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.
Finding my voice as a mother has been a slow and steady process. When I was pregnant with my first, I had all kinds of thoughts and ideas about who I wanted to be and how I would parent my child. If you asked me then if I had found my voice, I would have said “yes”. I followed the status quo, not questioning ideas that were presented to me or looking into my options. I had a hospital birth, induced and augmented in every way possible. When she was born, I questioned everything. Her birth was difficult and the recovery was long, it left me feeling weak and lonely. She was a difficult baby and I felt like I had no idea what I was doing.
When I was pregnant with my second, I slowly began to rebuild my confidence. I researched and questioned and pushed back. He was born in our living room, exactly how and where I wanted. His birth was healing and strengthening. As a new mother of two, I felt overwhelmed and stressed out, but oddly okay with it. I knew from experience that this too would pass. If you asked me if had found my voice, I would have answered with a confident “no”.
My third was born 8 months ago. When I was pregnant with him, I laid out my birth plan for my midwives and they thoughtfully and calmly pushed back. I thought I knew what was best, and for months, we danced around tough decisions and conversations. In the late months of his pregnancy, I sat on our bed in the bus, where I desperately wanted our baby to be born, and decided to follow the guidance of my midwives. I can’t say what the outcome would have been had I birthed at home, but my birth experience was wonderful and uneventful and I have no regrets. When I think back on his birth, I feel proud of myself for being able to accept that my plan may not have been the best one.
Looking back at each birth, it’s interesting to me to realize how each one has shaped and changed me, just as each of my children has. I am now able to look back at these milestone events and see how I have changed and grown.
Finding my voice as a mother has meant stepping back and being silent. It has been hours of research and split second decisions based on gut instinct. It has been quiet moments shared with my kids and yelling, laughing and playing. It has been arguments with my husband, and knowing he’ll back me up and I’ll do the same for him. It has been accepting the advice of others, and knowing when to stand firm. It has been knowing what my plans were for my child, and then realizing she’s not going to follow them. Finding my voice as a mother has been years of questioning myself and learning where to find the answers.
If you ask me if I have found my voice, I would answer with a firm “Yes,” followed by a tentative, “For now”.