My grandmother raised her five children surrounded by extended family and friends in a literal village.
I’m raising my two in sprawling “see-you-in-45-minutes!” suburbia. The family love is still there, but that same next-door “I’ll hold your baby; you take a breather” support network just doesn’t exist, and that’s why I say that my ring sling was my village.
My sling let me soothe my baby’s overtired cries, while I took deep meditative breaths to soothe my own.
My sling rocked my baby to sleep while I took care of my basic needs—brushing my teeth, using the bathroom, preparing nourishing food—without feeling pressured by the cries of a baby in another room.
My sling held my baby close, and he watched as he grew and saw that Mama had her own self too—a self that enjoyed painting, writing, hiking, and dinners out—all things I could still do with him on me.
My “village” looks different than the one my grandmother had, but one thing is the same. We both carried our babies close, and wrapped them in our love.
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