I am often asked how I got into doing this-with the this being running a sling library and advising on babywearing- and I must admit I often ask myself the same question!
Being a retired, grandmother I am not your typical sling librarian. Yet my paths so far in my life seem to have led to this point.
Before I had my children I trained as a teacher.
When I had my first child I trained as an NCT teacher.
When we moved to Salisbury I set up a local NCT branch- a mere 50 years ago!
When I had my third child, I realised that I was going to need to carry full time as school and preschool were in opposite directions and the entrance to my house wasn’t buggy friendly, so he was one of the very few babies carried in Salisbury back in the day.
Carrying my son started from convenience but I very soon discovered so many more benefits. I became an advocate of babywearing back in the 80’s.
Life moved on my children grew up, I resumed my career and some 10 years ago retired from being a head teacher of a little village school.
When my daughter and her OH started the road to adoption I knew that the one piece of equipment they needed for sure was a carrier. If carrying promoted attachment and security then an adopted child was certainly going to need this. After much research I started on the slippery slope of buying carriers- how the market had exploded since my carrying days!
With my time freed up from giving up from giving up the day job and the advent of grandchildren I began meeting up socially with a group of parents who used carriers when I was on grandma duty.
When opening a sling library was mooted, I volunteered to help in the background………..I had some cash I could invest in a starter stock and I was prepared to write letters and manage the stock purchases……..……. It was just out of interest I did peer support training with SoB wasn’t it?
Then my co- founder’s maternity leave came to an end, and it dawned on me I was never going to be that background helper…….. so I trained as a consultant and have been Salisbury Sling Library now for almost 5 years.
I have maintained a big interest in helping adoptive families and have now had personal experience of how slings have helped us settle 2 children into our family. I love all the carriers, it is amazing just how many variations on a theme you can have…. but I especially love stroking lovely wraps and have a fairly impressive personal collection that I have acquired in the interest of research- as a needlewoman I have always had a love affair with fabric. My regret is I didn’t get to use wraps when I was younger, my old stiff shoulders mean back wrapping isn’t for me.
I have carried all four of my grandchildren. I have helped parents carry who I taught as a teacher. I have helped parents carry who were babies born from my NCT classes.
I do it because I can, I do it because I believe it is important, I do it because I believe in the need for generations to unite in helping to raise children.