Baby Wearing Changes Lives: One Mama's Empowering Story
I LOVE hearing testimonials from mamas whose lives were changed by baby wearing. Check out this NICU mama's story about how baby wearing her and her family to enjoy each other during a difficult time. <3
Baby wearing....this is a word that was not in my vocabulary as I began raising children almost 26 years ago! My husband and I have 5 children. The youngest is 19 years old, so why am I just now learning about this cool concept of baby wearing? Oh, we had "baby wearing" back in my younger days, but the "snugglies" that I wore back then cannot even compare to the simplistic options that are available today. Well let me tell you how baby wearing can change lives!
Have you ever found yourself in a situation that you had always dreamed of, but now that you are living the dream life, you wonder how in the world that you are going to survive? As a 45 year old mama, I have been there over and over and over again! The blessings in my life continued to pour into my family as I raised my son as a single mama and worked as a preschool teacher for over 20 years. Then when I thought my life couldn't get much better, I met and married an amazing man and immediately had the opportunity to impact the lives of 3 more sons and a beautiful daughter.
As a parent, one of the greatest gifts you can give your children is the guidance to help them adapt to any situation that is thrown at them. Our family dynamics changed drastically one day when my husband and I were given the opportunity to walk along side our daughter as she faced circumstances in her life that left her as a single mama to our grandchildren. She was already a mama to lively one year old and an active two year old, and now found herself pregnant with a third child. This brought along some natural challenges, but then when complications led to the premature birth of her third child two months earlier than expected, she was forced onto an emotional roller coaster that made it almost impossible to hang on with out flying out!
We were able to offer our home as a refuge for our daughter and grandchildren as they began to navigate this portion of their lives. My husband and I get to wake up every morning to 3 small faces that smile at us when we come downstairs. However, in addition to these innocent faces, we are also greeted with an exhausted mama every morning!
While our daughter was having to travel back and forth to the NICU everyday after the birth of our granddaughter, she was gifted with an Anoona Full Buckle Carrier from Soul Slings. But at that moment in her life the possibility of baby wearing a 4 pound baby was overwhelming. Once she came home from the hospital with this sweet 4 pound 10 ounce baby, she was going to have to learn a new kind of normal! The idea of enjoying playing outside with two toddlers and a newborn seemed an impossibility to her. How can you chase 2 children under the age of two, while cradling a baby so small and fragile? As a grandma (or Memaw, as my grandchildren call me), it is painful to feel helpless as you listen to toddlers want to go out, but hearing that they just can't go out right now because of the baby. Again, we had a saving grace that came in the form of the same mama who had gifted the Soul Sling who now was offering up a different kind of baby wearing option....the Lillebaby stretchy wrap.
I asked our daughter one day if my husband and I could take all three kids for a walk. I decided to try the wrap myself and as soon as I put the wrap on, I was instantly in love with baby wearing! My husband and I left the house with a double stroller full of toddlers and a month old premature newborn strapped against my chest! It was an incredible moment of hearing her every breath and feeling every movement that my granddaughter made, right there next to my heart! We walked longer and farther than we typically did because every single one of our grandchildren were just so happy to be outside.
Immediately after coming home from our walk with the children, our daughter put the wrap on and walked around the house while wearing our sweet granddaughter. You could see the light in our daughter's eyes getting brighter as she wore her baby! Since that moment, our daughter has been empowered to go on outings with all three children to the aquarium. She is able to enjoy those simple things that we take for granted, such as watching her children play in the bright sunshine while outside.
Baby wearing has changed the entire atmosphere in our home and in our family. As grandparents we have reaped the benefits of baby wearing. We have seen a frustrated, exhausted, frightened mama begin to flourish while embracing the personal situation that she is faced with every day. By definition, the word empower means "to make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights." This word, empower, truly does define what our daughter has done. Our daughter has the "right" to enjoy being a mama! As a result of something so simple as a baby wearing wrap, our daughter has been empowered and has claimed her "right" to love life as a mama to three babies under the age of three!