Tag Archives: Babywearing

One Sketch at a Time

A few months ago, I decided that I would start sharing more of my art work. Sketches, works in progress, good, bad, I am sharing it all. I am at a place in my life where I have many obligations. In order to fit art into my life-which more often than not it is in the form of sketching-it must be accessible. This is why I have decided to invest in a new sketch book, scraps of paper will no longer do! sketch bookMy sketching seems to serve different functions, much the same way writing does. Sometimes it acts as a quick note to someone, or expresses an emotion that am feeling. For example, the sketch below, was done on an envelope. I sent it in the form of a text, to a friend who has a fairly new baby (two months to be exact). I did this in order to show my solidarity support, i.e. it looked like she was in for a long night.

night timeWhen I really think about it though, there are always obligations, the scenery and people may have changed, but I still have to practice time management no matter what stage I am in my life. I think what is really happening though, is that I am both reclaiming my art practice as a mother, and becoming aware of the new way in which I practice art.  Seeing it reflected back to me in the growing number of sketches, somehow solidifies that this is not merely an “in between” but rather a new way of practicing art.

simple sketch

Prior to motherhood, I always viewed my sketching/sketch book as a draft or an annex.  Now though, I consider my sketches (within the scope of my practice) as complete. Some of these pieces may evolve, but most will stay as is.  And even though I am not exactly sure where all these sketches are going, I am at least moving forward, one sketch at a time.normalize breastfeeding

 

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Woven

hairA few weeks ago, M and I were at a birthday party.  One of the mothers in attendance wore her little one in a colourful, woven ring sling.  Encircled by the woven fabric of the sling, her newborn breastfed, then slept contently in her mother’s arms for the duration of the birthday party.  I found myself thinking back to when I had purchased my first woven wrap.  I remember how wearing M felt akin to carrying him in my womb.  Since I had carried him for nine months, it was instinctive and instinctual to carry him in arms as I continued to sustain him with my breast milk.  I treasure the time that I spent wearing M and all the benefits that arose from keeping my baby close, especially in the fourth trimester.   Whether you use a ring sling like the one pictured above, or another kind of carrier, it is both reassuring and comforting for the mother and child, to keep baby close.

In the womb he was woven
a child birthed
Within a sanctuary called home
From womb to breast
in the afternoon light
I hold him.

 

 

Practical Babywearing & EC

trusty ergoI think this will probably be my last post on EC and perhaps on babywearing (or toddler wearing if you prefer). Now that I can easily wrap little M on my back, I have come to the conclusion that although wraps are great for our longer walks, they are not my preferred carrier.  The two reasons for this are: the practice of EC and the use of public transportation.

When it comes to taking public transit and doing errands,  re-wrapping an EC’d baby/toddler multiple times, whilst juggling grocery bags is cumbersome and inefficient.  So, for days when I know I will be taking transit and running errands, I always use my soft structured carrier (Ergo).  From a minimalist perspective, I think that a sling and soft structured carrier would have been ideal for us from the beginning.  However, I have found my wraps to be quite useful especially during those times when my son was teething or needing to be rocked to sleep.

uppy walk2In one of my previous posts about EC (you can read about it here), I wrote briefly on how babywearing can be an excellent way for parents or caregivers to be more in tune with their baby.  When I made the shift from part time EC to full time EC, I discovered that my long woven wraps were rather impractical, particularly since I was still learning to wrap.  Since I could use my wrap as a sling, I decided that I would make do with my Ergo and use my wraps mainly around the house or for short walks and sometimes a quick excursion to the grocery store.

short1

In retrospect, I should have purchased a ring sling or a shorter wrap, but at the time I thought that ring slings looked fairly difficult and I did not recognize the advantage of a shorter wrap.   For us mothers who do practice EC with our babies, the importance of being able to take one’s baby out of the carrier quickly, especially when they are younger, is key to making EC workable.

transit1Fast forward to when little M was 17 months old.  I had finally purchased my first “shorty” wrap. I unfortunately found many of the one shouldered carries to be fairly uncomfortable.  With little M being over thirty pounds, the double hammock rebozo carry (as seen in the above photo) is really only comfortable for the first five minutes.  At this point, I will have to both literally and figuratively shelve my shorty wrap.

The point is, when looking at what type of carrier or wrap, one needs to think about lifestyle firstly and then purchase accordingly.  Asking questions such as: do you plan to practice EC or simply [cloth] diaper your baby? Do you take public transit, or own a car or are you part of a car co-op?  These kind of questions,  as well as connecting with other babywearing mamas can help you determine what type of carrier or wrap is best suited for you and your baby’s needs.

Double Hammock Back Carry

double hammock1The Double Hammock back carry is truly a revelation! Why did I not try this carry before  sooner?  Truthfully, I thought it looked a bit intimidating, and told myself I would try it eventually. After watching this video by Rose of Carry them, it suddenly occurred to me that this may be the perfect carry for me and little M.  Sure enough it was.  I tied it correctly on my first attempt (this never happens when I learn a new carry) and found it to be the MOST comfortable and secure carry to date for me and my little guy.  Somehow, it distributes the weight more evenly than the Secured High back carry or Reinforced Ruck that I had been doing before.  Finally, the perfect back carry for us!

If you babywear, what carry works the best for you?

Vignette

Laundry2In my art work, elements from my [real] life converge with my dream life and time is non-linear.  Representation in art can be a mixture of different memories and events, both real and imagined.  Art can act as way to explore or ponder other possibilities or ideas for both the artist and viewer alike.  Art can be a way of dreaming, which eventually filters over into one’s way of being. While this particular vignette is a mixture of the real and imagined; it is, in essence about the soul of motherhood.

If you are a mother, can you see yourself in this picture?