It's graduation season and while it's exciting to see our carriers in action during vacations and around the house we are delighted when Tula Baby Carriers show up unique places like in the classroom.
Professor Steve Raquel posted a video to LinkedIn showing him wearing one of his student's baby in a Tula Free-To-Grow, while he taught a class. We weren't the only ones to take notice...the video has now been viewed more than 8 million times!
We reached out to Steve to learn the story behind this video. He let us know that the "true hero" in the classroom that day was recent mom and student, Korie. Korie was studying Advertising at the University of Illinois. When childcare wasn't available, she asked Steve if she could bring her baby to class. Steve agreed but asked that she bring a comfortable carrier with her that he could carry Korie's baby while she took notes.
We find it incredible that Korie continued to work hard on her studies while caring for a 7-month-old daughter, Elaina. It is not easy to be in college or to raise a child, so we give a giant kudos to her for doing BOTH! We're so happy that one of our baby carriers could help Korie stay on the path to a college degree. We chatted with Korie to learn more about her experience of going to college with her Tula!
Baby Tula: Can you tell us a little bit about why you had to bring your little one to class?
Korie: I have had to bring Elaina to class with me often because childcare is too expensive for just 6 hours a week. Also, I am breastfeeding her and she is so used to being with me feeding her from a bottle is a difficult task. Her daddy works out of state so it was just Elaina and I while I finished up school.
BT: Has your Tula Carrier helped you in other ways?
K: My Tula Free-To-Grow has helped me tremendously. I took her in the Tula to get a pedicure once and she slept the whole time. As I said, she is a mama’s baby so being up against my chest was heaven for her! I was also able to take her into class without anyone even noticing she was so quiet and content in the carrier.
BT: How has your university supported you while you've been in school and parenting?
Steve Raquel was among one of the most helpful resources and supporters in my final semesters of college. Nichole Boyd from the Native American House and my advisor Holly Pflum were also vital to my schooling and recent graduation. I am so grateful for all of them. Anything I needed I knew I had Nichole, Holly, and Steve in my corner as an advocate and mentor.
BT: Were you surprised to see the reaction to the video of Professor Raquel carrying your baby?
K: I was actually very surprised to see the views and comments on the video of Elaina but I am proud of Elaina and my experience and the help I have gotten so I was thrilled as well! It’s great to see people being recognized for their dedication.
BT: What are you looking forward to, now that you are done with college and a graduate?
K: Now that I am graduating I am looking forward to life slowing down for a couple of months so I can really soak in time with my baby. I have been so busy with school that I feel I haven’t gotten to love on her enough despite her being attached at my hip!!! I want to enjoy her for a while and then start looking for work.
BT: Do you have any advice for parents trying to meet certain goals while being the primary caregiver to their child(ren)?
For parents trying to meet goals, I would say keep pushing because the end goal is so satisfying when you reach it. The feeling is so overwhelming and you deserve every second of it!
I like to think our little ones will learn from our strength and perseverance as well. It is a pretty cliche but, keep working!