I’ve written before on why I think babywearing is healthy emotionally, developmentally, socially and physically…not to mention its conveniences and so forth.
But today, I’m not thinking about the science or practicalities….today, I’m feeling sentimental and I’m thinking about all the reasons I just love babywearing. I’m starting to miss babywearing. Of course, I still wear my 22 pound 9 month old baby. And I hope to wear her for years to come- in fact, I would really love to wear her with a younger sibling, someday. But I used to wear her for 16 hours a day. Every day. We woke up, I put her in a carrier, we enjoyed the day together, we spent hours pacing the hall or bouncing on an exercise ball to help her settle down….and eventually, we went to bed together. The exception was when I started getting her down for a 20-30 minute nap once a week or so. And then she started taking all her naps down- which was my doing, because she’s such a light sleeper I thought she’d do better if we could get to a place of nursing her to sleep in our bed and leaving her. And she went to bed a couple hours or better before Ben and I. Now, she actually enjoys floor time. She cracks up and laughs and knocks down stuff Ben and I build her. She sits up and bangs stuff together. She tries desperately to scooch around, even. And I wonder everyday….where did my baby go?
What with the hours we spend on the floor together, her naps (which usually total 2-3 hours), and spending the later afternoons/evenings hanging out with daddy (which means I don’t wear her much then, either, because we’re all interacting together- and when we walk, it’s daddy’s turn to wear), that doesn’t leave much time for wearing her. Which makes me just a little bit sad…. These days, I probably wear her about 3 hours a day, on average. More if I’m having a really active day, like taking care of 100 pounds of meat or doing a lot of housework. Or more if we’re gone in the evenings. And, of course, I always wear her when we shop- but that’s usually only about 30 minutes a week. I bet there’s even days when I wear her less than 3 hours- like when we’re having a sewing marathon, and she just sits on my lap and tries to twist all the buttons on the sewing machine, or pull the pins.
This is a beautiful season of life, don’t get me wrong. I adore my baby girl’s laugh. It’s so much fun to watch her try to fit Wedgits together. I love watching her explore and twist knobs on the sewing machine. I love all her gabbing. I love snuggling together and playing on the floor together. I love the benefits of getting an evening with Ben every night. I love the beautiful girl she’s blossoming into. It’s special to see her growing in independence- a perfectly natural thing…it’s so beautiful to watch her grab it of her own accord, instead of having forced her into it prematurely. I love my life, simply put.
So….what is it I love about babywearing? Mostly, I love holding my baby close to me all day. I love having her right there where I can kiss her beautiful head over and over. Where we can smile at each other and rub noses. I love letting her explore my world. I love the companionship. I love the feeling of a soft, beautiful body nestled up against me. I love the constant reminder that I’m a mom….a mom! I love knowing that I can be the mom of my ideals (well, more or less….you know, shoot for the stars and you’ll hit the moon…), and still take care of life. I love the fact that I can meet all my daughter’s emotional needs, without getting stressed out- because we just face life together, instead of her taking away from my ability to get the dishes done.
Vivi’s growing up so fast, and we’ve already encountered so many changes. That’s a pattern that is going to continue for some time. Babywearing helps me capture each moment. It enables me to drink in every minute of being a mother to this priceless gift. I’m not saying it’s wrong for you, but I can’t personally imagine if she spent hours of her day in different seats and contraptions from an early age on. I just can’t personally imagine missing out on that many hours of her life, while I did something menial (that could be done with her!), like dusting or laundry or cleaning bathrooms. Even though we don’t babywear nearly as much now, thanks to babywearing, we still share our entire days together. She “helps” me with my work, and I enjoy playing with her when she’s ready to stretch and explore.
Sure, babywearing’s convenient. It has lots of benefits. It’s healthy. It helps her grow in natural independence. I could spin you a lot of scientific information- and already have. And all those things are great tools for selling other people on babywearing. They’re great extra advantages for me, too. I mean, no one’s going to argue against being able to easily manage a household, are they?
But for me….for why I babywear….it’s just because I love it. Because I love being a mom. Because life is too short to miss out on a single minute of my daughter’s life, for the sake of something trivial. As Vivi grows up, I’m going to keep on enjoying sharing life with her- I can hardly imagine it, but I know it’ll only be a matter of months before she’s standing on a chair in the kitchen, spilling flour everywhere. But I hope God blesses me with more babies to wear and nurture in the upcoming years…because, there’s still nothing like a newborn cradled against your body, totally content just to be with you!