1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Many of us know who you are but we'd love to know how you describe yourself
I’m a GP and a mother to two live-wire children who have both been carried since birth. I have run the Sheffield Sling Surgery and Library for the last three years and recently opened a retail arm called the Sling Spot. I’m deaf and I lipread.
2. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I’ve had much of the book in my head for a couple of years and it found its way into articles for the Sling Surgery. Pinter and Martin approached me in early 2015, and I finished writing in January 2016.
3. So can you tell us the inspiration behind your new book? Any particular personal experiences etc
Being deaf, being able to see my children’s faces for lipreading was vital to developing our communication, and carrying was a way to help this. Carrying has mattered to me functionally, and has also brought me great joy. The experience of working with thousands of parents at the Sling Surgery has convinced me that carrying really matters; the look of relief and love on a mother’s face as her child settles into a carrier and falls asleep is priceless.
4. Describe your working day?
They are all different! I am a practicing GP and fit the Sling Surgery into my non-clinical days/mornings. A typical day might be a few consultations and a workshop, followed by an afternoon session at my GP practice, seeing patients, dealing with letters and prescriptions, home visits, sorting out some practice business and doing essential admin, getting home just in time to kiss my children goodnight. The evening would be spent packing and preparing for the big library session the next day, plus a couple of hours dealing with all the day’s emails and messages and sling queries on Facebook and general admin, as well as some GP admin.
5. As you worked on this book, what struck you as the most important contributions that babywearing can make to parenting?
It gives parents their hands back; they can meet their child’s needs for closeness and contact, while still being able to get on with the demands of modern daily living.
6. How did you come up with the title of your book?
It is part of the “Why It Matters” series by Pinter and Martin.
7. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as a babywearer? What
has been the best compliment?
That’s a hard one. I’ve never really had any unkind criticism of my carrying; it’s all been constructive from people I respect (like Lorette at Slingababy). The best compliments are those from parents who have found the love of carrying and feel it has made a real difference to their lives.
8. What will you say to families skeptical about babywearing?
I would talk to them more about the importance of carrying; everyone carries their children. We all need to spend more time in contact with our children; it is essential for normal and healthy development including their future mental health. It is hard to carry babies in your arms as much as they need to you to; a carrier will help you to do this while still being able to do the things you need to. You cannot spoil a child by loving him and giving him the gift of the security that comes from being close to you.
9. When writing your new book, did you experience writer's block?
10. How did you manage to fit writing in with other demands on your time? Are you good at managing your time?
It was a real challenge; lots of evenings and weekends were involved and I had to take some time off work. Yes, I am good at managing my time; I have to be to get everything done!
11. Please guide us through the stages of your book - the ideas, the planning, the drafts, working with an editor
Most of the book was already in my head and much of it in article form already. Turning it into a book, with references was hard work. I did a lot of reading and note-taking, wrote a (too-long) first draft, and the series editor (Susan) helped with rewriting and cutting a lot of text as there was a strict word limit. There was much more I could have said! There were people to lay the pages out, to check the references, an illustrator and more editors! The proofreader and the indexer had the last job before it went to print!
12. Dr Rosie, you have inspired many babywearing families home and abroad.
We congratulate you and your family on the launch of your new book. In conclusion, what would you like to say to those have pre-ordered your book and those who are yet to.
I hope you enjoy it - and that it inspires you to encourage the people around you to carry their children more.
Pinter and Martin have the book here -http://www.pinterandmartin.com/why-babywearing-matters.html
Hello, my name is Bisi, babywearing consultant (SoB CIC), mother to two cheeky & very special kids (Joy and Joseph). Our 3rd baby has been christened Joy&Joe baby wrap slings! and we loveeee babywearing :)