December 04 2020 – Gianna Shawley
What has been your biggest challenge in motherhood/parenting?
This is going to sound redundant but my biggest challenge has been … parenting. And by that I mean learning how to parent each of my kids. Going into parenthood, that I had an idea of “what kind of mom” I was going to be. But then my first baby was Mathias and he’s medically complex so that changed my whole mentality from the start. Eating everything on his plate? Out the window since he has a g-tube. Learning two languages? I’m going to be happy if he can just hold a conversation. Discipline? How do you even discipline a child who is developmentally half of their actual age? I think starting off with a special needs child kind of taught me that I was going to need to do things differently and with every kid I’ve learned that they need different kinds of attention, different kinds of love and different kinds of discipline. Parenting is definitely not one size fits all and each of my kids is so different and has different needs.
Favorite piece of parenting advice?
Adjust your expectations! Not that you should set the bar low, or anything, but don’t hold yourself to some impossible standard that you feel like society or social media is holding you to. I’m definitely guilty of holding myself to unrealistic expectations and letting go is a process I am still very much learning.
How did you discover babywearing?
I have early memories of my mother wearing my siblings in a sling. I have one particular memory of her, at the sink doing dishes, while I was sitting at the kitchen table. I must have been 7 or 8 years old.
When I was pregnant with Mathias I wanted to find a sling and ended up finding a brand on Instagram. I picked out a sage sling thinking that if I was going to have just one it better be a color I love…LOL how things have changed.
When is babywearing most useful for you?
In a non-pandemic world? When I leave the house. I hate using a stroller and have travelled in the past without one and only brought a sling (or three).
In day to day life? Anytime that Thea is awake and something else needs to get done. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of outside chores wearing a sling but I don’t suggest babywearing while feeding a goat treats because they will try to climb on you!
What is your favorite thing about Babywearing?
There’s just something kind of magical about babywearing. Having a sleeping baby wrapped tight and cozy to my chest is one of my favorite things in the world.