My babywearing journey so far…
I babywear (technically toddler wear now!) and there’s no hiding it, it’s changed my life. It’s opened up a whole new world, a closeness I never knew possible – in the literal sense! It’s become part of me, part of my identity and in a way I’m anxious. I’m anxious of who I will be after this amazing time in my life has ended. I know it will end, I don’t know when it will but it will. Most likely it will come gradually but it could just suddenly slap me in the face without warning. I have 2 older sons, I know the feelings of loss as a stage passes by, I’d probably compare it in a way to the loss of breastfeeding with my younger son. Though of course it’s different. Around the age of 2 he fed just at home really, whereas with babywearing it’s completely obvious. People probably see my wraps before they see me! So I wonder, who will I be after this?
I look back at when she was brand new, a tiny little squish with dark brown hair. We started with a Close Caboo, I loved it! I still do in fact! It’s been well over a year since I last used it but in those 6 months when I did, wow it was just my life. I used it for the school run, I used it for days out, I used it whilst I cooked dinner or prepared a snack for our boys. I edited wearing it, I hung out the washing, I used it because I loved to hold her whenever I could. My heart was full, my hands were empty for my boys. It was just completely perfect. If I could talk to my much loved Close Caboo, if it were a person, I’d place my hand on her shoulder, look deep into her eyes and simply say “Thank you.” I wouldn’t need to say one word more, she’d just know. Like one of your closest friends, just there for you when you need her.
I considered selling it recently but honestly I just couldn’t. Too many memories and love shared.
For the most part babywearing has been full of happiness, though it’s also got me through some sadder times. You may remember that April had a prolonged febrile seizure last summer. It left me a bit broken, fearful and anxious. I didn’t want her out of my sight but I was also petrified of making her too hot. So I bought a light but bright ring sling. She could be on my hip looking around but close to me. I could kiss her head a million times a day to check she was a good temperature. It did become a tad obsessive but at the time it was what I needed to do to stay calm and carry on with life. I even wore her in a hospital blanket like a wrap during our stay in HDU, we needed that.
I now mostly wrap, something I never saw myself doing. I’d gaze longingly at those mothers that did! I’d wonder how they made it look so easy. I did have one for a little while when April was 6 months but I just wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t one of “those” mums! I am so happy I gave it another try towards the end of last year. Something just clicked and now I can wrap, even out…. Wahoo!! My beautiful yaro yolka will probably stay, we learnt to wrap together after all!
Truth is I’m so much more than being a babywearing/breastfeeding mum. I know that, yet it’s hard to comprehend. As mothers we seem to describe ourselves based on our parenting choices. I guess it’s due to the intensity of our days. These things are such a big part of our daily routines that they somehow shape our identity. Funny thing is you wouldn’t describe yourself with other choices. “Hi, I’m Sarah and I eat meat.” Or “I’m a jeans wearing person!” Why do we do it as parents?
What we should be thinking about are our personality traits, that’s who you are. It’s those things that people love you for. Our quirky little habits. How we treat people and how we encourage those around us.
Babywearing is a huge part of my life and it always will be. BUT it doesn’t define me. I’m more than a mother who has made certain choices. I’m also a wife, a friend, an auntie, a daughter and a businesswoman. I’m thinking perhaps during our lives we create various identities and they all mould together as we get older to form the you that you are right now.
So when this stage is over I will still share the babywearing love! I will still share how amazing it is and photograph you of course. For now though I’m just going to enjoy it as much as I can, hold her close for as long as I can. Feel her breathing, smell her hair and kiss her forehead all day long!