Remember the first day you held your newborn bundle up close against your chest, all snuggled up in their very first sling. What was it? A stretchy, a favourite woven, perhaps a Ring Sling, or maybe something else. Remember that delicious new baby smell. A sure prize for having birthed this miracle. Think back to how your baby calmed when being wrapped tightly to you. You gifted them a peaceful transition from the womb, earth-side.
Remember when your newborn became a nosey baby who would wriggle their little arms and body in the sling until they could grab your hair, ears, nose, glasses. Perhaps they would get distracted at nap time by the conversations and buzz of activity going on around them as they lay resting against you. You gifted your baby the most perfect introduction to the big wide world, from the safety of the sling.
Remember the hours you spent with your teething, over-tired baby who would only settle in the sling. Or perhaps your baby suffered from reflux and the sling would help soothe an especially un-comfy baby. Remember the times when a nasty cold struck and the sling was your baby’s medicine, wrapped in love and comfort that a mama-cuddle can bring. You gifted your baby healing and comfort so powerful and awesome.
Remember those days when your baby went through a learning leap, and the world suddenly became bigger to them with more sensations, feelings and experiences. How as they tried to process it all, sleep became a troublesome time. But when you lifted them gently into the sling they returned to a calm and relaxed state. You gifted your baby the security and comfort that was needed as the world was revealed more and more.
Remember the days when your baby just needed you and you needed him. Although the weight of this need was heavy, you willingly obliged and carried your baby close. All while being the strong woman you are, continuing with daily life. Perhaps looking after other children, the home, working. What else do you remember doing while the baby was always in the sling? You have shown your child the amazing strength and power that is within you, strength to carry on while loving so deeply.
Remember the first time your toddler asked to get down, and then back up and down and then back up, over and over again. Perhaps this was frustrating, maybe funny. Maybe you searched for a sling that could allow these quick ups-and-downs? You gifted your toddler the chance to grow and develop at their own pace, always ready to scoop them up when they needed you.
Remember when your toddler was walking and fell over and scraped their knee. A cuddle in the wrap, time in their safe, familiar place of comfort, helped calm their little sobs. You gifted your toddler a moment of relief from the pain.
Remember the family walk or holiday you went on, and your big strong pre-schooler went running off in front of you, tearing around the place, enjoying every minute. They looked so happy and confident. Remember how you watched as they began to slow down with tiredness, and you offered them a carry and they zonked out on your back, snoring loudly. You gifted your child rest.
My wish for you, is that you can look back on these moments of motherhood and these gifts you have given your child with fondness. Mourn the loss of the intense babywearing days, mourn the loss of carrying your child everywhere you go. We transition through different phases of motherhood, and often it causes us unspoken and unshared heartache. The world wants us to rush our babies through their baby-hood, while we want to cling on just a little longer. And so when you are ready, celebrate the awesome gifts you have given to your child.