Our beloved President has really dedicated so much of her time and energy to this organization. We would not be here today if Autumn had not been able to build upon and grow from an awesome foundation in the last year and a half. Truth be told, I’ve been looking forward to this post for a LOOOOOOOONG time. I just want to shout it from the rooftops… “Have you met Autumn?” Because she’s awesome. We’re lucky to have her and without further delay, I present today’s Meet a Member Monday, Madam President, Autumn:
I’m an entrepreneur and mother of a three year old tiny tornado who keeps me in perpetual motion. I moved here from Atlanta, Georgia in 2003 so I’m a transplant Texan and happy to be one. South Texas has been very good to my family and we absolutely love it here. My educational background is in business management and finance. I own and manage a dental lab with my husband/business partner, where we make dentures and partials for dentists in the local community. In my free time, I enjoy endurance cycling, reading and spending time at the lake with my family. Reality television and witty romance novels are my guilty pleasures. My life is currently centered around my son and the daily joys and struggles of parenthood.
I love babywearing for many reasons. First and foremost, babywearing allowed me to keep up with the demands of my small business and busy household without sacrificing bonding time with my son. I went back to work two weeks after he was born and he came right along with me. I absolutely could not have done that successfully without babywearing. I live in Seguin, Texas, a rural, conservative community southeast of Austin. For the first months of my son’s life, I struggled to find other parents to connect with in the community. In late 2012, I was introduced to BWI of Greater Austin through a friend I met on Facebook. I started lurking around the group discussion page and eventually went to a meeting because I loved the community I saw online.
The meetings changed my life and I began attending whenever possible. Once I felt comfortable in the group, I discovered I had a love of education. Teaching other caregivers the skill of babywearing quickly became a passion. I trained to become a Volunteer Babywearing Educator and eventually took a role on the chapter Board of Directors as Vice President of Library Administration. Today, after over two years of being a member and volunteer with this group, I am President of the chapter and fully dedicated to the continued growth of our inclusive, supportive community. I feel so privileged to lead such a unique, progressive group. I could not be prouder of the volunteers who make this group so amazing and I’m honored to work alongside them.
I was positive I wanted to wear my son before he even born. I knew I needed a way to keep him close but be able to still work and a baby carrier seemed like the logical choice. I registered for a Baby Bjorn Miracle and wore him from day one. We quickly outgrew the Bjorn and moved on to a Zolawear ringsling, followed by a soft structured carrier, mei tai and woven wraps. I thoroughly enjoyed trying #allthecarriers and discovering what works best for my tiny man and I. I have a thousand happy memories of my son snuggled up to me in a carrier and I would not trade a single, blissful moment of that time for anything in this world. Since my son is older now, babywearing happens less frequently but is still an important part of our lives. We use more buckle carriers and less wraps.
Going up is often used to soothe raging three year old emotions or help when tired legs just can not go a step further. I recently wore the tiny tornado around Fiesta Texas for a little over four hours (Texas heat+4000 acres of concrete=one tired, overstimulated kiddo) and was reminded once again why I love and appreciate babywearing. I also credit babywearing with the longevity of our nursing relationship, as well. We are going on 1,150 days strong and that would not have happened without all the skin-to-skin wearing we did in the early days.
Perhaps one of the most sanity-saving things babywearing has done for my life is help me find my very own Mama-Family. Without the support of a loving, nurturing group of women I met through BWI of Greater Austin, I would not have made it through the trials and stresses of first time mommyhood. We have laughed together and cried together and probably shared way too much information about our children’s bodily functions. I love each and every one of those women. I’m proud to call them my friends and grateful for their presence in my life.