Tell us a bit about yourself (where you’re from, what your hobbies are, etc.)
I'm a 33 year mom of four. We're originally from Springfield, OH, but 2 of our children have been born in Columbus. As a family, we spend a lot of time exploring the parks, woods, and splash pads of the city and playing disc golf. Personally, I enjoy sewing, reading, binging nerdy television, cooking for my friends and family, and playing video games (with or without my husband). I especially love sewing baby carriers for myself. I've made almost every kind I can think of and have made multiples of almost all of them: woven wrap, ring sling, stretchy wrap, SSC, meh dai, onbuhimo, pouch sling, and dai nyia. There's something a little magical about taking a pile of fabric and transforming it into something that will comfortably hold and snuggle your child. I've also helped many friends learn to sew and create their own carriers as well. My favorite type to experiment with are SSCs. There are so many ways to tweak a pattern just a little bit and completely change how the carrier fits and feels when you're wearing with it. Aside from sewing, I love to read and try to read every night for an hour or more. Fantasy, historical fiction, and true crime are my favorite genres. Harry Potter is my absolute favorite and I read the entire 7 book series every year. It always feels like visiting old friends. I also love to watch nerdy television and movies: Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Outlander, and the Lord of the Rings are some of my favorites.
What does a day in your life look like with your job/pursuits?
I'm a stay at home mom to my four children. When the older ones aren't in school, we try to spend as much time outside as possible. We also enjoy going to COSI and the zoo as often as we can. I try to carve out time for at least one activity for myself each day, whether that's doing some sewing, taking a hot bath, or watching a show. It can be tough to find the time, but it really helps center me and brings me the strength and patience that my kiddos need and deserve from me.
Tell us about your family (significant other, children, fur children, other pets, etc)
My husband, James, and I have been together for 10 years and have been married for 5. Our children are: Laeney (age 12), Katherine (age 8), Melanie (age 5), and Henry (age 2). We also have a puppy, Baker, that we rescued earlier this year.
When you were pregnant, did you plan on wearing your baby?
I was very young when I got pregnant with my oldest (only 19). I had only ever seen narrow based carriers, so that's what I used with her until she was about 9 months old when we stopped wearing. My second daughter was very premature (born at 30 weeks) and during the time we were in the hospital with her, I did a lot of research about baby carriers knowing that being held, specifically on a caregiver's chest, was PARAMOUNT to healthy development after a premature birth. I realized I wanted to try wrapping when she came home from the NICU because it looked more comfortable than the narrow based carrier I still had from her sister. I also needed something I would be able to safely use with such a small baby. I bought a stretchy wrap to wear her in and it was the best thing I could have done. After spending 46 days in the NICU, it was so beneficial for both of us to be so close to each other for hours every day. Babywearing was already such a natural part of my parenting journey by the time my 3rd and 4th children were born, it was never even a question. I continued to wear my older children during my pregnancies and wore my youngest two from birth.
What do you love about babywearing?
I love that it allows me to keep my children close to me where I can talk to them as I go about my day. I love that it keeps my toddler contained in the grocery store. I love that it has allowed me to snuggle my children as newborns, soothe their crying, and still allow me to be hands free for my other children. I love that wearing allows me to be a safe, warm space for my toddlers when they're hurt, scared, overwhelmed, or tired. I love that my wraps can double as a car seat blanket or a picnic blanket. I love that all of my children have taken cues from me and wear their dolls and stuffed animals and will hopefully wear their own children if they decide to have any. I love wearing because it has made me a better and more successful parent.
Which one of your carriers do you use the most and what do you love about it?
I use my wovens wraps far more than anything else. I love that they are soft and snuggly for bedtime, but also rock steady for hours at COSI. I love that the same wrap can be used from the day your child is born until the day your child is so big you physically cannot carry them any more. I love the variety of carries that I can use to help prevent muscle fatigue when I'm wearing my kiddos.
Tell us about your main role within the CBW Leadership Team?
I teach at the Monday Skills Workshop and generally attend and teach at the Meet Up as well. I have also volunteered to help with other events, like Babies and Bumps and Summer Shorties.
What additional role(s) do you have within the CBW Leadership Team?
I'm a member of a few committees including the ones focused on education and outreach.
What drew you to become a leader for our community?
Before I became an official leader, I had already been teaching my friends and family members how to wear safely and comfortably. Applying for leadership seemed to be a natural next step. I love being able to help someone learn such a life changing skill.
What activity are you most likely to rely on babywearing to get done?
Grocery shopping, hands down. Bedtime is a close second.
What skill do you hope to master over the next year? (does not have to be babywearing specific but it *can* be)
I've been practicing my disc golf throw daily. I'm hoping to master it enough to be able to enter some tournaments next summer.