by Lily Baldwin
Recently, I was given the opportunity to become a mother for the second time when I gave birth to my now 5-month old baby girl. With my first child being 9 years old, being a mother to an infant had already become a distant memory. When contemplating that time in my life, 9 years ago, at the age of 20, I certainly lacked much of the knowledge required to become a mother. Being the type to thoroughly plan and prepare myself for any foreseeable challenge, I naturally spent months seeking knowledge about birthing process as well as parenting. This resulted in my being prepared for birth, and the methodology of being a mother. I had pragmatically learned how to become a caregiver. I learned how to warm up a bottle, change an infants clothing, bathe them, change their diaper, keep them alive. What was missing from this was how to form an attachment with my infant. How to intimately mother her, nurture her, foster her, form a strong emotional bond.
Largely credited to an old high school friend of mine, babywearing became not just a practice, but a philosophy that I was interested in and thanks to a supportive community, i sought. This community has embraced me wholly, with no care to categorize, label or alienate me according to my status. It is a community of parents who are bound together by love for their children. For me, babywearing is a tangible expression of my desire and ability to nurture. It means holding my baby close and forming a shatterproof bond while simultaneously juggling my role as a wife, mother to an older child, homemaker, and woman. It means I am a member of a community who prioritizes this bonding, and am given daily opportunities to communicate to my baby that my love for her is boundless and unwavering in a physical, and emotional way. Babywearing has changed my life, for the simple reason that it has allowed me to carry out the connection that I have so deeply desired to have with my child and given me a second chance to love both of my children in a profound way that will impact their own parenting should they be blessed with the opportunity. To wear my baby is to love my baby, and when facing times when my practical knowledge of handling and caring for a baby is lacking; there will be an over abundance of love, grace, tenderness, and physical touch.