Tuesday, March 3, 2009

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Tell me...

What Does Your Husband Do for a Living?
Yes, folks, that’s the very first response I got from a friend when she learned I was cloth diapering my son.

Initially, I was a bit baffled by the question, as this particular friend generally doesn’t care about “worldly” things such as what my husband does for a living. I’ll assume my peculiar facial expression prompted her to explain, however, in the moment before she continued, I realized why she was asking…

Could we not afford disposable diapers?
My friend insisted having cloth diapered her own six children the old-fashioned way (flat diapers with diaper pins and rubber pants), that cloth diapers were just too much work.

I endlessly started to explain about the "new and improved" way to cloth diaper. How it really doesn’t have to be a lot of work, etc… And, yes, while I would be saving a substantial amount of money, I wasn’t doing it solely for the money savings factor. We weren’t destitute and unable to afford disposable diapers… I just wholeheartedly wanted to cloth diaper because instinctually it felt like the natural way to diaper!

Besides, there shouldn’t be any shame associated with cloth diapering even if I couldn’t afford disposables. Many very affluent people cloth diaper, including celebrities! So there’s no sense in needlessly throwing money away if there’s a better, more economical way!

Unsurprisingly, she thought I was weird. Maybe so… then I’m a proud cloth diapering weird-o!

As for my family, they’ve always known me to march to the beat of my own drum. Aside from one of my oldest brothers who has twin boys, I’m the only other sibling to have kids… so, truthfully most of my family doesn’t particularly care what I chose to diaper with. For the most part, they think the diapers are cool and cute!

My mom, on the other hand, was very adamant against cloth diapering. As I mentioned in a previous post, Why Serena LOVES Cloth, she continued to try and talk me out of cloth diapering. When all else failed, and I continued to assure her that I was absolutely firm in my decision to cloth diaper, she really went for the kill. Knowing how much of a neat/clean freak I am, she insisted my whole house would smell. She thought she had me, but NOPE!

When my mom cloth diapered, clearly they didn’t have the wonderful options that we have today. But more notably, nearly everyone used a laundry service. Once a week the service would pick up the dirty diapers and drop off a bag of clean diapers. Well, in all fairness, yeah, my whole house probably would start to smell if I didn’t wash my diapers for a week! If I were to let the diapers marinate for a week I can mentally picture the waft of stink flowing not only throughout the house, but outside the windows like in a cartoon. PHEW! Thankfully, I have a washing machine that does all the work (ok, so I have to load it, big whoop!) and we wash every few days (I usually go every 3 days – primarily because if they sit any longer the more stink sets into the diapers).

I’ve learned everyone will have an opinion, and they’re entitled to their opinion. So I take the advice my former La Leche League leader and I listen, nod, smile, and say thank you; and I leave it at that!


- by Serena

45 comments:

Serena said...

Ps. Now, of course my mom likes the cloth diapers... However, she thinks I'm crazy being so obsessed about having every color of the rainbow and various prints. "They are just diapers Serena," she tells me; "no one will care if his diapers match his outfit!"

Well, silly as I may be... I care LOL!

Pss. Anelys did an amazing job with the pictures! My baby picture was slightly torn/damaged... And it now looks like new! Anelys ROCKS!!!

Upstatemomof3 said...

My MIL hates that we use cloth. She too assumed that we could not afford disposable. Sge went so far as to offer to pay for disposables for us. But I truly prefer cloth. :)

Amanda said...

I agree Serena. Most people I know think our CD's are really cool, but there are a few that remain skeptical of the whole thing regardless of what I tell them. But, in the end, they are the ones missing out...not me. :)

melissad.williams said...

It's funny how many people have the complete wrong idea about cloth, that flats and pins and rubber pants are all there is! I try to show off the diapers as much as possible to try to gently educate people.

Momto3LittleFlowers said...

Serena: Thanks... You are so sweet... I tried to fix it as much as I could but Im sure I can do more if the picture is bigger... Do you have it physical?? If you do, scan it again at 300dpi and I would work more magic! :)

Erika said...

I laughed when I read this. At a doctor's appt., a nurse saw my baby in an adorable Bum Genius and said "You know more people are CD. With the economy the way it is...what does your husband do?" I explained why I chose to switch to cloth with my second (a sensitivity to chemicals in sposies) and told her that while I'd save money in the long run, my BG cost $17. She about fell over:) Hopefully, I was the last person that nurse commented to like that:)

Erika said...

Love the LLL leader's advice..... I'll need to keep that in mind. When I tell people my plans to cloth diaper, they always ask WHY? I say why not?!?

Angela said...

