Why The Modern Way Is To Pay – Paying Your Babywearing Consultant

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We live in a time where you can pay for pretty much anything. Whatever you need to know there is someone who you can locate to help. Since becoming a mother 4 years ago what you can pay for has surprised me time and time again.

 

 

A woman standing in front of bushes wearing a pink and grey ring sling on her left shoulder.

A Babywearing Consultant have attended often more than one course and many CPD’s to keep their knowledge up to date and inline with current practises.

 

We live in a time where you can pay for pretty much anything. Whatever you need to know there is someone who you can locate to help. Since becoming a mother 4 years ago what you can pay for has surprised me time and time again.

 

 

2 woman standing in front of a rail of clothes, one woman is helping the other with a ring sling, a young baby can be seen just over the womans shoulder.

There is more to ‘knowing about slings’. A consultant needs to be able to teach effectively, be a good listener and be able to think on their feet.

 

In an age when we have less available down time and we are used to having results quickly, we utilise extra money to enhance our lives. Generally, we have access to more money than any other generation before us and how we use it, as new parents, has been heavily influenced by the media, chain shops and the ‘baby’ industry.

 

With my first baby, I bought ‘stuff’. Things that I thought would help me as a new mum. A baby bath…. more blankets than you can count…. clothes galore and no end of breastfeeding ‘aids’. Not only did I spend a fortune, thanks to generous family members, but I genuinely believed that’s what was needed for the baby and myself.

pregnant woman wearing white has her belly poking out and is holding a small white babies sleepsuit.

Instead of focussing on the baby I should have concentrated more on myself. At the end of the day a baby needs very little. But oh, my goodness do new parents need a lot. And the things we need are not ‘stuff’ but support. Support and more support. When I tot up my list of expenditure it’s a shameful amount of money. How could I have directed that spending for my own support?

 

When I look at what I thought what important before having a baby what I bought and what I thought was important we’re totally different. Yes, I wanted to dress my baby up in a cute little outfit but deep down what I really wanted to achieve were three things… a natural birth, breastfeeding success and babywearing (not that I knew this term then).

Now whether or not I personally succeeded in these goals is not important, but how I arrived at the end result with baby number one could have been so different. And these goals will be different for every family and they may change when the baby arrives.

 

Having completed my consultancy training with Slingababy in February I left the course feeling a few things.

  1. Totally motivated to get out and share my knowledge as a babywearing consultant.

  2. Unsure how my new knowledge would impact on my current position in the local babywearing community.

  3. Inspired to make this new knowledge work for me and my family.

 

Now along with these thoughts came a nagging feeling of guilt. Guilt about making money for something I started out in as a passion.

 

Charging for services in the world of babies has been something I’ve struggled with. And on some deep reflection I think I know why.

 

It’s charging for traditional practises. Things that we should all know from generations passed down. I feel that it should be common knowledge. Babywearing should be everywhere, we should see women breastfeed openly and we should support each other in birth.

 

The trouble is most of the generations before us don’t know about these things or they have forgotten and they are no longer common practise in our society. We don’t spend our time with the women in the village learning about breastfeeding. We don’t attend the birth of our neighbour and I rarely see anyone other than a parent carry their baby in a sling. One which they more than likely bought in a huge shop full of baby stuff marketed to make their lives easier.

multiple green trolleys in a row

My point is that my guilt is unfounded. The skills that I can offer as a babywearing consultant are more important than a cute outfit. It’s learning a new skill. Something that you can take away and use, pass on to other families and develop. These skills keep babies’ safe, they support parenting and they help foster confidence in ourselves as caregivers to the future generation. Making babywearing accessible is now on my radar. And accessible to everyone. Inclusive and normal whatever walk of life you come from or however you thought of it before.

 

Underlying the traditional practises, we charge for there is a motivation for learning more. Most people will tell you they started babywearing because they loved the cuddles, then they may move on to help other people love the cuddles and following that they might gain qualifications to do that. In all of that learning there might be a time to start charging for the service and the knowledge and experience you can share. When you pay for a consultation with a babywearing consultant you’re paying for so much. Not only their expertise, but so that they can go on and gain more qualifications and update their equipment.

My feelings of guilt are slowly shifting and in its place a new feeling of pride. Proud that I went out on a limb to train further and proud that even if I’ve helped one family learn a skill that they are passionate about.

 

If I could go back 4 years and talk to my pregnant self I would tell her to take back the stuff, book in with a babywearing consultant, get a doula and see a lactation consultant. These services are becoming more accessible and readily available now, which is amazing for the support of families. I’m proud to be a tiny part of that support. And the best thing is there is still so much more to learn and then to share.

 

Article Written by Lorna Blanchard

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