The Sling Diaries, Volume VII. A photo-documentary chronicling the art of baby wearing in the lives of families around the world. Over the course of six months, Sling Diarists will create their own Sling Diary though a series of diary entries interpreting a unique theme given to them each month.
Meet all of our Sling Diarists here.
She is a force to be reckoned with. She is opinionated and head strong. She knows what she wants and she is not afraid of what people think. She is confident. She sings and dances her way through life. And she is five years old. She is very much her own person, but she also reminds me so much of myself.
I was 5 years old once too. And I was opinionated and head strong. I knew what I wanted and I wasn’t afraid of what people thought. I was confident.
But somewhere along the line... somewhere in the last 27 years... that 5 year old girl that was confident and so very ready to take on the world, managed to become buried under doubt, anxiety, and the need for approval.
The last few years have not all been sunshine and rainbows. There are days that I’m angry. There are days that I’m frustrated. There are days I just lose my patience. And if we are going to be really real here... there are days when that’s directed towards my kids. I often lay in my bed at night, wide awake hours past when my last little one has closed her eyes, with my own eyes heavy from sleep deprivation, and think I’ll do better tomorrow.
Our generation... those of us raising kids right now... we are different than any before us. We are the social media generation. We have the same Challenges of raising children that generations before us have had, but now we also have the added pressure of living up to the perfectly perfect expectations put in front of us by things like Pinterest and Instagram. I’d love to say that I’ve discovered a way to avoid all those pressures and ridiculous standards, but I haven’t. I’d love to say that I’ve discovered how to step away from it and pretend it doesn’t exist, but I haven’t. I’d love to say that I’ve discovered that I just don’t care. But I can’t. You know what I have discovered in the midst of it all though? Despite the pressures from social media and people around me... despite my short comings, and my failures... despite my struggles and my doubts... despite my fears and anxiety... I’ve discovered that I’m just what they need. And maybe even more, that they are just what I need.
When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I knew Julisabel would be getting sisters. I knew it in the depths of my gut. And it’s what I wanted. I wanted a whole house full of girls. I didn’t want boys. I didn’t know what I would do with boys. And then we lost one. It was sad, and it was hard. But we still had one. One sweet baby sister for Julisabel. Until we didn’t. Until I had the ultrasound that told us that Noah was in fact a Boy and not a girl. I should have been so thrilled to be having a healthy baby boy, especially after losing one baby. But instead I cried. In that moment; I mourned the loss of what I thought would be. And for a couple of weeks I struggled and fought through a lot of emotions, and a lot of guilt for feeling those emotions.
But I’ve discovered that It is not an accident that they are mine and I am theirs. God knew exactly what I needed even though It wasn’t what I thought I wanted. I wouldn’t trade any of my 3 sweet babies for the world. And there is not a doubt in my mind that they are exactly who they are meant to be.
I still find myself overwhelmed with anxiety some days. The doubts and fears and frustration creep in. But when I look at those babies of mine... when I hear their laughter and I see their joy, I know I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’ve discovered that sometimes knowing that is different than feeling It.
I know that that 5 year old me is still there. The opinionated, head strong, confident happy little girl is still me. Discovering who you are often comes with doubt and fear and insecurity. And for some of us It also comes with anger, frustration, hurt and anxiety. But at the end of the day, I think most of us are still just our five year old selves fighting to break out from under the pressures the world has put onto us.
When I look at Julisabel, dancing and singing through life without a care in the world or a worry in her heart, I really think that discovering who we are really meant to be may just happen at five years old.