We bare children at many different life stages, but the bond of motherhood connects us all. This series, Babywearing Made Beautiful, seeks to address some of the issues, commonalities of the motherhood (and/or fatherhood) journey, 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.
Today's story comes to us from Heather, a lovely mom who is new Brand Ambassador for Poe this Spring. Heather is a busy mom who has found a balance in her many roles and overcome questions of identity and mommyhood with grace and poise. Want to here more? Keep reading!
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)
My name is Heather Moreau. I am a mom to a 20-month old girl and I have a 15-year old step-son. My husband and I live in Jericho, VT. We have been together for over 10 years and married for 7. We moved to Jericho almost 3 years ago from Barre, VT. We both grew up in the Central Vermont area.
I am a Project Manager for a health insurance company. I also am currently writing for the Burlington VT Moms Blog and recently started my own mommy blog with a friend- Because Mom, That’s Why.
Nothing is better to me than a warm sunny day outside with friends and family, no matter what activities we are doing. I enjoy hiking, pretend to enjoy running and recently started yoga.
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.
I feel like from the very beginning of trying to get pregnant my journey had not really been easy. Now as a mother to a toddler I feel I am challenged everyday but I am also amazed at what I can do. There are days that feel blissful and days I feel crazy, sometimes I feel a range of emotions all in one day. Whether good or bad, it is definitely an adventure and one I feel truly lucky to be on.
3. Since giving birth, have you struggled with maintaining a positive body and self-image or self-esteem? What has helped? What has hurt?
I certainly have my days with my body imagine. Even though I’ve lost all the weight, my body is just not the same but I am learning to accept that. I try to find things that make me feel good and have adjusted my wardrobe. I’ve actually enjoyed evolving my wardrobe a bit. What I’ve struggled with more is this sense of losing myself. Figuring out who I am as a mom has been a tough journey for me. Luckily I have an amazing husband who has supported me during this journey.
4. How were you originally introduced to babywearing? Were you mentored/assisted by an experienced babywearer, educator or consultant? What were your initial thoughts on the practice then compared to now?
When I became pregnant I was handed down and Ergo and registered for a Moby because I thought that’s what everyone did. While researching online how to use the carriers I came across our local babywearing group. I received some initial help through their Facebook page and then took the plunge one day of going to an actual meeting and am so glad I did. It really opened up my eyes to the world of babywearing and all the possibilities. Wraps still overwhelm me but I love I was able to discover ring slings and the options for different types of soft structured carriers.
I initially thought it would just be handy for getting a few things done around the house but I quickly realized how much I could do while babywearing and it really helped me ease into motherhood.
5. What are your thoughts on the babywearing community, both online and locally? Have your experiences been pleasant? Does your area have a local babywearing group?
I love our local babywearing group, both going to meetings and the online help they provide. They are all so welcoming. They are encouraging of any type of babywearing and I have never felt judged by the group.
Online elsewhere I have had mixed experiences. I have joined a few Facebook groups specific to certain carrier brands and have found one in particular (not Poe Wovens) to be a little more judgmental if you are not using that brand or if you ask beginner questions they feel like you should already know.
6. Would you consider yourself into “attachment parenting”? Which aspects of AP to you find fit well with your family and lifestyle? Which do not?
I’m not sure I know the full meaning of attachment parenting but I think I follow some of the philosophies. I breastfed, I did a lot of skin-to-skin in the beginning, I babywear (and now toddler wear) and I really let my daughter set her schedule as far as an eat, sleep awake routine. I tried not to really force a schedule that I wanted and had much better success following her cues and we eventually eased into a routine.
We did not really co-sleep, only the first few weeks. It just didn’t work well for our family.
7. Do you babywear often? During which activities do you most often babywear during? How has babywearing affected you as a mother and caretaker of small children?
I used to babywear more often before she could walk but we still do quite a bit. We take the dog for walks, hike, sometimes for grocery shopping, and getting cleaning done around the house.
I like it especially when we are in crowded places that are new to her and can be overwhelming. She seems to enjoy the comfort of being attached to me in those situations as well. It’s also nice for quick trips into a store so she’s not pulling everything off the shelf!
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!)
I can’t get enough snuggling. Whether reading, watching tv, just relaxing. The more snuggling, the better!
I also really enjoy just watching her grow. It’s amazing to be able to watch her grow into the person she is becoming.
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?
I think it gives a sense of security to my daughter. She’s so curious and loves exploring outside and I really feel because we were able to do that together through babywearing from the very beginning, it’s now stuck with her. I have gotten my mom to try the ring sling a few times (she actually couldn’t believe how comfortable and handy it was) and now my sister has a daughter and she frequently babywears.
10. And finally, what has babywearing meant to you? Does babywearing make you feel beautiful?
I’m just grateful for all the memories and adventures we have had that were made possible with babywearing. There are many experiences I wouldn’t have been able to have if I tried to use a stroller or just carry her and I’m thankful with how much it has helped