Hello everyone, long time no speak.
Due to personal reasons I’ve been needing to take some time away from West Kent Sling Meet/Have Child, Will Carry lately.
I’ve thought hard about this and have written, deleted and then re-written this post several times already.
During the six weeks I was unwell at the beginning of the year I had lots of time to think about everything and the level of service that I as one woman spinning too many plates am able to sustainably offer you. I began to feel that maybe it’s time to to step away.
That coupled with some personal challenges meaning I don’t currently feel that I’m firing on all my cylinders.
As a result of this I think it’s only fair to all of you (and to myself) that I step down from running West Kent Sling Meet. I’m still trying to work out when is best for me to stop. I was planning on cancelling this Friday’s session but I can’t bear the thought of letting some of you who have emailed me lately down.
I will commit to offering sling meets this Friday (5/5/17) and the usual 3rd Friday of this month (19/5/17) as the last one (I WILL be emotional I warn any of you who attend this one now because I’m weeping a bit just writing this!!!)
Running the sling meet is so much more than simply bringing my stash of dolls, wraps & carriers to the meet every couple of weeks. There is a fair bit of admin for every hire from both the meets and the online postal hires along with the daily attention needed to reply properly to the large amount of emails and messages from the several social media accounts associated with both West Kent Sling Meet & HCWC. Even with all that and the maintenance/laundry and accounts it STILL hasn’t felt like much work though because I have totally LOVED doing it and before it was me on my own Vicky and the other women who we founded the West Kent Sling Meet over four years ago I know felt exactly the same as I do. We are all still passionate about the many benefits of carrying a child close to your heart.
But, ever since I suffered with Pneumonia at the beginning of the year I’ve realised in all honesty that I’ve been struggling to manage it on my own and it’s not the kind of project that can just run itself. It’s also not fair to any of you to ‘half’ run it either!
I appreciate that this is frustrating news if you were planning on needing my help and or if you are currently pregnant so I will be checking and replying to/directing any of you who need my help to other local people/services.
I will be able to offer some limited hires/postal hires to anyone who is really in need and can’t access a wrap/carrier from elsewhere too all the time I still have my carrier stash.
I cannot tell you how much joy I have had from meeting so many of you over the years, you’ve made running a non-profit unsalaried job feel the best paid job in the world with all of your love, kind words & support.
I am really, really happy that we now have more fantastic sling meets/trained consultants across Kent than we did when we first started out four years ago when there were only a few. Its this increase in local meets that have helped me to come to this decision for a break from hosting because I know that there will be lots of local support on offer still for you all.
I will list some of the other local meets and some wonderful fellow UK wide postal hire libraries below so that you can use them in my absence if you’re not already.
I’m still here and happy to help but will just need to feel less pressure for a while and to have some time to figure things out.
Any carriers currently with people can still be returned or extended as usual so don’t worry.
Have Child, Will Carry will definitely still exist and will continue to live on in one form or another and the shop will remain open for the moment too while I decide what to do next and take a bit of time to paint in my shed, to continue my creative support volunteering at Hospice In The Weald and to maybe even time to focus on my weaving too perhaps? (I’ve had the same warp on my loom for over a year now!) and maybe even get some paid work somewhere too if anyone will ever employ me! 😜
Lots and lots of love and also mega thanks to those of you who have been super patient with my slowness/disorganised nature of late!
Links to other local meets/libraries (and some postal hire services)
We have a FANTASTIC Kent Community Babywearing Facebook group which is a fab place to ask questions and to find your local support/sling meets. It can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/730590253722195/
Hold Me Close (based in Marden and covering surrounding area) – consultancy and sling meets
Maidstone Sling Meet https://www.facebook.com/MaidstoneSlingMeet/
and sling swing classes https://www.facebook.com/slingswingmaidstone/
North West Kent & Medway Slingmeet (based in Gillingham but covering surrounding area) https://www.facebook.com/NWKslings/
Kent Baby Matters – sling meets and breastfeeding support (Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, New Ash Green, Paddock Wood, Edenbridge and beyond)
Postal hire libraries:
South East Slings (formerly East Sussex Slings)
A sling meets, postal hire service & shop
It’s A Sling Thing, postal hires and shop
These are just a few off of the top of my head, you can find a comprehensive list of babywearing services available to you via Sling Pages