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.
My third baby was born 6 months ago, and with him, arrived a new chapter in parenthood. My first baby changed me more than I imagined she would, my second molded me in new ways and my third brought to light the ways I have changed. Whenever I look back at pictures of my first when she was a tiny baby, I’m struck not only by how she has changed, but by how I have as well.
I was so naive when Lulu was born. I brought jeans to wear home from the hospital, I expected her to be sleeping through the night by 6 weeks, I was anxious for every new milestone and intently read every baby book and weekly update that landed in my inbox. She was a difficult baby and time seemed to pass so slowly, I was so ready for her to be a little bit older.
Abram was born a week after she turned two and it was only then that I was struck by how fast those first two years went. As I’m sure every mom of two can attest, time goes even faster the second time around. I thought I knew everything, since I had done it once already. Abram quickly taught me that I did not. I found myself longing for each next stage.
When Felix was born, I was confident. Confident that I would once again feel like I didn’t know what I was doing. But that hasn’t been the case. While there are obviously challenges that come along with having three little ones, I’m constantly struck by how much I enjoy it. There are days when Felix doesn’t leave the sling, he’s fussy and overtired and I feel completely touched out. And then I catch a glimpse of Lulu, her face has thinned out, her movements are intentional and graceful and I realize she’s growing up. I notice Abram’s long arms and hear him talking and joking with anyone who will listen. It’s a constant reminder of how fast it goes.
As a mother, I’ve heard it since day one “it goes so fast”, “enjoy it now!” and I’ve always been a little annoyed by it. I don’t like the pressure I feel to enjoy every moment, it stresses me out to feel like I’m supposed to love the dirty diapers, the sleepless nights and the tiny baby fingernail scratches I’m covered in. And yet here I am, staring at my sleeping 6 month old, smelling his baby breath, running my fingers over his chubby cheeks and trying to resist picking him up and squeezing him.
Even in the difficult moments of mothering my infant, I have two reminders of how fast it goes running by me. I’m able to appreciate the moment I’m in because I’ve experienced the rush of days and years that comes along with motherhood. The sleepless nights felt endless with Lulu because I didn’t know. I didn’t know that soon enough, I’d kiss her goodnight, say “see you in the morning” and mean it. The evenings of bouncing Abram while he cried felt like they’d go on for eternity because I didn’t realize that before I knew it, he’d be explaining his sadness and pain and teaching me how to comfort him best.
It’s incredible to see how capable my kids have become in just a few years. I’m really able to enjoy my third baby, because my first is reading fluently and my second is almost potty trained. While I’m stuck on the couch nursing my third baby for hours on end, I’m watching my first work on her kindergarten work with little to no help, my second is building a giant Lego tower in his room. I’ve learned to sit back and enjoy the stage we’re in because I can see that it won’t last.
I’m so grateful for each of my children and the way they’ve transformed me. I’m only 5 years into this journey, what will they teach me in the next 5 years? I already feel completely changed, I can only imagine how I’ll feel as we all grow together.