You’ll get no mommy-points from me!

I have been dealing with some late pregnancy insomnia lately so I was up at about 3am reading forum posts and blogs. I came across a forum post about poop-explosions and how to deal with them in public and one response read “well I use cloth diapers so we don’t have this problem because we never get blowouts”. I’ve seen similar posts in the past from mothers who feel that they are somehow superior because they use cloth diapers and think that they are doing somebody a favour by discretely suggesting they do the same.

Well… I will not do this. I honestly feel that we all have our reasons for parenting however we choose and no parent is somehow better because they are a “breast feeding mother” or a “cloth diapering parent” or a “co-sleeping family”. In regards to cloth diapers, they are just not right for everyone. While I am very excited to give them a go and think that there are a lot of benefits to using cloth, I would never even attempt it if I didn’t have my own washer and dryer. I am not sure I would attempt it with twins or if my husband wasn’t also on board with using them. If I had not known anyone who also uses them, I probably would never have given them a second thought and if I didn’t have some extra cash to invest in buying my stash without knowing if I would like it, I probably would have started with disposables. If I was grossed out over bodily fluid, I would have said ‘forget it’!

What I am trying to say is, while I think people should consider the option, I don’t knock people who choose disposables. We are all parents of different situations and to feel like we are not good enough because we chose disposables (or we make any other parenting choice) is just not right. Do what is right for your family and don’t act superior because you think your choice is somehow better than the alternative. At the end of the day, it is only better for you!

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9 thoughts on “You’ll get no mommy-points from me!

  1. I agree with you regarding, essentially, letting the parents be the parents. But I do want to point out that much of the knee-jerk rejection of cloth diapers I’ve met with is due to lack of education about them. They seem gross; they seem like too much work; they seem expensive…

    Buying them used (or making them yourself–tons of patterns out there) can mitigate the start up costs for someone who is unsure about the investment. I used cloth in the apartment we lived in–we spent $120 on an apartment size portable kitchen-sink washer on Craigslist, and a $15 drying rack from bed bath and beyond. And someone who doesn’t like washing them can use a diaper service, which both provides the diapers and washes them. Plus there are many local cloth diapering networks out there now, where a newbie can ask questions, get seasoned advice, swap, buy from WAHM sellers, and generally feel supported in their decision.

    All I want to point out is that many of the objections you named have reasonable answers, but if someone just doesn’t want to do it, then that’s fine. I’ve found many people don’t want to do it because they don’t know how cloth could even be a possible option for them (nor do they usually know how much more disposables cost!). It’s not a good thing to guilt trip or act superior for sure. But it isn’t a bad thing to press in to see if someone really knows what they are rejecting. Which is far less aggressive than diaper advertisers…

    • I totally agree that most people can find a way to use them and a lot more people would use them if they were better educated on the topic. My frusteration is mostly surrounding the air of superiority some parents tend to have over it and other parenting decisions. The situations I listed as to what would have stopped me are specific to my situation only. I am sure there would have been countless solutions but at the end of the day, as a FTM with a newborn, I likely wouldn’t have gone through any trouble to solve these problems when disposables are available. I am fortunate enough to have a washer and dryer available but 2 years ago I lived somewhere that didn’t have one and had no hookups for one even if I wanted it. There are no diaper services in my area and the cost of most in Canada negates any savings for using cloth (which is my main reason for going this route). I honestly wouldn’t have bothered.

      I am getting off topic though. My point was that there is no need to pretend to be better because of the choices we make. If somebody asks for an opinion on how to solve their diapering dilemmas, I will generally pipe in with suggestions on how cloth could help. But to essentially say ‘you only have that issue because you are using a disposable’ or ‘I never have that problem because I use cloth’ is simply rude. A much better response (for example) would be ‘have you ever considered trying cloth diapers? They are not as hard as they seem and I have yet to get a diaper blowout’.

      • Ah, so the way they say it bothers you. I certainly understand that!

        It sounds like you have the washer and dryer thing worked out now, but for those occasions where you have a chance to educate others… Have you heard of potable washers? They have a special hose that hooks up to a kitchen sink faucet (and drains in the sink as well). No built-in washer hook ups required. They roll out of the way when you’re done washing. I feel like that thing saved my life. I spent the first couple months using the apartment building washers 3 flights down. Ugh!

      • I used to use a portable dishwasher and I’ve heard of the portable washer but have never seen one. It is definitely an idea to keep in mind!

      • I got the idea from my husband. He grew up in Manhattan, where space is a premium. Actually his mom cloth diapered in their tiny apartment (with a portable washer). She’s an inspiration!

  2. I always suggest a cloth diaper cover on top of the disposable when out and about if parents want to avoid a mess! That’s what I did when we were flying and he was in a disposable— thank goodness we did, because an airplane bathroom is NOT where you want to be cleaning up a blowout. I may be secretly hoping to convert another parent to cloth… but I totally agree with being non-judgmental to fellow parents: we are already judged enough be society- no need to also judge each other!

  3. Good points- as a new mom and having worked in the child care field – it too upsets me when people are so opposing to new/old things. My mom was super opinionated and questioned my choices for breastfeeding – strange I know! But over the years I’ve learned that every parent is right and to each their own!

  4. Well said!! It seems people are ALWAYS trying to categorize others while placing themselves above them. I admire that you’ve already decided to ward against such things, putting you ahead of the game already : D Some people never even realize they are doing that, much less making an effort to change it.
    It’s sad that it’s usually other mothers that make mothers feel horrible!
    You’d think they would be the understanding ones, but more often it’s this same group scolding women over choices that simply differ from theirs.
    Good post!

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