A guest blog from Darren Sadler
On Sunday I’m really looking forward to a big hug with my girls – all three of my beautiful daughters.
As Father’s Day fast approaches here in the UK, my inbox and social media pages are a flurry of “treats for Dad on Sunday” marketing pushes, urging everyone to buy more unnecessary gifts and putting undue pressure on parenting guilt and emotions.
Yes, maybe a pint would be nice or at least someone else to make my morning coffee would be a bonus, but it’s not my prerequisite.
Ultimately I’d rather just take the hugs.
Where am I going with this? Well I’m thinking about the bonds I have with my children. I am fortunate that I am with my children full-time, I am thankful for this. I am also very thankful that I have been an active parent for the majority of their formative years (and even now, as they grow up at what feels like an alarmingly fast rate).
And for the most part this on-going and evolving bonding journey started with and benefited from babywearing.
I remember the first time I carried my eldest (now 16), and the immense satisfaction that it brought to my inner-self. It felt pretty darn cool to have her on my chest and so near to me. I felt the rush from being able to walk up a castle with her, chatting to her and sharing the experience of what we were seeing together. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t really interested in the knights and the swords and the dark, dank dungeons like I was, but it felt like we were connected. It’s a memory I still cherish.
Since that day, and with the arrival of two more children, I have collected so many more happy memories in my head (and some snapped on camera) all capturing the love flowing between myself and my daughters while we went on our business together cuddled up in a baby carrier on my chest.
From smelling the roses as we walked to the shops; watching the trains go by from the bridge; going on country walks, enjoying a pint at my local after taking her out for a stomp to get her to sleep (don’t forget going hands-free makes drinking and eating crisps very easy!) … and all the time, knowing my babies were safe – she could see me and I could see her.
The best experiences I’ve ever had!
It wasn’t plain sailing – I recall my confidence wasn’t particularly good at times, especially when I went on solo outings. Was my daughter in the right position, what would happen is she started crying, would I get tired carrying her? A plethora of unanswered questions always seemed to be in my head. But I knew instinct would give me the answers; being able
to hold their little hands while we carried; talking at almost eye level; all these little nuances would help my confidence and ease my worries, and reassure my little ones at the same time.
And now, as I write this, I can look back and know that I did my best and I hope I can continue to reap the rewards of those babywearing bonding experiences for years to come.
About The Author
Darren Sadler is a babywearing dad of 3, a professional speaker and consultant, lover of hugs and works at Integra Baby with his wife Sarah.