Let’s start with a real thing that happened before I explain my babywearing obsession and why it is great, even when it is annoying. The story starts during a playdate with a mom friend of mine who I am aggressively trying to be best friends with because I think she and her family are next-level cool. We were sitting in my unfinished basement, which my husband and I have recently converted into a playroom of sorts for our two-year-old son. She also has a two-year-old and we figured we would christen the playroom with a good old-fashioned toddler destruction. However, my little guy is a shy guy and even though we were on his own turf, he needed to warm up to said destruction. He was all over my lap, standing in front of my face while I was trying to talk to my friend, and just generally being clingy. While this was going on, our Rottweiler mix put both of his paws on my friend’s shoulders in reciprocation of the head scratch she gave him. I’m trying to wrangle the dog off of her and I’m over here thinking she is definitely questioning her decision to come over in the first place and wondering why she even attempts to socialize with us.
I had set my daughter down on the foam play tiles next to us when we had first gone downstairs. True to form, she was just being a cool customer, watching all of this go down, not making a peep. I actually kind of forgot she was there, which is why the next words out of my mouth were, “where’s James?” (yes, reader, he was still on my person). My friend looked at me like I had actually lost it, then burst out laughing. While I tried to attribute this to “mom brain”, on the inside I was cringing. Mostly because I try to eschew any phrase or object that promotes the inane “mommy culture” I find myself in, but that’s a post for another day. Also, I was so embarrassed.
When babywearing becomes an extension of yourself
How does one look past one’s child who is literally climbing up one’s torso? It’s because I babywear. Like, all of the time. I’m so used to having one of my kids strapped to my body, that their presence is now just a part of me. These days, though, it’s Eva who is usually attached to me, not James as much, and I had just assumed that if the weight of a child was on me, it must be her.
Babywearing to combat the witching hour
As previously noted, Eva is a cool customer. An easy baby. This chick was sleeping through the night a month before I went back to work. HOWEVER, in her fourth month of life she has developed a “witching hour”. We’re talking at least an hour each evening, when she just screams bloody murder for no real reason. This is extra-convenient when my husband, who is a high school boys basketball coach, has late practice or a game and I need to put James down for bed right smack in the middle of Eva’s nightly freak-outs. Enter: the baby carrier.
My carriers and I are old friends. I have numerous wraps, structured carriers, my husband has his own, I got one for our lovely daycare provider. To say I’m bought-in to the Carrier Life is an understatement. I do not know how people parent without these things, TBH. I say that mostly because I am selfish and lazy. I need to be able to do my thing, and babies are freaking heavy, and toddlers are freaking heavier, and my arms get tired.
My nightly routine while babywearing
My nightly routine goes like this: get home around 5:00 after picking up the kids from daycare, and Eva goes immediately from her carseat to her carrier in an attempt to ward off the witch. I am babywearing while I clean my pump parts, supervise James feeding the dog and scattering random toys around the living room, get dinner ready, and just generally clean up the house.
All of this takes about an hour, and Eva is with me the whole time in the baby carrier. Sure, she needs occasional adjusting and she drops her pacifier at least 76 times, but she’s with me. I get some good squats in as all of this happens and she usually snoozes through what would normally be her “time”. It’s a win-win.
Would it be easier to do all of this without making sure I don’t get her feet wet while I’m rinsing off my phalanges? Does it annoy me when she inexplicably shuffles her head from side to side and flakes off all of her forehead skin on my chest? Yes. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment of how hard things are as a mom. I constantly find myself thinking, “if we can just get past this phase, everything will be so much easier”. But the truth is, once something gets easier, another thing gets harder. Once your kid can communicate, it also means they can walk in on you going to the bathroom and call you by your first name, which is super-cool of them. One day, I won’t be babywearing my daughter or my son while simultaneously doing my daily chores; but that also means that one day I can’t sniff their sweet little heads and squeeze their chubby feet whenever I feel like it, just because they are THERE. So for now, I’m here for it. But really, guys, WHERE’S JAMES?!
Hi! I’m Jenna. I’m a full-time mom of a toddler boy and a baby girl, a full-time high school English teacher, and a full-time explorer of Planet Earth. I have lived in Colorado my entire life and loved every minute of it. My husband and I are trying to raise playful, kind, resilient, confident, and curious humans in this ever-changing world.