I am a Babywearing Consultant.
I know how to help families find a sling that matches their needs. I know how to explain why hysteria over high street carriers is simply that – hysteria. I know that one size doesn’t fit all, that individual families need individual carrying solutions. I’ve spent thousands (and continue to do so) training to be the best I can be.
- Nobody warned me that how the words in an email, Facebook message or a tiny thank you card would have me sobbing.
- Nobody told me how I would feel when I discovered that by helping a mother carry her baby I had helped prevent the puerperal psychosis she had suffered after the birth of her first born. That it had allowed her to connect with her baby even before their birth.
- Nobody taught me how not to fill with sadness when I overheard a mother tell her little girl that she was “too big for a carry”. When the same child was clearly scared of going into school and had her blankie for comfort.
- Nobody told me how I would feel on knowing that my skills had calmed a babies reflux symptoms, let mum or dad have their hands back, allowed other children to be cared for, simply by finding a carrier for them to use.
- Nobody told me that I would make life-long friends running a sling library but also make enemies and lose friends along the way.
- Nobody taught me how to respond or keep from fits of laughter when I was asked “how old is your doll?”.
- Nobody taught me how to explain that I am not on call 24/7, 365 days a year. Or how to explain that my family come first.
- Nobody told me how honoured I would feel being asked for carrying advice from the mother who taught me to wrap, when her new baby was born with tallipes.
Being a Babywearing Consultant is an amazing job. It is different every day. It is not your run of the mill job. Each family has something about them that is different – even if they do want the same carrier. Most people don’t understand what I do. In my job I cannot judge. I cannot work to a set of fixed rules. I need to be flexible. There is no one type of parent who visits the sling library or for a consultation. I simply work with the families who have sought my help to find a carrying solution that works for them. I am honoured to be part of their lives, even just for a fleeting moment.
My clients are individuals. All with individual reasons to carry their babies (however big they are). It is their individual needs which make my job an amazing one to do. I have ‘colleagues’ around the country, they are also dedicated to helping people to carry their babies. Whether they are self-employed and trying to make a small living to help them raise their own families, or volunteers giving up their time to help others, it doesn’t matter. What matters is their dedication and desire to make carrying normal.
Originally Published for Birth and Baby as a: Network Blogger: I’m A Babywearing Consultant