Cincinnati Babywearing Meet-Cincinnati and San Antonio Family Photographer
Meet our Sakura Bloom collection, the fabric that brought this group of women together. Fabric that holds babies, memories, and creates a community that fosters honesty, real connections and is stunningly beautiful.
I’m sure you’ve heard people complain about social media. How it ruins real relationships, everyone is on their phone, it’s a distraction. And it can be. But when used the right way it can bring together people from other ends of the country, world and create true friendships.
This beautiful mama, Cherrell, randomly “loved” some of my baby wearing photos on my IG @lillylovephotos. Her little one is so cute and I found myself scrolling through her feed. I realized she was living in my hometown that I was going to be visiting soon. I was a little nervous to message her at first (because-creeper status!lol), but I’m so glad I did. One message and a couple weeks later I got to meet all these sweet ladies in person. The power of social media is amazing. I’m so grateful we all seem to follow #babywearing and found each other! Sometimes you just need to be with mom’s who get it.
Everyone in our little group was from a different place, the babies all at different stages. Some moms work, some are home for now. Some just thinking about what the new normal will look like. We’re all at various places in this journey of motherhood. Watching sweet Scout starting to walk, little Clark snuggling his mom so tight, Freya with her gorgeous brown eyes taking it all in…I couldn’t help but wonder, what does their future hold?
What will there meet ups look like 25 years from now? Will they remember that their Mom’s craved connections and dragged them to random playdates bonding over baby carriers? And of course realizing it’s not just the carriers, but that it’s a community we’re looking for, a safe place for us to come and say “Hi, I’m trying to figure this out. Are you? Can we be friends?” Wondering if they have it all together-will they share their secret? Hoping they’ve been through some of the same struggles or victories as you. All while snuggling these sweet little loves close in our slings.
They say they grow to fast. Everyone tells you that regardless of how many babies you have, or they have. But gosh it’s so true.
I was acutely aware at our meet up that my baby wearing days are numbered. I’m 99% sure Miles is our last baby. So all of these firsts that he accomplishes are also lasts for us. And the bittersweetness of that is so real it makes my heart ache a bit. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart.
I brought my sling to our meet up. I’ve had it since my daughter, Lilly, was a baby. It’s a Sakura Bloom Linen Driftwood from 2012. It’s the only sling I ever used. It’s been to Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, LA, Washington DC, Florida, Colorado, more places than I can recall. It’s not a fancy sling, or a hard to find sling, but its’ ours and I can remember how each of my babies felt in it. I can remember what their noses looked like peering down at them.
I can remember tickling their toes when they would get cranky. Holding their hands in new places. I can feel their breathing getting even as the sleepy dust sets in. I’ll never forget their eyes opening as they wake up from their dreams and smile. Because Mommy is the first thing they see, and for the time, Mommy is everything.
While we are all on this journey of motherhood, I know we all share these sentiments. In college, I was lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks in Africa. That was the first place I saw women baby wearing. I was captivated by the beautiful fabrics, the content infants, the mothers going about their day with babies in tow like I would carry a purse. But you could see the connection, feel their bond whenever the babe moved or sighed or fussed.
I wanted that. That was when I decided I wanted to be a mother. And I’d be a mother that carried my babies close. Little did I know that the last babe would bring me to this sweet group. On a random Saturday in a city I don’t live in. But off we went with our trusty old sling to make some friends.
To Cherrell, Morgan and Brea- Thank you for setting up such a fun playdate. I am so happy to follow your journeys and learn from you. You are all such strong and beautiful women. Maybe it was fate, coincidence, etc. but I really needed our get together that day. It’s all helped me reflect on my own motherhood journey and try to be more intentional about the mom, wife, friend I want to be. The carriers were a bonus.
To my first little love, Lilly-thank you for letting me learn how to be a mommy. I know I don’t always get it right, but I hope when you’re older, you’ll see that I loved you deeply from day one. I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on you. I’ll never forget how you held me close in your sling (because it was yours first) or how you rested your head on my chest when you were sleepy. Or how people waved at you and unbeknownst to me you were waving at everyone who passed by. That is you. You don’t meet strangers, only friends. I love that about you sweet girl.
To my strong and handsome Cael-you came into this world fast and gave me a fright from the start. You surprised us with your white blond hair and bright blue eyes (I thought for sure all my kids would have my husbands dark eyes and hair)! You were born in another country and lived pretty much the first 8 months of your life in my carriers. I will never forget how you laughed in your sleep, how you would rub my back, or how as your got older you’d say “mama” and give me kisses. You have the sweetest soul, and the bravery of a lion. I love our pictures and memories of you exploring the world from your sling that “sissy” passed down to you.
To my sweet baby Miles-you squeaked in in the knick of time. After almost two years of trying for another baby, Daddy and I were about to call it quits. I laughed and cried when I found out I was pregnant with you. The whole time you were growing it seemed like a dream, but now that you’re here I cannot imagine our family without you. You were an answered prayer. Your family loves you and you will be the spoiled baby. We love your laugh, we love your dimples, and we love how you light up when you see any of us. My carrier collection has grown and I cannot wait to keep you close these early years my love.
So, friends, social media isn’t all that bad. It’s given me actual friends, a place to grow my photography business, and a place to share these thoughts with you. Enjoy it, use it, and find your community, even if you can’t be with them everyday!
And really, hold those babies, they grow too fast.