You know what babywearing is good for? Well, besides the whole hands free parenting thing… It’s good for dishing me a large serving of my own words, a little humbling, tenderizing of the soul. It’s good for reminding me that parenthood is a constant revolving door of change and evolution.
I have been at this babywearing thing for a long time and every day I learn something new. Every new carrier or wrap that I try teaches me something new about myself, my skill set, my expectations, my body, my baby’s desires and interests… The list goes on and on. I have noticed a pattern, that the minute I say “such and such doesn’t work for me” or “I don’t like such and such” the universe sets upon a mission to teach me a lesson. Usually this lesson results in me eating my words about whatever it was I felt so certain about.
For example, I have always said that I despise the double hammock carry, a carry that many people swear by. I had never found it comfortable or cute and I haven’t enjoyed it in the least. Until, of course, a certain wrap came my way, the lovely Fire Fish. This wrap introduced me to the fact that I do very much like grippy wraps, and also showed me that some wraps lend themselves more to certain carries. I figured out that I do like a double hammock carry in a grippy wrap. It was the beginning of my realization that it’s n0t always the carry I dislike, it’s the formula of a certain wrap plus a certain carry being undesirable. It’s true that some carries just don’t work for some of us, but I learned a major lesson, that before I write off a carry try it with a different type of wrap.
Here’s Violet and me enjoying a double hammock in Fire Fish. Although there’s only a crummy cell phone picture as proof, the smile on my face says it all!
Sometimes I learn my lesson very quickly but other times I must be beat in the head repeatedly before it permeates. I have been around the block on numerous occasions with soft structured carriers. “I hate soft structured carriers,” I might say one month, “they don’t fit me properly.” The next month I might have a chance to try a different brand or style and then I’m shouting with excitement “I love soft structured carriers!” The very next month when my baby hits a growth spurt and I’m fidgiting with the fit of the carrier I loved so much last month, I’m back to swearing off soft structured carriers for good. But then it starts snowing, and there’s really nothing better than a good ol’ sturdy buckles carrier for quick wearing in undesirable weather, so then I love soft structured carriers again. At the end of these love/hate cycles, I don’t know why I can’t just remember to stay in the middle of the road and say that I like soft structured carriers sometimes, and other times I don’t.
Proof that I do actually wear a SSC sometimes (and enjoy it!!!)
It’s funny though, when it comes to helping someone else I can easily live in middle ground, but with my own wearing and stash I can be so short sighted and extreme. It’s been so beneficial for me to have the opportunity to help others with their babywearing endeavors because it forces me to think more reflectively on a regular basis and see things from different perspectives. I don’t think I’m alone in that either. That’s also the benefit of a community based babywearing group. As we provide others with peer to peer support and engage with others on their journeys we are able to better see the middle ground for ourselves.
Our Babywearing International of Kansas City chapter is not just for those just starting out as babywearers and finding their way, its for those of us who have been at it for quite a while and could use some change in perspective or fresh ideas. Those kinds of experiences reside in problem solving with others with different babywearing needs or interests. I am a true believer that the teacher often learns more than the student.
It’s so easy to get caught in the rut of thinking “this works” and “this doesn’t,” when really the truth resides in the gray areas. Having a community full of people at different places in our babywearing journey’s, needs, and interests serves to keep our minds open. I enjoy eating my own words these days because it means that someone has taught me something new. At each Babywearing International of Kansas City meeting I have the pleasure of reforming my thinking every time and I’m better for it, and thankful to have such a community to gently nudge me out of my box and keep me engaged in learning and providing support with an open mind.
I encourage you, babywearers of all forms to make it to one of our meetings! We meet in Overland Park at Happybottomus on the first Thursday evening of the month, in the Northland on the second Tuesday, and in Midtown on the third Tuesday of each month.
Looking for the soft structured carrier love? Or maybe you want to try out a wrap that might help you fall in love with a carry you’ve been less than enamored with? When we all get together check out the selection of carriers you can play with!! It’s a good reason to come to a meeting!!
Or maybe you’re looking to play with some woven wraps!
Maybe you want to hang out and learn from some friends!