Perspective

Just yesterday I was asked if I “wore” my baby.  Hmmm . . . I had no idea what she meant.  After delving a little more into the subject with her I realized that she was asking if Lyla rode in a baby sling or Snugli or Baby Bjorn.  Ah, well yeah, sometimes.  But do I wear her?! 

Later in the day I was chatting with Kristen and asked her if she’d ever heard the term “baby wearing.”  Kristen had.  Apparently so have most other moms.  I guess I am behind as usual.  Kristen encouraged me to do some research and see what I find. Wowee!  This baby wearing stuff is a big deal.

For example:

Facebook came up with 500 groups dedicated to baby wearing. When I googled baby wearing I found links to companies that make slings/wraps, thebabywearer.com, an entry in wikepedia, an article from Dr. Sears, babywearing.com, and literally thousands of other forums, articles, groups, etc. wholly dedicated to strapping your young one to your torso and carting them around.

According to Dr. Sears, famous pediatrician who coined the phrase “attachment parenting”, and many of these sites some of the benefits of babywearing are: less crying, smarter babies, babies with better organizational skills (? okay . . .), babies are “humanized” earlier (again….okay), and the more practical ones – you can do things you need to get done, hands free!  This one, I get.

Am I against babywearing?  Not necessarily.  I “wore” Lyla for the first time last weekend while Jason, Jonah and I went to Target and some other public places.  It was nice because #1 – no one tried to touch my kid.  Strangers can be amazingly handsy with other people’s young children. #2 – I could walk around and do whatever with her sleeping securely on me.  That was nice.  Is this something I want to do 24-7?  Nope.  It’s not. Am I less of a mother for not choosing to do so?  No way.

That leads me to a bigger issue that I noticed when I had Jonah. Mommies and their identities.  When you have a kid for the first time, it’s pretty overwhelming.  Not only are you and your partner responsible for another living person, you’re thrown into this new world of “mommyhood” that includes all these rituals, language and rites of passage that you are totally clueless of.  Then you’ve got hormones thrown in with a generous dash of “Who the heck am I now?!” 

Here’s where babywearing comes in . . . go to any mommy website like whattoexpect.com or parents.com and you’ll find these lists of forums for people who are dedicated to various aspects of parenthood like exclusively breastfeeding moms, babywearers, all organic mommies, natural childbirth divas . . . etc, etc.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone needs support and encouragement.  I’m all for that.  What doesn’t sit well with me is when so many moms seem to cling to some aspect of motherhood in order to find some sort of identity that they’ve lost or misplaced.  In reality, these are usually the same moms who love to lecture us other low-lifes who don’t care a thing about touting the party line for this cause or that.  “What do you mean you had an epidural?!” 

Let’s give each other a break!  Feed your kid wheat grass and I’ll keep giving mine mac n’ cheese.  No biggie.  🙂

But seriously, I have to remind myself that kids don’t stay little forever.  Babies grow up.  I highly doubt anyone will be “wearing” their 12 year old.  If they are, wow – their chiropractic bill must be outrageous!  In the midst of constant feedings, endless diapers and all the sweet things in between, at the end of the day my identity is still found in Christ.  I’m still Crystal Zaragoza – a mom, yes, but also wife to Jason, freelance writer, daughter, bookworm . . . child of God.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. You made me laugh! Check out http://www.babywearingdoula.com
    Piper is my doula & is making me a Mei Tei carrier for Cole. We have bad backs, (especially Mark) so toting the infant carrier car seat isn’t really an option for us. AND, I’m like you…I don’t want some stranger in Wal-Mart who just sneezed or wheezed touching my baby! BACK OFF! lol!
    “Wearing” him will take a lot of pressure of our backs and we can still get things done. : ) If you have the right kind of carrier, it makes it so much easier.

  2. babywearing is certainly a joy 🙂 I carry my son for an hour in the park daily with a Japanese baby carrier from http://www.zuigeling.com

    most of the time Joachim falls asleep in 15 mins while being carried… I have tried carrying him for about 3 hours once during a trip to the library and he was snug and comfortable… no fatigue for me either 🙂

  3. We’ve worn our girls in hotslings and mei tais….love them! And…totally understand the not getting the need to be so judgmental on so many aspects of motherhood (or just being a woman).

  4. It’s called attachment parenting. And I did it with both kiddos. . Hannah in the sling, Cayden in the Bjorn. Life was always so much happier when they were in their place!

    And by the way, even with an epidural, I gave birth to my children naturally. Anything that comes out of that tiny place is born “naturally.” Share that with those women!

    Xoxo

  5. Preach it sister! I’m all for people raising their children as they see fit, as long as it is not putting the child in imminent danger. But I hate when people will not shut up about this or that is child-rearing. You can tell me your opinion or practice but you don’t have to continue the lecture until I convert or yell at you while walking away.

    By the way, you look great and Lyla looks so precious!

  6. Wow, thanks for the great comments! I agree that the car seats are SO heavy! i’m trying to wear Lyla and little more just to see what she thinks (and what I think) I think we like it. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s