I wrote this post months ago but never published it. I figure today is as good a day as any...
For me, being a mother is sacred. Being a mother constantly pushes me to my limits and challenges me to be the very best person I can be. It consistently brings out the best and the worst of me. Since I have little ones following me around memorizing and imitating every move I am hyperaware of how all of my actions as an individual affect them. Sometimes this hyperawareness makes me a little anxious and obsessive.
I have struggled with body image and disordered eating much of my adult life. I make an effort not to make negative remarks about myself out loud and breastfeeding has forced me to eat healthy and eat a lot. Seriously, I am constantly eating.
I strive to be a healthy example to my girls. That said, I still struggle to love my body. I am amazed by what my body has done and what it is capable of but my instinct is still to hide what is left of my baby bump. Most days I dread getting dressed. I hate deciding what to wear when I know that after a few nursing sessions it will be stretched beyond recognition and speckled with spit up. Some days I feel like no matter how much effort I make I still look like I just crawled out of bed.
Except when I'm wearing my baby in a wrap. The wrap hides my little belly. It hides my stretched out t-shirt and most of the spit-up. It makes me feel put together. It allows me to look at my reflection and appreciate who and what I have become. When my baby is all wrapped up and smiling at our reflection in the mirror I know I am a strong, beautiful mother. I feel complete. I know that these little girls are a part of me and that is all that matters. I can't see the parts of me that I like to criticize and that allows me to step back and see the bigger picture.
And that is so good for me.
And aside from the superficial benefits of babywearing, I'm pretty sure babywearing is the only reason I'm able to accomplish anything on a daily basis. With my baby all wrapped up I can get stuff done. I can play games with my older daughter, wash the dishes, fold laundry...I can write (or type with two hands), I can sew, we can walk to the park, I can sway my baby to sleep or nurse her in the comfort of her little cocoon. I can be productive and relaxed and not stressed about how long the baby will stay asleep in the crib or how long I can let her cry while I try to get just one more thing finished before I run pick her up. Being active with my children, being able to soothe them at a moments notice (most times preventing them from being upset in the first place), being productive in every aspect of my life is possible because of babywearing and that makes me feel confident in myself and my abilities as a mother.
And that somehow makes me feel less fat. It also makes me take a ridiculous amount of goofy looking "selfies". I've never been one for selfies but it's the inevitable result of trying to take pictures of myself and the girls. I tried to pick out some of my favorites for this post and had a good laugh looking through all the pictures I've taken of me and the girls over the last (almost) nine months. I have some fun ones of me wearing both girls at the same time and of L wearing her dollies and trying to take photos of herself in the mirror while I'm wearing E and trying to take photos of us all...but not everything is meant to be shared!
Do you wear your baby? What do you love about babywearing? This post is part of the Tuesday Baby Link Up.