In all of the baby books I've read (and I've read a lot), and on all of the Mommy websites I've browsed (too many to name), they call it "Baby Wearing."
In Ghana, it is simply a mother handling her business.
As a new mother I have struggled, at times, to get things done around the house when my sweet girl desires/demands my attention. I tried using our Bjorn carrier in the house, but not only was she not feeling it, but there is only so much you can do with a baby dangling in the front of you. (She loves the Bjorn when out for walks, especially in the mall.) Admittedly, I was equally impressed with and jealous of the women I saw in Ghana who were doing everything while their babies were safely and comfortably on their bodies. At Watch Night service at the Church of Pentecost (Tessano Branch), I watched mothers praising and praying, fervently, while baby was watching or sleeping on their backs. I was to preach at that service and I secretly wished that I could put baby girl on my back and handle God's business.I mean, I preached on of my best sermons with her in the womb...no telling what would happen if she were on my back!
Seeing the women and their babies intensified my desire to learn how to get Baby Girl to enjoy being on my back. And so, while in Ghana, I excitedly (and timidly) learned how to handle my business. My mother-in-law and cousin taught me how to strap Baby Girl onto my back so that I could have more freedom during the day. It wasn't an easy task. In fact, get her comfortable was the first feat. It was only after our cousin took her--two weeks into our trip--and we noticed (25 minutes later) that she was quiet that we realized that she was contentedly being toted around. With her comfortable, I made it my goal to learn how to do it myself. That, too, was no easy task. The sisters in Ghana do not tie the cloth. They wrap and tuck it. I was nervous enough about getting her safely into position on my back, and surely a knot or two in the fabric would have eased my nerves. It was akward, and I practiced over the bed, but I got it. Sort of. At least enough for pictures, so my hubby thought.
Imagine his surprise when, yesterday morning, I text him pictures of us handling our business. Since being home I have made coffee, made up the bed, sorted laundry, and cooked Jollof rice (learned in Ghana, another post for another day) all with Baby Girl in tow. In Ghana, Baby Girl wasn't too thrilled with her new position. She was used to being in her front carrier (a carrier that quickly identified me as "obroni" or foreigner when out to market--that, too, is another post). But last night as we rattled pots in the kitchen I noticed that Baby Girl was quite content being on my back.
Below are a few photos of the journey. I can't say I'll never use my Bjorn again. But I will say that in the house, and perhaps one day in the pulpit, that Baby Girl will be on my back and, together, we will handle our business.
|A Sister handling her business....|
|Content for the first time...|
|You mean I can't tie the fabric?|
|We got it...|
|Peeking over my shoulder...|
|Mommy, I think I like this!|
|The old way of getting stuff done...|
|Our first attempt...|
|The calm before the storm...|
|With Grandma on the day we were leaving...|
|Even Hubby carries Baby Girl in the Bjorn...|