I was looking over the awards for babywearing advocacy and outreach from Babywearing International. It’s wonderful to see how different groups are reaching out and helping the people in their communities through babywearing.
But I also thought of the influence each of us makes just by stepping out our doors with a comfortable, safe baby carrier. The people who see you may have never heard of such a revolutionary device. You are changing minds about how convenient babies are! You are giving parents ideas of how they can make parenting less stressful, or maybe even leave the house more often. You are normalizing incorporating a baby into your actual life.
This goes against either end of the parenting extremes:
- Becoming a parent means giving up your life and you’ll never be able to do anything fun.
- With today’s conveniences, becoming a parent doesn’t have to change your life at all.
Instead, we babywearers are casually depicting a third option. We are demonstrating, without preaching, the joy of keeping your baby close, coupled with the convenience of going out for work and fun. Our babies are getting all the nurture they need, from the people they need most, and also being exposed to the world they are growing up to be part of.
Just think, babywearing is a way you have found to improve the quality of life of your baby and yourself; and is also showing others around you how they too can have an easier time of it, and we may even be orchestrating a large-scale cultural shift in the way society thinks of and treats babies and children. Imagine if people in line at the airport or restaurant didn’t groan when they saw us coming. Imagine if they smiled instead, seeing the next generation of amazing, resilient, compassionate, imaginative, humans being raised right in front of them.
And what about our children, and their friends, clever little sponges growing up to wear their babies and change their worlds?
For such worthwhile contributions to individuals, families, and societies, in the action of babywearing and any other mindful examples set by you, I hereby commend each of you and award you with the title Remarkable and Influential Person and encourage you to get an ice cream sunday!