Bathing Suit Rules for Moms

Taking on body issues, trash-talking and modesty at the local swimming hole.

WHAT IS WRONG with people?” Becca-From-Gymnastics shouts when I tell her what happened to Angela, because of course I tell her what happened to Angela. She continues to rant: “We need to learn to accept people as they are! When we judge someone like that, it’s only because we’re insecure!”


We get that. All of us.

As parents, we constantly struggle with insecurities. But we try hard not to gossip about the mom who lets her kids play in the street without watching them, or the dad who’s always late picking up his daughter from school, or the mom who grabs her son’s arm too tightly when he misbehaves on the playground, or the dad who shows up buzzed to the talent show. The reason we try so hard, or at least the reason I do, is because I don’t want anyone telling her husband about how I Mommie-Dearest-screamed at Blair when she wouldn’t come when I called her, or how I was too busy texting to notice that Drew was knocking other kids off the monkey bars.

The community pool is the alter­native universe to that. Judging is suddenly expected. I guess it’s because we all get so naked there, which we do for the kids. But we’re exposed. Vulnerable. Pool season ends up being a free pass, in a way—get all that trash talk out of your system here. Because we would certainly prefer to have someone point out the inappropriateness of the mom-thong than the inappropriateness of the mom.

“If everyone wore a boring one-piece suit to the pool, there’d be nothing to talk about,” Becca adds, completely contradicting her initial gosh-darnit-why-don’t-we-all-just-love-each-other-ness. The pool does strange things to people.

Plus, she’s wrong. With no Speedos or strings or unkempt bikini lines, there’d be plenty to talk about. Like, everything else.