I Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Babywearing

    I Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Babywearing

    Babywearing: To wear babies or children on your person for large amounts of time throughout the day in an effort to successfully be hands-free while Baby benefits from being held, comforted, loved and involved in your day.

     

    CONFESSION: I sometimes secretly am NOT a fan of baby wearing.

    There, I said it.  Shocked? So am I.  But, I’m just keeping it real here, folks!

     

    Here’s the facts:

    • I have lost count of the number of carriers I own.
    • I actively seek out other parents carrying their children and strike up conversations with strangers in the grocery store: “What kind of carrier is that?”; “What do you think of your Boba?”
    • I have converted most of my friends (and many acquaintances) to the fact that they need a ergonomic, comfortable and safe baby carrier (and nope, that Bjorn will definitely not do.)
    • I am spending a good chunk of my summer promoting The Great Babywearing Project for Pete’s sake!

    While I honestly and passionately think that all parents should own a good carrier and being hands-free is every parent’s saving grace, there is also another side to the story.

     

    Sometimes I am so tired of the fact that I have someone attached to me all.day.long – that I can’t even pee without leaning past a Baby or child – that I want to just toss all the carriers out the window and convince the Baby that they are better off in a swing or bouncy chair by themselves.  That or throw up my hands in surrender and just sit in my rocker with my sweet baby while the house stays clean, meals are made, other children are simply darling to each other and my body exercises on it’s own (you know, while I sit in the said rocker.)

    But, here’s the truth about LIFE – there are mouths to be fed, missions to accomplish, cleaning to be done, and adventures to be had.  Baby sitting in a bouncy chair or ME sitting in a chair all day will accomplish neither.  I’m not saying that it isn’t good to sit down and relax or that she can’t be set down either, but in general, if I want to get anything done, that baby carrier is my best friend.

    The biggest kicker of all, is that I, personally, am not content to just sit and let life slip by.  In my current position, nursing L is my “down time” (as long as I am not performing battle moves with my free legs and arm to keep her being attacked by her brothers.)  Otherwise I am happiest when we are out of the house, moving, exploring and playing.  AND, in general things are in order (“in order” being a loose term when you have young children).

    I’d by lying if I didn’t say I have moments of incredible frustration over my lack of control over life in general right now.  I get up early to work out and some “me time” – they get up early too; I work all day to get the laundry cleaned and folded and put away – the hamper is full again by nightfall; I have a grand scheme of us playing outside before it gets hot – it takes us 2 hours to get out the door (“I’m still hungry”; “I need to poop”; “I can’t find my shoes”; etc.)

    Therefore, whether Baby (L) wants to be worn or not right now, any semblance of sanity requires that she is.  I need my hands free, she needs to be held (which is healthy for her in so many ways.)  

    I recently stumbled upon these info graphics from Close Parent on a day when I was particularly frustrated that everyone shorter than me in my family wanted to be held and given my undivided attention for hours on end.  It was a great reminder on why I continue to love my children by wearing them on a daily basis, even when I’d rather not.

    I Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Babywearing I Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Babywearing

    Parenting is a tough, TOUGH job.  It’s full of self-sacrifice and learning to love someone(s) in a way you never imagined you would.   It’s also joyous and exhilarating and humbling and the greatest adventure I have ever chosen to begin.

    Don’t get me wrong – I find great satisfaction and peace when I am wearing my babies.  I know they are safe, I can kiss them anytime I want, and I am meeting their needs and therefore cutting down on the discontentment in our home.  No crying babies/kids = happier people all around.

    A great carrier that is both comfortable for me and my children is what enables our family to get outside daily.  I depend on them more than any other thing I own (and that’s really saying a lot!)

    So yes – I am an avid supporter of Babywearing.  I think a good carrier is the best thing you can invest in or give a new parent. But, like anything in this world, it doesn’t mean I love it all the time.  And that’s ok…..

     

    Let’s open the (respectful, kind) discussion.  Why do YOU wear your children (be in 10 minutes a day or the entire day long) – is it necessity or because you love it?  Did you make the decision to do so from the beginning or fall into it? I’d love to hear your story!

    Coming up: “I’m so Accidentally Crunchy.”  Stay tuned….

     

    LAST day to enter to win a BityBean Carrier!

    More on this subject:

     

    © 2014, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

      Comments

      1. Jenn-Paul Henderson says:

        oh my gosh i am SO with you! i must have one of every kind of carrier (mostly because dh and i both babywear and we each have our favorites.. plus having a 4month old and a 2 year old requires options!) but my little one is a wrap addict and we cannot get through a day without her being wrapped at least once! and sometimes i just need to not be touched for like 5 minutes straight for sanity sake! ive been preggo nursing or both for the past 3 years… a mama needs a break sometimes! but honestly ive become the biggest babywearing advocate and people ask me why my 2 year old is so well behaved… its because when he needs a time in or some comfort, he knows he can hitch a ride any time and be protected from anything thats overwhelming him! less melt downs for us!
        thank you for sharing the REAL side of babywearing! its not all sunshine and rainbows! but it is a huge blessing and a great resource!

      2. Yes! I can totally relate and I totally agree (and I only have 2 kids that need to poop or are pooping as we try to get out the door). We’ve been hiking a lot and sometimes I push my 1 year old in our Chariot more than I would like to simply because I need a break :/

      3. The day after my second was born, I ended up getting on a ferry wearing BOTH of them (in wraps, one in a front carry, one in a back carry). Tried to avoid that most of the time. I’ve been on multiple multi-month expeditions toting kids in wraps from 8 months to 2.5 years old. I’ve worn kids around town and around the house, and snowshoed while nursing a newborn in a wrap… And while I’m an incredible fan of babywearing (just showed a friend yesterday how to use the wrap I gave her), I’m an even bigger fan of my youngest being 3.5 years old, and old enough to carry herself. 🙂

      4. I could not function in my hobby farm/busy outdoor momma life without babywearing. Sometimes I just wish there were 2 of me to wear the baby and the 3 year old 🙂 I love it!

      5. Exactly! I really like BWing but I would go crazy if we did it 24/7. IDK how ppl do that! For us it’s mainly been a stroller alternative. My almost 4yo occasionally gets briefly rucked and was regularly worn until well over 2yo when she preferred walking or sitting in the stroller (such a novelty for her lol). With our new baby just like with the first we wore her from a few days old onward. If we’re out, baby is worn especially as it makes nursing while out easier and discrete. At home though unless baby is particularly fussy, she gets picked up and put down accordingly. I know I lose crunchy points for my baby’s rocking seat but omg they help! If hubby’s home he usually holds baby so that helps as does trading off wearing her when out. I often see moms on BWing boards “worry” bc they “went all day without wrapping” and I’m like WTH!?! It’s a tool not a religious practice:/ It’s not all or nothing. Motherhood isn’t a constant martyring of one’s self. If you need to put the baby down, put the baby down. OMG for moms like me who had bad baby blues/PPD, it’s often one of the most important messages, especially in the chorus of the AP world shouting to moms to always carry their babies. Besides with my back issues, wearing all day everyday wouldn’t fly well.

      6. I am a big proponent AND completely so-so on baby wearing. I love it when we are a outside. The babe gets good naps, I have my hands feel (to push the other one on the swings or in the stroller.) But I do not love it around the house. Everyone talks about how they can get so much done. Really? I can’t pick up the house – bending over every five seconds in a carrier is not comfy for me or baby. I can cook, and do that sometimes, but it’s awfully hard to see what I’m doing! So when it works for both of us,I love it. But when it only works for one of us, it’s not my favorite!

      Trackbacks

      1. […] I didn’t intend to wear my babies either.  I didn’t even know what that meant.  I just knew that I somehow had to continue on with life, especially when Baby #2 came along and wearing them was the only way to make that happen.  Now I can’t keep my mouth shut about it, even if I don’t always love it. […]

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