“Who am I?”
Isn’t that the question that all human beings strive to answer?
Well, first and foremost I am an individual person with individual needs, hopes, and dreams. Then I would say that I am a mother, a wife, daughter, a sister, and a friend but none of those things define who I am; they are simply a part of who I have become. If you look at what I’ve done then you will see many things: I have been a student, a florist, a bookseller, a restaurant manager, a certified EMT, I’ve worked in a hospital, and I will forever be a U.S. Marine. I have ridden horses, read thousands of books, flown every year (minus the year that I was pregnant with my daughter in 2014) since the age of two, and traveled the world. I have lived in and traveled to many countries, such as Greece, Japan, Thailand, and Australia, to name a few. I am a major foodie and will try almost anything at least once. I have eaten some amazing & odd foods worldwide. I was Paleo for 8 years (though I am a firm believer in trying local cuisine when traveling, even if I know that it will make me feel sick later!) and I was becoming an avid Crossfitter before the birth of my daughter. Today I still enjoy eating Paleo as well as a varied Mediterranean diet lifestyle, I enjoy being outdoors, fit, and healthy and I do not strive to be skinny. When life gives you curves, flaunt them!
So how did I come to babywearing, through all of that? I was fortunate enough to have some friends who carried their babies and I was at once intrigued by the idea. Being an avid reader, I dove into books that talked about babywearing in indigenous cultures and ones that told of its rebirth in the last 60 years in the Western world. I knew before my daughter was born that I would carry her with me. I loved the idea of keeping her as close to me on the outside as I had when I was pregnant, the sound of my heartbeat still comforting in her ear.
I started as many caregivers start out, with a stretchy wrap that was perfect for us when she was firstborn. Then when she grew too heavy for it to be comfortable for us, I graduated to an SSC (soft structured carrier) which we still enjoy today. It wasn’t until we bought our first house in a new state that we had not previously been to that a friend of mine recommended finding a local babywearing group to try to meet other moms and learn how to wrap. I did indeed find such a group and it wasn’t long before I became an admin, a co-leader, and an educator. Holding that little heartbeat close to your own is a wonderful feeling and I have loved teaching others how to wear their babies and carry them close. Helping them find their ‘a-ha!’ moment is something that I strive for as an educator. I have turned my passion into my profession!
I began reviewing different carriers and wraps quite by accident. I became part of traveling programs and I started keeping comments in a notebook so that I could compare wrapping and wearing qualities when I tried out something new. It helped me to understand the terms, fibers, lengths, weaving types, buckles, sizes, etc. It wasn’t long before other caregivers were regularly asking me what I thought of something and I found that I liked to share what I had learned. This led me to want to know about the person(s) behind the product and that in turn has led me to meet not only other babywearers but owners and craftsmen who are truly excited about sharing their passions with the rest of the babywearing world. Their enthusiasm is addicting and continues to draw me into trying out every new carrier that I can get my hands on! One of my goals is to share that enthusiasm with the rest of the babywearing world.
I have been a jack of many trades:
- I am a Babywearing Educator and Consultant, certified and trained through the Center for Babywearing Studies; the first CBWS Educator/Consultant in Utah!
- I am the Director of Business Development for the Center for Babywearing Studies and am also the Foundations Training course mentor & Educator Trainer-in-training, assisting in teaching online Foundations & Progressions courses for those wanting to become trained/certified babywearing educators
- I am a co-leader of the local babywearing group, Babywearing in Weber/Davis Co. (@otownbabywearers on Instagram, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- I was the Hill Air Force Base ‘Party Rocker’ for The Carrying On Project, a non-profit organization that assists Military Families in need via babywearing
- I was the local contact person for Lift Me Up: Babywearing to Thrive, a non-profit organization that assists families with Special Needs via babywearing
- I was the contact person in Utah for Baby Carriers Provided, working with our local WIC offices to bring baby carriers to our local communities
- I was the Educational Representative for Lillebaby for Northern Utah (2017-2019)
- I still test and review for a variety of Wrap/Carrier/Babywearing gear companies
- I currently offer private consultations, group classes, training for medical professionals, and retailer training, all are available by appointment via email (my list of services and prices are located here) in-person or online via Zoom
I love being a small business owner and hope to save the world someday! 🙂 Goals, right?
- top photo credit goes to my husband (the picture of me holding the camera in Delphi, Greece)
- Featured photo and footer photo credits to Sarafia Jones Photography