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.
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….
More on this subject:
- Connecting Children to Nature Through Babywearing
- Safe Babywearing Changes Lives
- The Great Babywearing Project
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