I’ve contemplated writing a post like this for quite a while, but recent events with another Sling Library gave me the push to write this now.
Many of you may not realise that most (if not all) Sling Libraries are run by Volunteers. These people – who are often highly trained and experienced Baby Carrying Consultants – give their time and knowledge for free, in order to help as many people as possible to carry their little ones safely and comfortably. They may also offer one-to-one Consultations and other paid-for services, but their time in a Sling Library setting is given purely from a desire to help others.
This is a pretty awesome thing, right? There’s not many skilled professionals who give so much of their time and energy for the love of it.
So, that’s all great but why the blog post?
Well, sadly, it seems that sometimes the goodwill of Sling Libraries is taken slightly for granted.
Most Sling Librarians have young families; small people who they need to take care of if they are ill or have an accident. They’ve chosen to run a Sling Library or work as a Baby Carrying Consultant in order to try and achieve the right home-work balance for themselves. If their child is sick and needs collecting from school, they’ll be able to go and collect them. Occasionally this may mean having to cancel a Sling Library session.
You will not believe how much of an agonising internal debate goes on before a session is cancelled: “How will I ensure everyone knows?”, “What if there’s someone who’s planned their first visit out with their newborn to see me?”, “What if someone desperately needs my help and I’m not there?”
It really is not a decision that is taken lightly and there is huge amounts of self-inflicted guilt surrounding it for anyone who has to make that tough decision. This is why so many Sling Librarians will push on through and still hold a Sling Library session, despite being in pain, or will arrange for a friend or relative to look after their little one for a couple of hours so they don’t let down the people they want to help.
So… if a session is cancelled you’ll know it’s been a heart-wrenching decision and the Sling Librarian is probably feeling pretty wretched about it all. They’ve most likely offered all people with carriers due back at the session a free hire extension until the next session. They may offer people free or discounted Consultations to make up for it.
Whatever the reasoning behind the cancellation of the session please remember that they are a parent, just like you. They want to help you. They will be back. So please be kind. Always.
The quote below is attributed to many different authors (if you’re interested you can read more about it here), but I think is very relevant for everyone: