Every now and then, I do feel like a badass mom running the world. Not often, but when it does happen, I find my confidence in this mothering three kids four and under; I got this. Baby-wearing has changed the way I parent forever. When Evie was born, I was rendered useless. I didn’t shower, I didn’t clean, I didn’t do anything but stare at Evie; and watch tv. I watched her breathe, eat, sleep, and smile. When she would finally doze off into a deep sleep, I’d watch tv until she woke up. Repeat for several months.
I was afraid to walk away from her, like she would just disappear if I did. Someone would surely come steal her away from me and take her to another woman, another woman who was fit to be her mother. I didn’t deserve this privilege; I had no idea what I was doing. As her cheeks grew rounder, fingers grew longer, thighs grew thicker, my confidence grew slightly. I owned one pouch sling, which never quite fit right. Even still, on the days I couldn’t take the sight of my 10×10 room I would take Evie, put her in the sling right next to my heart, and we would walk. Walk anywhere. Walk everywhere. I would walk, and I would mother.
While pregnant with Millie, my old fears re-surfaced. Sure, I was doing a good job with Evie; but the world couldn’t possibly think I could handle two. I started looking into ways to manage two little ones under three. I decided I needed a better carrier. I bought a couple more pouches, and a Moby. Sean thought it he was too cool for the Moby, so he bought a $40 Ergo with big buckles. Sean never used the “bookbag” but I grew very fond of the Moby. I am a housekeeper, and I used to take both Evie and Millie with me when I would clean. Sometimes I was able to find someone to watch Evie for me but I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving Millie so young. So once again, I put her in the Moby right next to my heart, and I worked, I cleaned, and I mothered.
Apparently, my focus slipped off of mothering a little too often and Sean and I wound up pregnant again. I panicked, in every way. We needed to move somewhere with more space. We needed a new van. We needed another crib, more clothes, more diapers, and we needed more carriers. I’m not sure of the exact timeline, but I blinked and all of a sudden I owned an entire collection of carriers. I have enough to wear all three of my girls, sean, the neighbor boy, and everyone else at the library’s story time; if only one person could wear that many carriers at once. I bought ring slings, a mei tai, a woven wrap, and TULAS. Hell I even have a sling for the damn pool. Of all the above mentioned, Tula’s are my soulmate. I own three standards, and one toddler. I use them all regularly and love them almost as much as my children. Everywhere I go Millie is on my back, and quite often Livie is on my front. On days Evie is having a hard time, she goes on my back. Now even with three I can do so much more than I ever could with Evie. I can cook, I can clean, I can play… We’re still working on the whole showering thing. When anyone is sick, they go in a carrier. When anyone is sad, or frustrated, or jealous, I take them and put them in a carrier right next to my heart, and I sway, and I mother.
We have become a very active crew, mainly for my sanity. I’ve found the busier I can keep myself, the less time I have to think about how hard my life is right now. Me, the woman who used to be too afraid to shower, now goes everywhere ready for anything. We practically live at the zoo. Weather permitting; we go multiple times a week. Earlier this week we were at the Akron zoo and I stopped at the playground to let Millie and Evie play. I nursed Livie on the picnic table and watched as the girls played nicely together. When it was time to move on, I pulled Livie off, pulled up my tank top and yelled for the girls to come over to the table. Millie acted like most toddlers would, and threw herself down on the ground sobbing. A simple “Mom, may I please go down the slide a few more times,” would have gotten her a lot farther, but what can you really expect from a toddler.
Without looking at Millie and her craziness, I buckled Livie into the stroller, put away the diaper bag, and buckled my Tula around my waist. I grabbed Millie by her armpits and “supermaned” her onto my back, mid-meltdown. I’ve got this method down so well that even as she stiffened her back and wailed in my ears, it took me less than ten seconds to get her securely buckled in. Just as the final buckled clicked together, Millie calmed down and snuggled into my back.
I began walking away and looked up to give my apologetic nod to all the other parents. Yeah, sorry shes loud and annoying, haha… at least she is cute.
To my surprise, everyone was watching me, but not with the normal negative judgmental faces, but with amazement. There was a dad, with his jaw dropped. I felt like I had achieved a new level on a video game. Like now I’m the mom that other people look at and say one day, I’ll be able to juggle three like that.
That’s right, I’m awesome. I’m rocking this mom of three thing. At least, I was right then.
Song of the day is the song I started singing to myself that day at the zoo.
I encourage all momma’s to give babywearing a try. There are monthly meetings all over the place through baby wearing Int’l on facebook! Go try on carriers instead of just buying a million to figure it out.. your husbands will thank you.