Shelby Goodrich Eckard took many women's worst nightmare head-on when her daughter asked her to pick out a two-piece bathing suit at Target and wear it to her swimming lesson. After their shopping spree, she posted what she learned from the experience on Instagram.
So today, as we talked about swim class tomorrow, she said "I want a bikini." And off we went to Target. She picked hers out, all on her own. Then she said, "your turn." A knot in my stomach, I told her, "oh mommy can't wear a bikini to swim class, boo." She looked up from the cart and asked, "but why?"
And that's exactly when Eckard realized that she really didn't have a good reason not to wear a two-piece after all.
"Why? Seriously though, why couldn't I? I could. I just felt uncomfortable. Observed. Exposed. A bit like I'd embarrass her. But all of those sounded selfish in the moment, so I said 'you know what? You're right. Let's get mommy a bikini,'" she wrote.
Still, Eckard admitted the reason her little one hadn't started taking lessons yet had a lot to do with her own body image.
"My daughter starts swim lessons tomorrow. And, I hate to admit this, but she should have started two years ago. But my fear of getting in a pool, in front of others, who knew me, in a bathing suit won," explained Eckard.
Eckard said that now that her daughter is a little bit older, she wants to be a good role model for her. She also thinks it's more important now than ever to show her daughter that you don't have to be stick thin to be confident.
"She is learning, every day, from me just how to view her OWN body," she wrote. "I don't want to teach her to put limitations on what clothes she can wear or to worry about what others will think. I certainly want her to see her body as unique and wonderful and to be kind to it."
She added: "She's smart. She is watching me. She's a little spitfire. She says what she thinks. She is brave and bold and stands up for herself. She tells me all the time how pretty she is and how strong she is. And I want to be like her."