I’ve had multiple people ask me how I do it. How do I keep my toddler and infant happy? How do I keep my house relatively clean? How do I make dinner? How do I stay sane?
I mean, there are lots of things in my tool belt that make life a little more easy. Most of them are nice things to have, but not necessary. This iPad I’m typing on is nice for being able to function while standing in the kitchen waiting for the soup to boil so I can turn it down to simmer. My car is awesome for getting places outside of the house. The bouncer is nice for letting Twig stay occupied for a minute. None of it is necessary.
Babywearing is necessary.
I wish that they sent every mom home from the hospital with a sling. I wish that certified babywearing instructors (yes, there are such things) were employed by hospitals to show new moms how to use said sling. I wish that crotch-danglers were outlawed. I wish babywearing wouldn’t have gotten such a bad rep from a few irresponsible manufacturers making bad carriers that killed babies.
Babywearing is so vital that I’m considering putting a carrier in my earthquake emergency kit. It’s how I accomplish everything and anything. Sure, I can occasionally leave the girls in the room for 30 minutes and have them having fun and laughing at each other, but usually Twig rolls herself into a corner and cries or Peanut decides she’s bored and leaves little sis alone and she cries. Then there are times when Twig just requires being held. She’s heavy! I really can’t carry her for more than a few minute without switching arms. Even then, she’s so grabby that I can’t accomplish anything without risking her injury.
That’s where putting her on my back comes in. Yes, you can wear a 6 month old on your back. You can wear a newborn on your back if you’re using an appropriate carrier. This is something I wish I would have known with Peanut. I don’t think I cooked dinner from the time she was 6 months until she was over a year. If I did, it was few and far between. I’m convinced that the reason she’s still afraid of the vacuum is because she was never exposed to it as a baby. Granted, she was an especially high needs baby, but still. If I would have known about wearing her on my back, I think I would have been able to accomplish a lot more than I did.
If I had to sell all of my possessions, my Boba would be the last to go. If my house was destroyed in a fire, I would go out and purchase a new carrier the next day. It is the one “parenting essential” that I truly believe is essential. I could live without so many things that the ladies at Babies R Us were chastising me for not putting on my registry. I have chosen to get rid of a great majority of the things I did actual think I needed before having kids. My carriers though, I would chose to buy again and again and again.
What’s your parenting essential? Is it babywearing or something else? Do you have one thing you just don’t want to parent without? Maybe multiple things?