It's easy to spot the mom who jumps at her preschooler's every whim, who carries her (usually whining) kid way beyond toddler-hood. Check out her Michelle Obama biceps...and her herniated neck disc.
I know, because I have both the neck injury, and (I like to brag) the buff arms, the results of lugging around my own three at their every whimper. My right arm, where I carried them most of the time, looks particularly good in shortsleeves.
While caring for a six-month-old recently, I was reminded of my ability to simultaneously balance a baby on my hip, unpack groceries, and take a conference call. Wow, I thought, carrying my young kids everywhere as I went about my daily tasks is where I first learned the art of multitasking.
Now, when my three college-aged kids ask me to help haul their stuff at the beginning and end of every semester, I often wonder if I overdid the carrying. Should I be ignoring their text cries: "Mom, did you rent the U-Haul?" Maybe I should have let them cry it out way back when, too, instead of swooping them up.
That's why I have empathy for the many Circle of Moms members who are worried about whether or not their kids are too old to be carted about. And it's why I'm pretty sure Elizabeth R., whose "back is getting tired," knew she wouldn't be alone when she asked "Am I the only one still carrying my 4-year-old?" Not by a long shot, Elizabeth. Christina H., for one, says she carries her otherwise independent 4-year-old "everywhere we go."
So how old is too old for us moms to be hauling our kids around? (For one particularly funny response, check out "Too Big for Stroller," which collects and captions hilarious snapshots of kids who are too big to be carried, much less strolled around, by their parents.) And more to the point, why do we feel we have to defend our propensity to do it, anyway? Moms like Dawn B. say there's no need to: "I still carry my 4-year-old man around sometimes: I love it! He is very independent but sometimes he just needs/wants mamma. I see nothing wrong with it. Before we know it they'll be way too big and not even want to be seen in public with their moms."
She may be glad to know that in 14 years her buff arms will come in handy again, only instead of hauling her son around, she'll be graciously carrying his futon and life belongings into his college dorm.
At what age will you stop carrying your child around?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.