My Best Nine on Instagram of 2015

I was intrigued by selling various #2015bestnine collages on my Instagram feed over the last few days of 2015. It did the trick, it got me wondering what mine were.  I was a little surprised by the results.

 I am @neslinglibrary on Instagram if you don’t yet follow me. I share photos of everyday life as well as sling library. I do after all describe myself in my profile bio as:

“Rachel Coy: Mum of two boys with the mission to help the NE carry their babies big and small. I’m a carrying consultant & sling librarian at the NE Sling Library”

So here are mine. 9 photos which between them sum up my life in 2015. I also apparently made 744 posts in 2015 and they had a total of 2300 likes. These 9 images make up just 117 of those. What do these images tell me? Maybe a look at each one is might help.

The first 4 images are the most popular I posted in 2015. From top left they are a local mama showing  her hand knitted babywearing coat insert (16 likes), next all received 14 likes are: me playing with a Woven Wings Droplets wrap at Slingababy CPD, a mamas first wrapping attempts and associated sleepy dust and another’s solo attempt at a double hammock after a consultation. These 4 images show the variety of a sling library and consultant. The range you can spend too. There is no one size fits all.

Next comes a photo of life or more correctly World Book Day 2015 and the outfits hubby and the boys wore. Not sling library related but life. Then there is Maria and her gorgeous girl playing with ring slings. The summary of what NESL means was posted when I was feeling raw and worried about the library. It was a silly summary that made me feel better and got 12 likes. I am not sure what it was about these images that made them as popular as they were.

The final two are normal life. A picture of my eldest looking rather grubby, dressed in Victorian dress for a trip to Beamish with school. The last is an image of me off duty and probably looking the happiest I had looked for a long time. Taken at a restaurant in Preston the night before a friends wedding. I joked it was a Mai Tai for the sling librarian. I was happy and relaxed in a moment. Both are something I find extremely hard to achieve.  I am constantly on edge, worried about what others think of me, worried about the library. Maybe the fact I was relaxed was the reason this image resonated with people.

My Best Nine of 2015 are an arbitrary choice based on popularity alone. Why not do a top ten and then this image would have been included too. With only 10 likes it didn’t make it onto me photo grid but in this mamas eyes and smile is as much happiness and joy of any of the other images that were chosen.

Popularity doesn’t mean importance. Likes don’t mean a photo is more or less significant. I will continue to share images across social media. The picture below shows my last 12 uploads: they too are a combination of sling library and real life. I will continue to do what I love: being a sling library, consultant and mummy, and hope that you will follow me on this journey.

Why does a bit of fabric mean so much?

Just over two years ago I wrote this blog for the Natural Mamas website: “But it’s just a bit of cloth“.  Since then many more bits of cloth have made it into this house. Isaac is now 3.5 and not carried as much but when he is I still love the flexibility of a woven wrap and often a ring sling too. The memories are even more special the more infrequent they become.

I have owned lots of different wraps but can I make a confession? I have never owned a handwoven, a Pamir or an Artipoppe for example.  Although I have holidayed and played with some of them. I haven’t wanted to own one. That does not mean I have always brought standard line wraps and have owned some limited editions and harder to find slings. My beloved Didymos Silver Geckos 6 took 18 months to find.  This lack of High End wraps doesn’t make me any less or more of a wrapper than someone who has only ever used a SPOC or a budget brand. We are carrying our children. That is all that matters. We are holding them close when it matters.

Wrapping has helped me stay sane. From the early days of a Velcro reflux baby, to wake up from naps, during post op recovery, to mundane things of walking the dog and doing the school run. It has let Isaac attend social events from the security of mummies back. Even today at 3.5 he was a little daunted by an event. But cuddles in our ring sling let him get used to where he was before he chose to go and play.

This week however I have taken delivery of a Woven Wings Leaf Gold Geo and paid for a Pavo Textiles wrap.

The WW is for the sling library  but the Pavo is for me. Why have I just brought it? Well it is called Coy Hearts. My surname is Coy.  I felt it would be the perfect way for us to end our carrying journey. I just hope Isaac has the same feelings. I suppose it will be a legacy wrap. Lots of people want to know what their legacy wrap is. Often believing it has to be the one release on the day their baby was born. It what if you don’t like it? What if there wasn’t one?  A legacy wrap can be anything if you like it, anything that means something to you. I am dreading the day our carrying journey comes to an end. So I suppose I should enjoy the cuddles while I can and make the most of them.