Courtney – the voice behind the blog Life At Thirtysomething – is not only a regular contributor but also a CityMom. Go easy on her today because she’s not only putting some thoughts on the line, but also a brave picture of her in a bikini. We love her just the way she is and any negative or mean comments will be kindly removed from this post.

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My husband has always been a huge supporter of the bikini. He thinks the minute the bikini goes into the drawer and the one piece comes out, it’s all over.

No, don’t do the one piece Courtney, don’t throw in the towel,” he pleads with me.

So I bought a one piece. I mean, when I’m at the beach or the water park and I’m bending over digging through a bag for sand toys, or carrying around a toddler on my hip, I don’t want to worry about how my flab is looking hanging over my bikini bottom.

Besides, one pieces have made a comeback! Taylor Swift wears them. It’s kinda cool now, right?

I surprised myself by my purchase. By doing so I was not “throwing in the towel” on the two piece, but simply providing myself with a little extra comfort, and peace of mind that my never ending baby bump was being held IN when I wasn’t remembering to SUCK IT IN.

But then I read this article ‘I Have Stretch Marks And I Wear A Bikini’: Mom Proudly Shows Off ‘Saggy’ Belly in Viral Bikini Photo. I thought about it and I was all; now she doesn’t look that different than me in a bikini and she’s proud of how she looks. She considers her stretch marks a beautiful reminder of her three little blessings.

Why can’t I give myself a break? I’m not 25 anymore with a smooth little belly and a shiny belly ring strutting around the pool in Las Vegas. I’ve had two kids in the last four years. I’ve gained 98 lbs. and lost 102 lbs. in that time-frame. That’s A LOT of stretching and shrinking on a lady’s tummy. And the older I get it’s getting harder to keep the weight off, no matter how much I work out.

I wish I could say I have better things to worry about, but I’m constantly thinking about my waistline. Part of it is vanity. OK mostly ALL of it is vanity. But also I want to be healthy and fit and live a long life! Being healthy is important to me AND I want to have a hot bod. I’m not ashamed to say a big part of my world revolves around all the thinking and the doing to achieve this hot bod, which frustratingly takes a lot of f*cking time. And I’m still not where I want to be, despite my focus.

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We think Courtney looks fab no matter what swimsuit she’s wearing.

Throwing in the towel – and then picking it back up

So I’ve dawned the one piece a couple times on our California vacation this week and not going to lie; I’ve felt pretty mom-ish. For some reason I don’t feel Taylor Swift-y at all in my one piece.

So I went out and purchased a two piece mid trip. Ok, it’s not exactly a string bikini, but still, it’s giving me less of a mommy vibe which I appreciate.

I know my stomach isn’t as flat as it used to be, and my hips and thighs are wider. But today, as I was thinking about that proud mom and her stretch marks, I actually felt a surge of confidence rocking a two piece. And perhaps some of the confidence came from carrying a toddler and holding hands with another while in my bathing suit!

My husband practically did two back flips and a hurkey when he saw me walk out of the hotel room in my new bathing suit today. His hope and faith in humanity has been restored now that he sees his wife has not yet thrown in the towel.

I know I have areas I can work on. But my husband seems to think I look really good still, which makes me feel good seeing the look of pride in his eyes..

“I’m probably never going to have Jessica Alba’s body.”

I’m probably never going to have Jessica Alba’s body. I never had it before kids, how could I expect to have it now? I work hard, hitting the gym five days per week and I love to challenge myself with new exercises, so I know I’m doing my part to keep it together.

Instead of focusing on my flaws, I’m going to try and focus on my good parts more, too. I like my arms, my arms look lean. And I like having broad shoulders and being tall. There, I’ve already started with the positive thinking!

Today I decided to pay respect to my post-baby body and include a bikini shot like my fellow mom did. It takes a toll to grow babies in your body, and it takes WORK to lose the weight, too. Everybody has a personal vision of where they want to be physically, and I have mine, which isn’t unreasonable, just a little leaner than I am now.

We may never be Jessica Alba, but we are all entitled to make whatever effort WE feel to present our best selves AND rock our bathing suits this summer.

These days I’m a stay at home mom waffling with the decision to keep being a SAHM or go back to work. I’m straddling the fence so much it’s beginning to chafe. Ow! I mean, really, I just want to go back to work and make a brag-worthy paycheck, wear super cute clothes, say smart things, and go to Mexican for lunch with my co-workers. The problem with this is that I don’t want to actually go to work or wake up before 7:00am. Annnd I’ll be sad to leave my little guy in daycare about the time when he starts walking and talking a little. That’s when he will become more fun! So for now I’m just a SAHM enjoying time with my 3 year old daughter Annabelle, and my little man Leo who is the cutest, smiliest baby boy in all the land.FACEBOOK | TWITTER | BLOG