Mean Girls and Babywearing


I love babywearing. Carrying my daughter close to my heart, wearing her on my front. She has gotten pretty big. She is a toddler now. And I’ve had some concerned comments from friends and family asking why we haven’t transitioned to back carries or like using the stroller. My reasons:.

1. She is light.

2. I am stronger than I have ever been in my life (thank you daily workouts)!

3. Back carries mean I miss out on valuable lessons and conversation with my strong little lady. Conversations like this one…

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On one of our walks along a busy road in our city, we passed by a school on what looked like some free time they were having outside before school ended for the day.

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A group of 4 girls were sitting on the top of a hill, beside the school building, overlooking the road we walked along. They had to be about 11 or 12 years old.

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Narra quickly pointed them out even though we were about 40 feet away. 

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“Girls! Look at the big girls, mommy!”

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“Yes! Look at them having fun!” I smiled at Narra. She loves noticing older kids. She has been watching them run, jump and play since her neck could support her baby head and follow along with their movement. 

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As we walked a couple more steps down the sidewalk, the other side of the building came into view and what I saw there made my heart sink.

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Another girl, same age, sitting alone. Looking sad. Right away I knew what was going on there. This girl wasn’t part of the group. And I could tell she wanted to be.

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I have been blessed with a daughter with empathy skills from the get-go. I think it was at 9 months, we were at the playground and she pointed out a boy who was crying and said, “Boy sad,” and looked up at me with sad puppy dog eyes. I had to give HER a hug to comfort her.

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Before she could talk, she would crawl over to me in the thick of my postpartum, when I would be having a bad day, and sit in my lap and hug me.

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She has seen me sob and cry. And I’m not ashamed to say she has been one of the “first responders” on the scene of my tears, as much as I have been on hers. She has seen me fall, but she has also seen me rise again.

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I stopped on the sidewalk. We stopped. I wished I could tell the girl that things would be okay. That those girls probably weren’t her people, that girls can be cruel sometimes. But I couldn’t.

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So instead of helping with the girl, I stood there with my 2 year old daughter and asked her what the girl sitting alone might be feeling.

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“She’s sad.”

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“Yes. She seems sad. I think she might want to play with her friends. But her friends are up there without her.”

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In true Narra fashion, she buried her face into my chest and let out a whimper. She could feel the girl’s pain. I could feel it, too. I have been that girl BY HERSELF. And one day, I fear Narra might be that girl, too.

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But I knew something good could come out of this. A lesson could come out of this.

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I gave Narra a hug and a kiss. We looked at each other and felt happy we were together. And then I told her if she ever saw someone alone who might want to play, she can be a good friend and ask her. That’s how people can be good friends. It will make them feel happy! It might even make you feel happy, too!

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Narra gave me a kiss and I told her I loved her. And that the girl’s mommy loved her too.

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My daughter is two. But it is NEVER too early to teach compassion and empathy. Did she understand all of that? Probably not. But I keep thinking, I don’t always understand things the first time I hear about them. And to me, it is important Narra knows how to be a good person to others not just for them, but for HERSELF. So I will keep teaching her and asking her questions until it makes sense. 

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I am so grateful that I have surrounded myself with women who are just like me. Who see the girls around the corner and don’t leave them there by themselves. I am grateful for my team of ladies, my accountability group challenge sisters who I know, are on top of that hill, laughing and playing but also open and inviting of others to come JOIN US.

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So if you’re the girl by herself, please reach out. You just need to find your people. We can be your people. I can be your people.

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