The Tandem Client - Next Tandem + Twin Workshop coming in JanuaryDec 12, 2022
I remember the very first time someone asked me to help them wear both of their children simultaneously.
It was late fall, and we had moved the group meeting from the park to a local restaurant. The small group of us took over the back area of a local restaurant.
It was a good fit. The room was mostly closed off minus a small area with 3 steps that lead into the space, which we could close off with only an ottoman/table - this way, no babies/toddlers could easily escape. It was a warm and sunny day, and I had my kids with me. In fact, I had carried both for a good portion of the walk to the meeting.
And here I was at this meeting with someone asking me to help them wear both their kids. I felt a spike in my anxiety. "Will I be able to handle this situation?"
I was asked if I was familiar with a specific carrier - which I was not.
Someone else piped up and said, 'Oh, do you know X baby carrier, or what about X carry with a wrap?" I didn't know either.
I felt awkward - and started to wonder what to do. There was no one I could lean on at the moment, and I knew I had to be honest. Which I was. I laughed and said, "I did carry both my kids here, so you might think I would know more, but I don't. I can help you with what you have, though, or what is here."
The person was clearly disappointed, and I was too.
That feeling: of not being 'good enough' or 'knowledgeable enough' really struck me hard.
My confidence tanked. And not just in that moment, but that feeling of inadequacy stayed with me for a long time - Way longer than it should have in retrospect.
Eventually, I realized this was imposter syndrome, and I was capable of helping people with their tandem needs.
I knew enough about baby carriers and babywearing that I could clearly help someone figure out how to carry both their kids. Because babywearing is about more than only 'what are the options to attach 2 babies to me?'
It's also more than knowing how to manage daily life, whether with twins, multiples, or a singleton. It's not about having done it myself.
Here is what I want you to know:
It's about "How well can I structure the learning for the individual in front of me - and on the fly?"
- Knowing how to assess the commitment level of the individual asking the question
- Understanding where the person is in their learning journey,
- Making sure I don't insert my personal preferences.
- Hearing their needs and unique situation
- Moving at their pace.
- Structuring the lesson so they take away as much as possible in the time we have together. Whether that's 5 or 50 minutes.
All of this is as important, or maybe (certainly) more important than knowing about the latest twin carriers or the newest tandem woven wrap option.
Wearing two children - tandem wearing - is a teachable skill. It's also about helping a person navigate the day-in-day-out surprises that come up when they aren't anticipating them.
Sometimes people feel, "I must have done it personally to teach another person to do this - in this case, tandem and twin wearing."
And you know, I take umbrage with that notion - and so should you! There are many scenarios of people teaching something they did not do. Why put that burden upon yourself? Why limit yourself in this way?
So, now, knowing how to specifically wear two children in X baby carrier or X carry because it's something you did yourself is no longer relevant to your ability to assist someone.
You can marry many different options together based on what's available to you, and yes, of course, use specific tandem wearing options, too - when needed. It's simply now you know that all you need to do is structure the session based on your learner's needs - your personal experiences aside as they are only that: your experiences, which may or may not be relevant for this person.
That's the crux of it - the anxiety of not being good enough is erased when you know you're a strong teacher who will guide your client based on their situation and within their unique circumstances. The tandem class is what I wished I had taken before that event in the restaurant all those years ago. I hope you'll join the workshop! See you there!