The Two Best Bikinis For Moms Who PLAY


I had thirty glorious minutes of being a Mom Who Reads On The Beach. Both of my boys are pretty decent swimmers this year (first time!!), the water wasn’t nuts, and they were both content to leisurely ride their boogie boards in front of the lifeguard. I had pulled up our old surfboard into my usual position to use as a perch for myself — basically next to the lifeguards — and, for the first time ever…read my Kindle.

I mean, OK. It wasn’t perfect. Because I needed to be so close to the action to properly see (even with my prescription sunglasses, HA! how life changes)….every once in a while I’d get drenched by a rogue wave.  And because the tide was coming in, I had to schooch back every 10-15 minutes or so. (Isn’t that crazy?  The tide comes in so fast.)

In any case, it was an amazing (and amazingly relaxing) thirty minutes. Then, the waves picked up, Raines decided he wanted to surf (and on the East Coast you can’t surf in front of the lifeguards — you have to go to the nearby ‘surfing beach’) and I found myself in a situation where Pax was rocking and rolling on his boogie board on one beach, and Raines was getting pummeled on another beach.

Granted, I could see both of them….but if I stood in the center of the two beaches, they were both 50-100 yds away.

So I hauled them both in.

We marched Pax over to the lifeguards and introduced ourselves. “Hi there” I said. “Normally I never trust my kid to lifeguards only….but his older brother wants to surf and that is giving me more heart palpitations than Pax boogie boarding in front of you. This is Pax. You’ve got him, right?  RIGHT?”

They had him (and didn’t seem the least bit insulted). So I went and stood in my usual spot, The Place Where Worried Moms Stand, in water well above my knees, and watched Raines get beat up for a while, crabs occasionally nibbling at my toes. At some point, I was DONE. There is nothing relaxing about a day on the beach with a 10-year-old who has recently learned how to surf.

Happily, I know the best way to bring my water babies back in: Mama goes out to play. My kids live for playing in the waves with me. At least…right now they do. I’m all too aware that someday soon Raines will do the obligatory wave jump with me, and then go off to surf with his friends. (Mike and I are trying to combat that phase by getting him reallllllly into Dungeons and Dragons but so far he still has friends, haha.)

It’s been so freaking hot over here on the East Coast which, frankly, I LOVE. It makes it so much easier for me to get in the water with my guys. In fact, once their surf camp started, we settled into a routine: I’d drop them off at surf camp, watch for a bit (they always caught their best waves early in the morning), and then go for a run on the beach. By the time I got back — red-faced and sweaty — surf camp was almost over, and we’d hit the water together.

So far, those mornings have been the highlight of my entire summer.

I found myself wearing two bikinis on repeat. The kids have started called them my “swimming bikinis” because they know I can’t dive through waves in my string bikini. (We did test that theory late one night…and let’s just say the full moon was definetely out, haha.) I also use these bikinis for running on the beach, but I realize that’s not realistic for everyone (one perk of post-mastectomy reconstruction).

In any case, these bikinis allow me to play.

My Two Favorite Stay-Put Bikinis

Top Choice: Maaji

I’m obsessed with this brand. The designs are quirky, with crazy patterns that somehow just work, and each piece is reversible. (Truth: I’ve never bothered reversing them.) The best part, however, is that these bikinis are crafted to actually stay-put while surfing, swimming, jumping through waves.  And while no bikini stays in place like the one-piece Speedo my Dad used to force me to wear…..these bikinis are the next best thing.

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Not Bad: J.Crew’s Scoopneck Bikini

While these are no surf bikinis, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well this J.Crew bikini holds up to playtime. Jumping through waves and surfing? Yes. Swimming? Mostly. You can do slow somersaults in the pool safely, you can jump in feet first without worry….but diving in (or even a really fast flip-turn off the wall) might require an adjustment.

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  1. All cute and good, but where is your bike helmet? Do I have to come down there and put it on your head? You know I will so don’t tempt me! LOL Written Lovingly but firmly.

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