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Bad Mom Confessions

Time for more confessions of how NOT-a-perfect-earth-mama I am.

Babywearing is not the greener option, it is just an option. There, I said it.

I love wearing babies. My mom was a fan of babywearing. Most people just used the same crotch dangler carrier sold at Sears back then, but the sentiment was the same. I wore my two youngest siblings quite a bit out on walks and shopping trips. For some babies, babywearing is simply better.
My son loved being worn. It didn’t matter which carrier, sling, wrap, structured, he would snuggle in and immediately fall asleep. Unfortunately, pregnancy had given me a bad back so wearing him for long stretches was excruciating. My new baby loves being worn as well. Our favorite right now is our Baby K’Tan.
My middle daughter HATED being worn. Her personality since birth has always been “spirited”. In most carriers she just struggles and whines.  She really just wants to run out into traffic. She’s a stressful baby to have in the city.
I love my baby carriers. I love my strollers.
But, I don’t delude myself into thinking my baby carriers are somehow better for the environment than strollers. At a glance, an organic cotton carrier might seem like it uses fewer resources than a stroller, but when it comes to POTENTIAL use, this is dead wrong.
If you live in the country and are forced to drive everywhere, then that argument might make sense. However the majority of the population lives in cities and towns. We’re talking strictly numbers here. When I walk to the drug store and grocery store, I cannot carry our bags back while only babywearing. I CAN manage to fit most of it in various compartments of the stroller. My stroller allowed us to remain a single car family for a very long time. No one can claim a stroller increases a carbon footprint more than a car. Any car. If I only baby-wore, we wouldn’t be able to go anywhere at all. My four year old loves the stroller, but is too big for a carrier. Wearing two kids equaling 70 pounds for an eight mile round trip to run errands around the city is ridiculous. But with a double stroller, it was a piece of cake. Of course now we have the third baby making this whole diatribe beside the point.

Don’t get me wrong, I like babywearing. I own five carriers and if I have another baby I will likely add a couple wraps to the collection.  I wore my newborn in below freezing temps while taking the others out for Halloween this year. But, its not a greener choice, just simply a choice. When mothers judge other moms for using a stroller instead of babywearing, I have to wonder…..and what about the other kids? What about multiples? What if their baby hates being worn like my middle child? What if its 105 degrees out and actually dangerous to wear them? What about the ice on the ground in our harsh winters? I fell once wearing my child. Never again.

What if wearing her means spending thousands of dollars on another vehicle and creating a ton of emissions when a stroller meant NO extra emissions? I will note, that we did break down a few months ago and finally got a second car. I needed to be able to get my son to preschool. However, I think we did pretty well going that long without. I found three kids was my threshold for running all errands on foot.
It really isn’t that straight forward. And claiming babywearing is “green” is just silly. Babywearing is fun, convenient, and wonderful (if your baby loves it), but claiming it is more eco-friendly is a bit of a stretch.
If I had another wee one and she loved being worn, I would be delighted. But it doesn’t change the fact that my two toddlers need a stroller. I can wear one and push the others, or duct tape them all to my back for the sake of a superiority contest on who can be the biggest martyr mom.
Let’s get real folks.

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