Sunday, August 29, 2010

Working Outside the Home: One Babywearer's Story

I am a work outside the home mom.

I used to cringe to myself when I said those words, but babywearing has helped me to feel that I can stand up and be proud that I am being the best mother I can be to my daughter Cori. I work long hours at my day job, which means that my time with my daughter is very limited. I get to see her in the evenings, and on weekends, so we must pack our learning, playing, and bonding into those few precious hours.

I wear Cori as much as I can when I’m at home.

If I’m lucky, I get home in time to change my clothing and put her up on my back so I can help my husband make dinner for us all. Those few minutes of attached time help Cori to fall asleep easier, to be more pulled together and peaceful when it’s bed time.

I carry my daughter in a ring sling on weekends while I vacuum, or walk to the mailbox, or wash laundry. She’s up at my eye level, so she can see what I’m doing. Recently she decided that she wanted to help me wash the dishes. She happily carried around a bottle brush while I finished my chore. I knew exactly where she was, she was safe and content in a ring sling on my back.

Sometimes on weekend days we just have to get out of the house. We’ve spent too much time cooped up together. I grab a mei tai or a soft structured carrier and we go for a walk. Whether we’re walking through a garden or around the mall, it’s easier (and snugglier) for me to maneuver us both without a stroller. Of course, at the mall a stroller is a handy storage receptacle for our packages!

I know that Cori must enjoy being worn. Recently she’s started to hand me whatever wrap she can find, grinning from ear to ear. When I ask her if she wants to go for a ride, she starts to bounce and nod. If this wasn’t fun for her, she wouldn’t ask me to do it!
For all the other WOH moms, don’t give up. Even a tiny span of stolen time wearing your baby is good for them. Wearing is helping you to be the best mom for your kid!

Posted by Lauren H.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Where We Wore on Our Summer Vacation

The end of August brings us to thoughts of school opening and the end of "summer vacation."  Even as adults, the childhood idea of "summer" keeps a hold in our minds and makes us treat summer as special time for fun, friends, family, and vacations.  One of the iconic themes of the beginning of the school year is the "Where I went on summer vacation" essay.  So, today we present a twist on this classic with, "Where we WORE on summer vacation."  

We flew on planes

We rode on trains

We visited family and rode on grandpa,
picked blueberries with mama,
then explored the beach with daddy.
We checked out Trainfest,

and we met babywearing celebs.

We walked in the tide pools

And nursed our babes there.
 We went on playdates with friends,
and looked over beautiful vistas.
We swam in cool water,

and blew bubbles in our backyard.

We saw the tops of mountains

and natural hot springs.
We walked the Stampede Days parade,

and napped at the gym.
But mostly, we enjoyed time with our families exploring our world.

What did we learn on our summer vacation?  We learned that baby sees best from mom and dad's height and that travel and fun are always easier when baby is safely tucked in a carrier.  What did YOU do on your summer vacation?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tutorial: Back Wrapping

Today we have 2 tutorial videos.  In the first we cover a few methods for getting baby onto your back before beginning any wrap carry.  All of these methods should be practiced with a spotter or on the bed before attempting them solo.  Try each method, one will likely feel "right" for you.  You may feel more comfortable practicing with a stuffed animal until you master the movements, then you can add baby without having to figure out where your arms go while ALSO being cautious of baby's safety.  Also, these are all done with a WOVEN wrap, we do not recommend this with a stretchy wrap.

In the second video, we have a tutorial for a Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC).  In this video, Cynthia shows us how to complete this wrap AFTER you've found the best method for YOU to get your baby on your back.  In the middle of this video, there is a close up of the steps from the back.  In this way you can see the wrapping from all angles.  Those aren't separate passes, but the same passes from behind.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just When You think It's Over...

It seems I am in the twilight of my wearing phase.  This, while sad, given that it implies that the People Who Live Here are all getting older and needing me less, is not actually sad, as it, well, implies the People Who Live Here are all getting older and needing me less.  I cannot tell a lie.  I love the prospect of mobility and appropriate parking lot behavior demonstrated by all offspring.  I long for everyone to have the dexterity and restraint devices to allow for the loading of passengers to be accomplished with orders not involvement.  I dream of the day I can open the van door and yell  “Out out out out out!” as though they were a bunch of paratroopers bailing out over the drop zone with backpacks and lunch boxes (and hopefully completed homework).  
But there is still a wistful sadness.  Babywearing has been good to me.  I have met a group of the most wonderful people.  I have added tools to my arsenal of Survival Parenting.  And I do love my gear. I am, at heart, a practical babywearer- is it easier for me to attach you to myself or buckle you in to a stroller, or best yet, leave you home?  These are the questions that have shaped my parenting-in-public decisions, and the answer is always a toss up.  As I have started to get rid of my stash of carriers, though, I have, in fact, gotten a bit nostalgic.  As I let each go, I do say good-bye to a little piece of the babies they carried who are now much larger people in all senses, and the memories they contain.

Last month, I swung by the library on my way home from work to run in some books that may or may not have been overdue.  I only had my 2 ½ year old, so logistically speaking, I figured we’d be okay, provided we stayed focused on our solitary mission and didn't try anything crazy like trying to get out new books.  As I parked, I heard “Mommy.  I goalkweurmack?”  Which, obviously, meant something.  But what?  I had no idea.  “What, baby?  Tell me again.”  “MAH-MEE.  I goaliweurmack!”  Hunh.  Still nothing.  It occurred to me that perhaps I should, you know, make eye contact with him while he was speaking so maybe I could get a visual clue as to what the heck he was saying.  So I turned around (I know, gracious of me).  “Be patient with me, buddy.  Tell me again.”  “MAHHHH-MEEE.  I GOALIWEURMACK!”  Big smile.  

Ah-hah!  Pointing.  At the floor.  Pointing at the Kozy on the floor.  I am a genius.  Please hold your applause.  “You go on my back?”  “YAH!  I GO ALI WEUR MACK.  We need DAT.”  Well, clear as a bell when you listen for it.  “DAT?  You meant that?  The Kozy?”  “YAH!  We need Dat TOZY.  I Go ALI WEUR MACK.  We Need Dat TOZY!”

Well, you’ll be prying that Kozy out of my cold dead hands.  While one cannot deny the snuggle factor of a wee one settling in for a nap on your back, one cannot deny the joy in your heart brought about by an outright request for something that makes your life easier, and the accompanying  hysterical giggle when you reach the height of the Santa Toss.  And if you’re very very lucky, a quick around-the-neck hug and a fully body snuggle before you disembark.  Our days are not done.  There are many rivers to cross and pickups to survive, and it’s always easier to navigate a parking lot with someone tied to you who wants to be there.   

Posted by Nancy