So Iâ€™ve recently heard a few of our regular sling library members say that theyâ€™ve excitedly told friends to come along to sling meets â€“ or even recommended a consultation but had been met with a response of â€œno thank you I am not THAT type of parentâ€ Itâ€™s led me to wonder…. Do we have a certain â€˜typeâ€™ of parent? Do we fall into a stereotype category? And if so what is that stereotype? I know Iâ€™ve been previously called an â€œEarth Mamaâ€ Iâ€™m not even wholly sure what that means; though I suppose it could be down to the cloth nappies, breastfeeding, gentle parenting, vegetarian lifestyle I try to lead. Is that the stereotype? If so hands up! I fit the bill!!
Or is the stereotype a class issue? Are parents of wealth more likely to book a one to one session and buy carriers? Or maybe parents in poorer communities are more likely to use a sling?
All of these thoughts have led me to think back to the hundreds of mums (and dads!) weâ€™ve helped at sling library sessions and I have visited personally in their homes â€¦
Over the past two years I have visited single mums, married parents and cohabiting parents, families of same gender parents, foster parents and parents with adopted children. I have spoken at length with mums who have had miracle IVF babies, then visited parents who have had a surprise baby and are still feeling very overwhelmed. Iâ€™ve met mums who breastfeed, tandem feed, exclusively pump and formula feed. Â I have met with ladies in professional careers; those studying to PHD level and those that have left school early to start a family and be a stay at home mummy. I have been to council estates, high rise flats, country cottages, huge mansions and everything in-between. I have met mums suffering with post-natal depression, anxieties, and post birth trauma. I have met vegetarian and vegan mummies and also met with mums that run cattle and dairy farms. I have met tattooed mums, mums with hair extensions, mums that have their nails done weekly, mums that love their makeup and mums that tell me they choose not to wear it at all. Mums that go out every day to different activities, mums that tell me they stay in the house as much as possible. Â I have met mums originating from America, Australia, Canada, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Poland, The Gambia, Scotland, Ireland, South Africa and France. Parents of numerous religions and parents of no religion at all.
All of this has made me realise two things. Firstly; what an amazing job I have! I canâ€™t think of another that allows me to talk to and get to know such a huge range of people… but more importantly; there is no â€˜typeâ€™! Iâ€™ve met such a huge variety of parents!Â Is there any connection or similarity at all? Yes I think there isâ€¦. We are all parents with a desire to hold our children and love them unconditionally. To capture all these precious moments and keep them close. Itâ€™s as simple as that and itâ€™s what connects us all.
So if youâ€™ve thought of going along to a sling meet, library or booking a one to one and then thought it wonâ€™t be for you, itâ€™s not your â€˜typeâ€™ of thing or you wonâ€™t fit in…. do it! Get in touch and come along. You may be pleasantly surprised