Babywearin’ mamas everywhere are outraged by this ad, and rightly so. Poor marketing, Motrin. Bad, all-around idea ad agency. Might wanna get this off the networks before too many more baby-packin’ mamas see this!
I could fire off all the benefits of babywearing and all the statistics and all the other militant-mama artillery in my arsenal, but what speaks louder than all of that is my story.
I became a die-hard babywearer with the birth of my 3rd child in 2004. I had finally gotten the hang of it and LOVED it. So, naturally, when my 5th child, Emily, came along in 2007, she spent a goodly amount of time in some sort of homemade-by-me baby carrier. The store, the park, hiking, you name it…I wore her.
And at 7 months and 6 days, I lost her.
What I gave her ~ the comfort of mama’s closeness ~ and what she gave me in return ~ priceless memories ~ are unmatched. She would bury her fuzzy little head against my chest and fall fast asleep. I would snuggle my check against the top of her head and breathe in her sweet baby smell.
And these memories are not just mine. My husband speaks so fondly of the days he would come home from work and catch a glimpse of me in the window working about the kitchen with Emily strapped to my back in a mai tai. He would come in and kiss her and kiss me and watch us as we continued about our work ~ mama and baby melded together in a domestic dance.
One of the hardest things to put away after her death was my stash of baby carriers. I wanted so badly to hold this child to my heart once again. I searched the carriers for her hair, her smell, remnants of all my memories.
This is what babywearing is. It is a mother’s love enveloping her child. It is not a fashion statement, it is not a martyr’s curse, it is not a pain in the neck, or back, or hip…it is me…it is Emily…sharing moments that would someday be memories…precious, precious memories.