Back in the day when I was first learning and becoming comfortable with babywearing, I would spend hours reading forums and browsing through the pictures people posted of their successful babywearing endeavors. I yearned for the days when that was me, a person that could post a picture on the forums, successfully babywearing with a happy baby, blissfully enjoying babywearing together. I fantasized about being able to get the perfect wrap job with every attempt, and being able to snap a picture to show everyone my impeccable level of mastery.
What I didn’t know is that those pictures you see on the forums of the perfect wrap jobs and the happy babies are a bit unrepresentative of what babywearing really looks like on a regular basis. Just about four years after launching my first babywearing endeavor, I can say honestly that I feel like I have hit the level of mastery that I fantasized about a few years ago. I am good at wrapping and can put on pretty much any carrier with ease and success. And another truth is, that even in my babywearing mastery and success, I still have babywearing failures EVERY SINGLE DAY! Sometimes many times a day! I am a person that proudly posts pictures of my babywearing successes on my Faceboook account and other babywearing forums. I do this because I’m proud of what has become of my countless hours of practicing, but also because probably in about 30 minutes I will have a lousy wrap job, or a screaming baby, or a pinch in the shoulder because I was in a hurry when I put the wrap on. I will need a reminder that I can do it, and that the failures are not only temporary, but a part of the continual process of babywearing.
What I wish I knew about those happy baby, perfect wrap job pictures a few years ago, is that those pictures are usually only showing the best, showpiece type moments of babywearing. They are not actually showing reality, the fumbling, the learning moments, the GOOD stuff that actually makes you better at babywearing. The pristine pictures are serving as a reminder of what we are striving for, but they are not showing how we get there.
I have learned over the years to cherish the babywearing fails I have every day because those are the attempts that really improve my skills. Not only do I want people to know that everyone has moments or days when babywearing appears to be broken, but I want people to be proud of the frustrating times because they make us better. I consider myself fairly proficient at the art of babywearing, but trust me friends, my carriers get thrown across the room in the heat of my tantrums and frustration at least once a day. I might give my wrap a swift kick in the rail, throw it aside, reach for a more amicable piece of cloth or carrier, or maybe just accept that my fussy baby needs something different from me at the moment than to be worn. And then when I pick that wrap back up again I can benefit from the growth that has taken place by achieving a more successful wrap job. And then I take a picture!
Aren’t you admiring this poor, red, crying baby and this tangled mess on my chest?
And let’s not forget about the fact that she was literally standing ON MY SPINE!
Such a failure of a wrap job, you can hardly tell that it’s a double hammock!
But at just the right angle it looks okay! 😉