This series, entitled, “Babywearing Made Beautiful”, seeks to address some of those issues, as well as to help shed some light on the many beautiful aspects of babywearing, mothering, (note: Poe knows father's babywear too, though we might change the moniker to "handsome" for dad's!), and how the two have mingled. We will be interviewing women, (if you're a babywearing dad interested in this project, we would love to interview you, please email us!), of various ages from all over the world. Our second installment follows below:
1. Tell us a little about yourself: (name, where you live, family size, kids, occupation—SAHM is totally an occupation BTW, hobbies, unknown fact or funny story)
2. Tell us a little about your mothering journey, have the infant and toddler years been easy or difficult for you, completely blissful or somewhere in the middle? Tell us about a challenge you overcame.
“When my first son was born I had read all the books and I was ready for our beautiful parenting journey to begin, or so I thought. My son was such a happy baby until about 3 weeks old, slept great and was just perfection. Then, the dreaded ‘C’ word….COLIC! He had colic in the worst way. He screamed the entire day long, wouldn’t nap, woke up every two hours every night for 8 months straight, did NOT like to be worn, despite all my knowledge about how wonderful babywearing was for everyone involved. My husband and I, but especially me, were stretched to the very limits, as I am sure many new parents are, at the shock of this journey that was not quite as beautiful as we imagined it would be. Finally, the screaming stopped, and despite the sleepless nights continuing, we started to enjoy the wonder of this little being that we were so proud to call our own…despite our rough beginning! Three kids later, he was still our most challenging baby and we often joke it is a wonder we had two more!”
“During my first and second pregnancies I gained more weight than I imagined I would. I accepted that while pregnant, my body just gains weight very easily. During my third pregnancy I was committed to gaining less by exercising regularly and eating healthy. My third labor and delivery was incredibly fast and resulted in the natural (drug free) labor and delivery I had always longed for! Since my third pregnancy I have maintained an exercise schedule as best I can and the fact that I delivered my baby without the use of an epidural has boosted my self-esteem immensely. Whenever I feel doubt, I tell myself, ‘If I can do that, I can do ANYTHING!’ and I truly believe it!”
“When I was first pregnant I read the books by Dr. Sears about the benefits of babywearing and attachment parenting. I knew that is the type of parenting I wanted to practice. I started babywearing when my first was just a few weeks old using a stretchy wrap. Unfortunately once his colic started he absolutely hated facing inward and refused to be worn. We didn’t get to start wearing him again until he was about 6 months old and then we tried a soft structured carrier. Finally my baby was happy being worn and I was happy to wear him whenever I could! I didn’t have the help of anyone directly, and 5 years later I am wishing I would have known about more of the options available for wearing and carrying babies! My second baby loved to be cuddled tight and he was worn in the same stretchy wrap and soft structured carrier from the time he was only a few days old. With a very young toddler and a newborn, babywearing was convenient and a wonderful way to bond and be close to my new baby while also keeping up with the demands of my 20 month old son. Baby number three has been worn the most by far of all our babies! With our first babywearing was about the benefits for both mom/dad and baby, with baby number two it was about convenience, with baby number 3 it is essential! I wear her every single day for one reason or another. Between preschool drop off, grocery shopping, chores around the house and taking my boys out to play, I don’t have enough hands to not take advantage of babywearing!”
“Since my enthusiasm for babywearing has increased I have become aware of how widespread the babywearing community really is! I am involved in several online babywearing groups through Facebook as well as casually involved with local babywearing groups. Overall my experience with both has been very pleasant and full of other mamas who are full of wonderful advice and encouragement! My area has several local babywearing groups and although I haven’t been able to attend as many meetings as I would like (with three kids’ schedules to work around), they are also well established on Facebook, so I am still able to connect with them daily!”
“I would consider myself to practice some aspects of attachment parenting. I have successfully breastfed each of my babies for over a year and currently still going strong nursing my baby girl. Both my husband and I have worn all our babies and overall believe in a respectful and loving approach to raising our kids. We don’t bed-share regularly, except for when our baby is feeling needier due to teething, being on vacation or just not feeling well.”
“I currently babywear almost every single day. With three kids I don’t have enough hands to NOT babywear! My baby girl is worn if she needs extra snuggles while I am doing chores, she is worn when I take my boys to the park or out and about the neighborhood to play. She is worn for grocery shopping, preschool drop offs and pretty much any time we go anywhere and are actually getting out of the car. Babywearing has become essential for any activity that includes the company of my three kids!”
“Babywearing has definitely led to a wonderful bond with each of my babies! It has allowed for extra snuggles with my first baby who has never been overly affectionate of in need of lots of snuggles. It has allowed me to have extra snuggle time with my second son who DOES need lots of extra love and made it easy for me to bond with him while keeping up with then very young toddler. It has given me the ability to have enough hands to take everyone out for adventures since baby #3 was born. She is always happy to be close with mama and watch her brothers play, while I am happy to keep her close as long as possible! My job has been so much easier when I can put baby up and we can be on our way because everyone is safe and happy!”
“My FAVORITE moments of parenthood are the sounds of my children gleefully laughing, especially together! My second favorite is rocking a sleeping baby after they have nursed and passed out with a tummy full of Mama’s milk.”
8. Though there is not much, more beautiful to a mother than the site of her newborn baby, which aspects of mothering do you find most beautiful? Rocking a baby sleep, reading books, kissing away boo boos? (It’s ok to choose more than one!)
9. When you wear your baby, (in your carrier of choice), how does it make you feel? How does it make your child feel? Have others in your family joined in the babywearing fun?
“When I babywear it makes me feel so connected with my child. I feel complete when my baby is close. If we are out running errands and I am not wearing my baby, I feel like they are so far away, even if they are just in the cart! My baby usually feels happy, comfortable and content to be close to Mama, while exploring the world around us!”
10. And finally, what has babywearing meant to you? Does babywearing make you feel beautiful?
“Babywearing has been such a wonderful experience with all three children. It has given us those extra moments of closeness and bonding that we may not have otherwise had. Babywearing has made my bond with each of my children that much stronger. As my baby gets more independent and interested in exploring the world around her, I cherish every moment of babywearing we have together. They are little for such a short time, I am so glad that we have had all the extra snuggles that come from babywearing. Babywearing definitely makes me feel beautiful! I feel confident and complete when my baby is close. Aesthetically, when I am babywearing with a beautiful woven wrap, I feel like I am wearing my baby with a wonderful piece of art, and that definitely makes me feel beautiful! Babywearing has meant snuggles, security, convenience, naptime, chores completed, errands run, and play time with my other children. But most of all, babywearing has meant memories of closeness that will last long after our days of babywearing have come to an end.”
*Thank you again so much Kim, for sharing your story with us! Stay tuned for more installments in our babywearing is beautiful campaign! And if you are interested in being a part of it, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with "BMB" in the subject.