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.
I start to cry, ashamed of the fat tears rolling down my cheeks, its hard work this mother gig and sometimes I hit my wall. My toddler stops screaming for a car, or a piece of candy or whatever the object of his lust may be at the moment, and presses both tiny hands to my cheeks “its ok mama, mama it’s ok!” He says while he holds my face in his hands like the small precocious being that he is. I smile and instantly wipe the tears away; he smiles back and asks his favorite question “mama’s my friend too?” “Of course Moses, of course I’m your friend”
That little phrase kills me, he began asking me that the summer I was pregnant with his sister, the first time I answered an immediate YES! And then was taken aback at the way I felt immediately nervous for having said yes.
Being raised in a family whose matriarch’s (my grandmother) favorite expression was children should be seen and not heard, I felt nervous that I told my son I was his friend. Would that make him feel he could push boundaries with me his whole life? Would I become that Mom, the “cool “Mom, the Mom that he felt like he could disobey because he always relied on her being his friend. Would bad habits begin? I took a step back and remembered that while I knew she loved me, I never felt comfortable enough to talk to my grandmother... really talk to her. I didn’t want that for my children, and I also didn’t want to be that Mom letting all the rules bend.
A true friend is always there for you, loving you, supporting you, but also telling you when you have a bad idea, or when you have done something wrong. I certainly know my best friends would reprimand me if I did something wrong in my life. So why was i scared of looking at it that way for my children? I had to turn my views around, of course I was his friend, we laugh together and look forward to spending time with each other, but I also let him know when he is not making the best decisions.
Then my daughter was born, my tiny beautiful baby girl, and like any new mother the bonding period took a little. You stare at this new person you have been so close to for months while they grew inside of you then all of a sudden, they’re an actual human being in your arms. Then the moment hit, the bond, she was nursing late at night in bed with everyone else asleep around us, when I in a half dream state imagined her as an adult calling me on the phone one day, to talk, maybe about her day, maybe to ask my advice, maybe just to check in…and I realized how much I wanted to be their friend, and setting up for that sort of future had to begin now.