It has been 6 months since I posted. I know everyone has been waiting. I know I failed miserably at my goal to post a whole year. For weeks I've been meaning to get back at it. Every week I read my Aunt's blog posts and am reminded I need to post. Every week I get too busy, or put it off for a "special day".
As we welcome another year of International Babywearing Week I've had several things happen that just seemed to come together for a good blog post on Babywearing. Therefore I decided the first day of IBW would, not only welcome IBW, but would welcome me back to Blogger.
Last year I posted about what Babywearing was, what it meant to me, and my history. This year I want to talk about how uniting and universal it is.
As you see me on any given weekday it is pretty obvious I am a stay at home mom, from my (very) casual dress to the kid (or more) in tow. That's probably where the obvious ends (unless you see my van). I have 1 or 2 kids with me, neither are still nursing age. And I am a pretty average mom age (well unless I don't dye all my grays). Would you be able to guess I was once a young mom? Would you be able to guess my religion? Could you tell my socioeconomic class? That I have 6 kids? That I have a child with special needs? My hobbies? My political affiliation? I bet you can't.
Even when I have 6 kids in tow you really don't know anything your assuming. Your first guess? Hmm, maybe that I'm on welfare (not sure if that would be because of my kids or my dress), would be wrong. I'm not and I never have been. But does that really matter? In this economy especially, people with 2 kids have just as great a chance to need help. 2nd guess, more than one father, again wrong. Again, does it matter? If the children are being taken care of, what does it matter? Lastly you start assuming religion or hippiness or whatever else would possess a seemingly same person to have 6 kids. Society's value given to children has really influenced the way people view them in all aspects.
I've posted about the mommy wars before. Stay at home vs working, breast vs bottle, etc. But can you tell those things by the cover of every "book"? The great thing about Babywearing is it blends right in there. Everyone is doing it. The reasoning behind everyone's choice to babywear is so different. That makes the people who do it cover such a vast array. Working moms do it, some even at work. Stay at home moms do it, even when they aren't home. Breast and bottle feeding. Those in Europe and those in the Americas. The ones that don't wonder how they can. The ones past that age wish they had.
Everyone mom, dad, grandparent and caregiver can use an extra hand. Even when you don't need an extra hand it's well worth the strain it saves on your back.
I walked through the corn maze this weekend and saw a mom of only 2 wearing her baby. I alternately wore my 2 and 4 year olds. I didn't bring a stroller. I had thought of a stroller but thought the inconvenience would outweigh the handiness. I saw people parking and leaving their strollers. I saw someone with the same nice one I would have brought, struggling through the sand, no stroller does sand well. I saw another mom that really would have loved a carrier. I can't imagine what her arms and back felt like when I saw her still carrying her baby (no stroller in sight) over an hour later.
I see the same thing in the mall or the store. A mom trying to juggle baby and a stroller or cart. A mom trying to calm baby without carrying them, so as to avoid the juggle. It happens to moms of 1 or moms of 10. It doesn't matter if you have a $15 stroller or a $400 stroller (trust me, I have both), its still not fun to push and carry (if you don't have a sling).
Babywearing isn't new, every single country has its own history of Babywearing. If your lucky enough to live in a country where it's still passed down, you already know. Other lucky people have a friend or Lamaze teacher (who first told us) share it. Some find the info in a book. Some frazzled moms stop a mom in the store who is more than willing to rave about her "3rd hand".
Once you have it, you have something in common with people of all walks of life, people from all over the world. The mom of 6 can compare to the mom of 2. The mom with the $200 wrap can commiserate with the mom with the sheet out of the linen closet. A baby in Africa is worn the same as a baby in Asia or America. When it comes to Babywearing there is no question, it is the best solution for moms convenience and baby's security. In that one little thing, there is no war.