My Name Is Jennifer and I use Disposable Diapers.

 

Welcome to the “I’m a Natural Parent – BUT…” Carnival

This post was written for inclusion in the carnival hosted by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. During this carnival our participants have focused on the many different forms and shapes Natural Parenting can take in our community.

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I do not know why I chose disposable diapers, it has always bothered me. But these kids are adorable anyway :)

Each time I diaper my child, I feel bad.  Both for the environment and my daughters little body.  I share a bed, nurse my four-year old and we have committed to homeschooling, but for some reason cloth diapers are not a practice I adopted.

I did not really think about it when my first child was born.  I became overwhelmed with my high need baby and was trying to figure out if I was really going to hurt him by bringing him into bed with me, and I was too tired from staying up all night while he slept peacefully on my chest.

I was barely getting by.

When my daughter was born I tried to dole out enough love and attention to both of my children.  And I wanted my beautiful, wonderful son to know how important he still was to both his dad and I.  I became overwhelmed again, but for different reasons.

So I did not take time to research; which cloth diapers to buy, how to clean them, if they were waterproof. Now I know that none of these things mattered, and that I should have switched.

I dislike putting all of those chemicals on my daughters skin so many times each day, and I wish I had been more aware of the concept of natural living before I had children.  But everything changes when you have a child.  Things are suddenly more important.

And for the last few months I have thought about switching.  Things have been calmer, we have adjusted.  My mental energy has freed up.

But now my daughter is using the potty.  Not all the time, but she’s trying.  Of her own accord, not mine.  So I have missed my opportunity.

But if I have another child this is something I will commit to from the beginning.  There are several important choices that I will make differently.

Because now I know.  And I did not before.  And somehow I have to let go of the guilt I feel for making these uninformed choices.  I also need to learn to let go of the anger I harbor toward all of those who deceived me while I was trying so desperately to make positive and healthy choices for my precious children.

Maybe once Sydney is totally out of diapers I will breathe a little easier.  And maybe I will hold on to just one diaper.  To remind me of how important it is to be informed.

For the sake of my children.

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I'm a Natural Parent — But … Blog CarnivalThis carnival was created by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. We recognize that “natural parenting” means different things to different families, and we are dedicated to providing a safe place for all families, regardless of where they are in their parenting journeys.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

 

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Comments

  1. I was also overwhelmed with the decisions I needed to make when my son was born. I actually had no idea what “natural parenting” was or what any of those decisions could mean for him. I think you are doing a great job though with the choices you have made. Thank you for sharing your post with us.

  2. I sounds Iike you’ve done the absolute best you can in each moment, and that you want to do better in the future, if given the opportunity. I think that’s all we can ever ask of ourselves, don’t you? =)

  3. It sounds like you’ve done the absolute best you could in each moment, and that you want to do better in the future, if given the opportunity. I think that’s all we can ever really ask of ourselves, don’t you think? =)

  4. Amen to the statement about letting go of guilt. We all work with the information we have. CD’ing can be overwhelming, even when you have friends who can help you explore all of the options.

  5. Jennifer, thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings openly for the rest of us to grow from. I am sorry you have negative feelings around diapering. As you read in my post, I have had my own struggle weaning myself off disposables and getting back to cloth. I have to say, the amount of choices and the varying bodies of babies can make the endeavor time consuming (just to figure out which ones to get!) and costly…exactly what it’s not supposed to be. Even with cloth diapers there are chemicals to consider. And just think, while I was on the internet researching away, you were loving on your babies. Where’s the harm in that? Here’s to a smooth journey out of diapers for your little one….
    sheila

  6. You are a thoughtful momma. :)

    We alternate between cloth and disposables. I am also surprised at the options for “healthier” disposables these days. We don’t always use that sort, but appreciate the options and limit the use of the type you speak of to just a bit of time each day/night.

    Ultimately, we do need to find what works for us and strive for what will work in the future. Nice to meet you here today. :)

  7. Someone once told me: “you don’t know what you don’t know.” I take comfort in that statement for alleviating some of my guilt for not knowing much early on in my mothering days, but also use it as a battle cry of sorts to make sure that I am knowing more when I don’t know much about something, particularly if it is a generally accepted, mainstream practice which so often needs some good, thorough, informed analysis.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    -Kerry @ City Kids Homeschooling

  8. Cloth diapers are not easy! I think they get easier as your using them, but seriously it takes some time and investment to get into them. At least your looking ahead and doing the best you can!

  9. If you hold onto a disposable diaper, I hope it instead reminds you that you made the brave and loving decision to put your children’s needs and your own needs FIRST.

    Look at it this way, if you had cloth diapered, something else would have been sacrificed. Breastfeeding, maybe, or baby wearing, or perhaps just the time you had to spend with your children would have been scarified so you could do more laundry.

    I applaud you for not feeling pressured to sacrifice what was truly important to you, and for knowing your limits. Knowing your limits and also putting Time and Love before a principle you feel you should adhere to is a wonderful lesson for your children.

    Try not to let what you/others feel you “should” do bully yourself into regretting all the GOOD you DID do. The guilt is worse for you than disposables are for the kids or the environment! Stand proud for loving your children and putting them and yourself first!

    And you know, I’m willing to bet between homeschooling and breastfeeding you are doing more for them and the environment than cloth diapering does. Give yourself credit for that.

    I wrote about this topic too. I’m grateful for disposables. Cloth diapering was just a step too far for me as I took on parenting for the first time. My mom had died recently, my family didn’t live close by- I just refused to add more stress on myself to do something I wasn’t familiar or comfortable with.

    (HUGS)

  10. Rachel @ Lautaret Bohemiet says:

    I really like what Carrie said: if you had cloth diapered, something else would have been sacrificed. I totally agree! You made the choice you made, and it’s done, and you can never know the amount of extra time you had with your kids because of the choice you made. I cloth diapered my son for just over a year and I spent SO MUCH time (and money) on laundry and trying different products to get out stains and spending so much time in my damn basement washing and drying and hanging diapers. We never found a kind that really worked well for him and finally switched to disposables. Chosing one over another doesn’t make you ill-informed necessarily. A lot of informed people chose disposables for various reasons and that’s okay too. Cloth require a lot of work and depending on water and laundering costs, it can really add up. Additionally, I never cease to be surprised at people who cloth diaper, but pour all sorts of chemicals in there to get them clean and smelling fresh. I say all that to say this: be easy on yourself! You can’t undo the past and you may have been among the many who purchased a ton of cloth diapers (like me) that you didn’t end up being able to use, or you may have (like me) resented the amount of time it took away from your little babes.

    You sound like a very thoughtful and beautiful mama. I wouldn’t give the diaper choice another thought. You are good enough, just as you are, no matter what covers the buns of your little people!

  11. I hear ya! We went the same route. I felt bad about it for a while but you know what? Our son has never had a rash from his diapers, and we are super eco-friendly in so many other ways, so our net footprint is still small. Disposables are what worked for us int he moment and they still do. Although I applaud mothers who do cloth, I don’t regret our choices one bit! :)

  12. The best part about blogging is being exposed to ideas that I had not considered and receiving encouragement to go easier on myself.

    I had never thought of the fact that I may have saved some frustration and time theft by sticking with disposables. I had also never considered the chemicals used to clean cloth.

    This all makes me feel better and less guilty :)

    More importantly though, these comments have given me the idea that I can forgive myself for other choices, too. Choices with permanent results.

    Thanks so much to all of you, this exchange has been a gift.

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