Hi, Vicky here!
It’s taken me days to sit down and write this, which gives you an idea of how much thought and preparation has gone into our latest Have Child, Will Carry decision.
So, it’s with great sadness, but also a lot of hope, that I’ve decided to step down from Have Child, Will Carry, and leave our business baby in the nurturing hands of Kitty. In the last year, I have increasingly had to take a backstage role, and it seemed increasingly obvious to us that something needed to change. It’s been the hardest decision to make, and I’ve cried a lot, but this is the right move for us to make.
I fell in love with babywearing with a stretchy wrap borrowed from my sister, over four years ago. When we outgrew that sling, Kitty was on hand with a rainbow mei tai for us to borrow. From that moment, we inspired each other with our babywearing adventures. We had no idea of what awaited us…
It’s been three years since Kitty and I set up Have Child, Will Carry – initially with three other interested babywearing mums. When they went on to different challenges in the first three months, Kitty and I became the partnership in charge! In truth, we’ve been a partnership for a lot longer than that, as dear friends, and we’ll be a partnership until the end.
When we started HCWC we had just fourteen slings, and no idea of the amount of work we had set ourselves up for! The work naturally divided itself between us and we’ve both been able to use our greatest strengths in the last couple of years, as well as challenging ourselves to learn things outside our comfort zones. We attended our babywearing consultancy training together and, between us, have grown into a thriving and busy sling library that helps people around the country!
From the beginning, we had to incorporate HCWC into an already full schedule. My daughter was just a year old when we started this, and I had just gone back to work. I’d also started a counselling diploma, so my life was FULL! But I felt so passionate about sharing this wonderful gift with other people, that I knew I could make time. For the first two years, I used holiday time to be able to run sling meets! I would use evenings to answer e-mails and prepare carriers for postal hire, and I would use lunchbreaks for post office runs!
After a personal loss last year, it became clear I couldn’t keep running at that pace. One of the greatest characteristics of my relationship with Kitty is our fluidity, and Kitty very kindly understood my need to take a step back, and for her to almost completely take over the running of the library. I was still involved in decisions backstage, and still had every intention of returning to a more active role, but I needed time.
Well, my need for time hasn’t disappeared. So I feel like I’m making the right decision. This past year, I have completed and passed my counselling diploma. I’m also five months pregnant, and ready to throw myself into my time with my new baby, when she arrives in June. After that, when I return to work, it will be in my new counselling role, which will challenge and delight me, and take up A LOT of my time! In many ways, I just don’t know what I’ll do without the library and our working relationship, and the special encounters I get with so many lovely parents and caregivers. But then I look at my personal stash, and I re-live my days of babywearing – ready to do it all again when the time comes.
I know where my priorities need to be; it’s the family I love so much, and the work that I’ve dedicated myself to in the last four years. I’m so passionate about the difference that babywearing can make in the relationship between babies and their parents, and I still feel like I’ll be very much involved in that connection, just in a different capacity.
In fact, I was reading a book last night that finally inspired me to write this little post, which was describing the importance of healthy attachment:
“In addition to serving as a secure base for exploration, a haven of safety, and as
a source of reassurance for a distressed child (the hallmarks of the attachment function),
parents do many other things for children. For example, parents ‘‘provide stimulation
for the child that may or may not be appropriately modulated. They provide guidance,
limits, and interactive support for problem solving. In addition, they support the child’s
competence in the broader world, for example by making possible and supporting
social contacts outside the home’’ (Alan Sroufe)
I was reading that for work, and those words just jumped off the paper! That’s what I’m involved in in counselling. And that’s what I’ve loved about helping you all find the right carrier for me. And that’s why, alongside being pretty and fun and cute and enjoyable and handy and handsfree, I think babywearing can be so LIFE CHANGING; it helps us to do all those things. Securely tied or buckled to us, we can be their haven of safety.
We can reassure them in their distress. We provide appropriate stimulation, when they’re up at our eye level, and we explore the world with them. We guide and protect them, and we interact with them as we show them how to open doors, or acknowledge people in the street, or throw a stick for the dog. They see us in our competency, and they learn about the world. It’s so wonderful that it makes me shiver.
So, I need to say three thank yous. Firstly, to one of the great loves of my life, Kitty, for being my Kin and my business partner. We’ve had the most wonderful adventure together, and we’re rightfully proud of our work and our relationship. I wouldn’t have done this with anyone else. Our babywearing adventures together aren’t over, as we await my new arrival, and I hope that we have the joy of working together in the future. I don’t have the words to quite say how much our relationship means to me, but I know we both feel it.
Love, Vicky xxx