sit and draw with chalk on the driveway. They need me to take them for ice cream, and they need me to lick around the bottom to keep it from dripping.
Don’t get me wrong. We are active. We love to go on adventures in the stroller where they need me to keep count of the number of bunny rabbits we see and gaze in awe at the different colors of flowers we come across. They need to unleash their built-in kid passion so we are typically doing some sort of energy-releasing activity from sun up to sun down.
In the evenings, they need me to run bubble baths and brush out tangly wet hair. They need me to cuddle on the couch and read them a story. They need me to tuck them in and lie with them as they drift off to sleep.
Then they need me to get up and do it all again tomorrow.
Oh I know, they need me to take care of me as well. And there are times when I think I can juggle getting to the gym, working full time and being a mom, wife and housekeeper. And for those mamas that can do it, keep it up! You are awesome! But there comes a point in my life when something has to give — and I refuse to let that be time spent with them because I want a better body.
Instead, I am doing my best at loving the body I am in — the body that housed and grew my beautiful babies — because they need to see me loving and respecting myself. They need me to be confident enough to put on those shorts and tank top and jump in the mud puddles with them.
One day, they won’t be bouncing into my room at 7 a.m. but will want to sleep in until I force them out of bed. Then I can get up and get a workout in before they are up. And soon enough, I will be able to head to the gym in the evening while they are at practice or playing with friends. And, although it will probably secretly break my heart, there will come a time when they won’t want me to lie with them for an hour at night — which will free up time for a late workout.
But for now, I’m going to embrace the extra fluff around my middle and smile when my 2 year old cuddles up and tells me that my tummy is mushy. Yes it is, baby, and it got that way making you and your sister. And it’s perfect — just like you.
Unless a miracle happens, the weight will be there for me to burn off in a few years. However, these toddler years are flying by, and I don’t have the time to worry about it right now.
So, baby girls, let’s go get our swimsuits on and hit the pool because the only thing we need to do right now is make more memories together. There is summer fun waiting on us, and there’s no way a little weight is going to keep me from that.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.