Something I never thought possible happened to me over the past two months, I lost my passion and drive for cloth diapers. That’s right, I was no longer in love and, although they were still adorable and functioned wonderfully, my son’s cloth diapers seemed like the enemy. This presented a huge problem for me for several reasons, the first being that my dear son is potty learning and, although he’s making progress, he is still very much in need of his diapers. The other issue is I own a cloth diaper boutique and this wonderful news site devoted to cloth diapers!! WOW this was a problem!
I’m happy to report that today the cloth diapers are on the bum, I’m not resenting them and I’m back in love. However I figured I’d share my journey in hopes of helping others who may also have the “cloth diaper blues”.
In November my husband had a serious accident followed by two surgeries (more on that on our family blog). At the onset of this our son was in disposables since we weren’t sure where he/we would be staying. When we all returned home, we had many people in and out of the house helping but I still had a mountain of laundry to tackle. Once I got the laundry caught up we were back to cloth diapers but this was the start of seeing them as just “one more thing on my list”.
The major upheaval in our home settled down with each positive doctor’s visit and, as we learned that my husband was going to be OK, I began to relax back into our normal routine. Here comes Christmas and 10 days of holiday travel where cloth diapers weren’t an option. We were at my folks and the water situation there has been a huge issue with our cloth diapers in the past. (Think: over a month of experimenting and a bazillion wash cycles to get them back to normal after the last time we used them there.) I must admit that I so loved the disposable Easy Ups and nighttime diapers (and tossing them out without another thought). I was in the fog of seeing them as one diaper at a time vs. the pile that was quickly adding up. I also looked the other way when I found the icky diaper gel on my son during a change.
All of this combined with the fact that my little diaper wearer is now 2 and 8 months and I figured that I might have served my time in the diaper trenches. I had already done a great deal of saving of the environment and I had given my son great, cloth diapers since birth – so didn’t I deserve to be done? Was it OK to call it quits? The answer was and still is yes. I’m a firm believer in doing what we can as parents but not filling ourselves with resentment along the way. If my true desire had been to turn to disposables, that would have been fine. I’m so happy that it wasn’t!!
My husband and I of course discussed this and I confided in a dear girlfriend. Both of whom listened, empathized and simply explained to me what I’ve spent the past 2+ years of my life explaining to others: it’s better for our son, it’s better for the planet and it’s really not that much more work. Diaper laundry actually helps me keep up with my other laundry since I make sure to alternate loads. This would explain why the mountain in my garage became so huge when my husband first had his accident.
After a few long nights of rereading what I already knew about the benefits of cloth diapers and going through all of the adorable pictures of my son sporting his cloth, the love started to work it’s way back in. A chance encounter with a client gave me the opportunity to do what I love: chat about “the miracle” of cloth diapers and share what I’ve learned and love with another new family. The passion was coming back. To top it all off, I did a little shopping for some new diapers to add to our stash. Although my son is close to potty learning, a few new diapers to spice things up are just fine and money well spent in my opinion. All of this combined with my son’s happiness at picking his diaper by color and I’m fully back in awe of our cloth diapers. They are such a great solution for our family!!
I guess in sharing all of this I just want other parents to know that the “cloth diaper blues” may happen to you and if it does, that’s OK. Give yourself a break and do what is best for you and your family. When you’re ready to come back to cloth, take baby steps in getting back into your routine and treat yourself to something new. I’m sure that if I had pressed through with cloth on principle, I would either be full of resentment, using cloth yet very unhappy about it, or our stash would be neatly packed away in the top of my son’s closet.
Kristy de Gregory is the owner of Wee Willie Winks and the Web Editor/Publisher of Cloth Diaper News. Her love of cloth diapering began in 2005 with the birth of her son.