“Multi-Tasking with an Infant: The Joys of Babywearing and Sh*t”
I’ve been on maternity leave for a couple of months now. I send my oldest son (an almost three-year-old egotistical, articulate, wildly narcissistic comedian) to daycare most days and don’t even feel guilty about it anymore. This allows me to be a better mama because I get to devote all of my time and loving energy to my newborn daughter while my son gets to thrive, learn, and be challenged without my constant nagging. This also leaves me with an infant who adores being held…all the time.
But, the impossibility of trying to multi-task while holding an infant is comical. There are two logical choices. One, hold the fussy baby and try to accomplish domestic tasks (i.e., cooking, cleaning, and laundry) all one-handed, letting the one arm grow numb and heavy; or two, babywear. Wearing your baby is a genius way of getting your hands, and thus, your freedom back–whether it’s a wrap, carrier, or ring sling. Personally, I like wearing a wrap, while my husband prefers a carrier (Baby Bjorn). My beloved Baby K’Tan wrap has been with me for nearly three years, two babies, and I still love it and the comfort it has brought my babies. It’s even helped me survive the almost nearly impossible of #MamaLife situations.
Case in point: One morning, post-AM coffee, I was l putting dishes away in their familiar places while simultaneously began caramelizing onions and garlic–how I start many homemade panfried meals. The mornings are a happy, contemplative time for me to reflect while doing mundane domestic chores while she naps. My newborn daughter had rocked to sleep in the Baby K’Tan like a little joey in its mother’s pouch.
If you could ever remember a time in your life before children (B.C.), it may seem like a far distant memory from another past life. I remember when I was pregnant with my first born son, and my acupuncturist said to me, “Once you become a mom, you won’t realize how much you think about and talk about poop–how your day revolves around it.” I chuckled because I never could have fathomed that would be me. The idea seemed absurd, but there I was faced with such a fork in the road. And what seemed comical was that I wasn’t thinking about my kids’ poop but rather my own for once.
Suddenly I got that unmistakable sensation. Shit. I had to, and I thought shit because I had to…What to do? When you gotta go, you gotta go. I weighed my options and approached my predicament with objectivity and sensibility.
Sometimes parenting is like a “choose your own adventure.” Sometimes the outcome is favorable, and sometimes it’s not.
Do I… option one: Attempt to gingerly unwrap, pull her out, and risk her waking up, which would
potentially no doubt cause her to wake and scream, possibly uncontrollably, for an indefinite amount of time? Or two: Attempt to gingerly go number two (poop, lose some weight the quick way, drop a stink pickle, or whatever creative euphemism you want to call it) with her still attached to me? To my very own dismay, I chose the latter. I chose to chance it. Babywear and shit. In my defense, my decision was based on necessity and for the preservation of her much-needed newborn sleep (or self-preservation for my own sanity’s sake).
Oh, the shameless and unspeakable things we are reduced to do as mamas…I posted about this lovely experience on one of the mama social media communities I follow, on which other mothers commiserate about the joys and struggles of parenthood. Surprisingly, a large number of moms commented that they too have done/do this when they’re in a babywearing/poop jam! I was entertained at the number of mamas who could precisely identify with my lived experience, and felt relieved (in more ways than one) that I was not alone. The only other times I had felt even more vile were the times that involved breastfeeding and toileting, in desperate efforts to maintain that sweet tranquility of my quiet, breastfeeding babies.
Thankfully my Facebook post was well received (I imagine this could have gotten extremely awkward quickly if no one had shared my experience), and most thankfully, my newborn had slept through the duration of the (what could have been a crisis) incident unscathed and undisturbed. It’s as if it never even happened, so I could once again resume my multi-tasking in the kitchen and enjoy the almost-meditative domestic bliss of cooking and doing dishes, while she slept soundly against my body in her baby carrier.