I was lucky... my mom cloth diapered a few of her children, so she was very encouraging when I decided to try.

Melissa said...

I have to admit that I had a negative view on CDing before I was pregnant with my first. When another mom showed me the cool new CD options I was sold and I am SO glad I was educated!

one day in the life of me said...

It's true you get the varity of responses.Can't you afford disposables? Why would you do that? And those are so cute? The cute responses are my fav. We ran into the lactation consultant that helped us with our oldest the only way she remembered us was by our telling her we were the couple with the cloth diapers. She is still telling people about us 3 and a half years later. Hopefully she's converting others to cloth.

TheOGMamaBear said...

It is funny that your post is about this because just the other day I got this very same question. They also assumed that since I am a SAHM we can't afford much else. I had to explain how great cloth diapering was and how I would do it now no matter what financially situation I were in!

Good post Serena.

Maggie said...

I haven't got much weirdness from people yet about my decision to cloth diaper aside from the occasional incredulous, "why?". Good for you for standing up for your decision. It really is a good one.

Carol said...

Our immediate families are totally on board with CDs, but I've had some interesting comments from others - that is, until they see the diapers. Then they think maybe it's not so bad after all!

Thanks for sharing your story!

erinsmomma said...

Both my mom and mil think I'm insane for cloth diapering. They say that disposables are so much easier, and sure I do have to wash my diappies, but I actually like doing it. So good for you, and everyone else, who doesn't let those negative nellies get to you!

Meghan said...

My Mom was skeptical at first as well. She cloth diapered my older siblings with flats and rubber pants too. When I was born, disposables had just come out and she said that they were a blessing for her as an older mother!
Well, I think the new cloth are such a blessing and I am slowly changing her mind. She still doesn't get it!

Brena said...

Very truthfully, I started CDing for the cost. I couldn't help but add up the dollars in my head at ever diaper change. A couple months after we switched my aunt found out and offered to buy my son all of his diapers. But by then, there was no way I wanted to go back to disposable!!

Kimberly said...

When I was still pregnant, I wouldn't tell people we were going to use cloth. The same reason I never told anyone what we were planning to name our daughter; I didn't care what they thought! My husband, however, told a lot of people we were going to use cloth, and EVERY ONE of them said something bad about it! I hate the misconceptions that come with cloth diapers...I could write a ton about that!!

Kelly said...

My Mom thinks CDing is a pretty nifty idea although she hasn't seen how far it's come since she used cloth diapers on me. I was 6 weeks premature and back when I was born, they didn't make disposables small enough to fit me! My Mom was a teacher who worked for a cloth diaper service in the summertime, so she knew where to get some awesome prefolds that she used on me the first couple of months. She's been pretty supportive of my choice. I think my husband has been the most skeptical - mostly because he sees how much I've spent on cloth. I keep reminding him: It is money we DO NOT HAVE TO SPEND on disposables later! He knows it will work out in the long run but is still amused when I get all excited about various colors, fabrics, and prints. Ha ha.

Kelly said...

Yep, I have gotten that too. A big, fat "Well, I guess using cloth diapers is the price you pay for choosing to be a SAHM." Ahem, excuse me? First off, I would pay almost any price to stay home with my daughter, but secondly, we could afford disposables, but choose not too. Believe me, I can rack up quite a charge buying cloth diapers. But at least it is a good investment.

Dani said...

People always amaze me with what they think they're allowed to ask/say when it comes to babies and your choices! Listen, nod, smile is the easiest way to deal with it.

When I initially decided to CD when I was pregnant, everyone tried to persuade me otherwise. Now, my son is 10 months old and the naysayers are actually interested in my cloth diapers and one is considering cloth for her next baby.

Thanks for the post - entertaining as always!

Sara in Seattle said...

Everyone I talk to about cloth diapers tends to think I mean the old-fashioned kind of flats with pins. They tend to be in disbelief when I tell them how much diapers have changed, until I pull them out and show them!

Brittany said...

I have to admit that, until a couple months ago, I was one of those "anti" cloth diaper people! Of course I was pictureing the flat cloth with safety pins.

My mind was instantly changed when I first saw the new styles of cloth diapers. Now I can't wait to start when my girl gets here in July!!

A Psych Mommy said...

I can't believe how some people can be so bold as to ask what your husband does and to assume that we all use cloth because we can't afford disposable. Yes, I use cloth because of the money savings, but mainly for the environmental reasons as well as the cute factor--who doesn't love a fluffy bum?

I hope more of the celebrities who use cloth will talk about it more to promote CDing!

Kristi26 said...

While this is our fourth child, it's my first that will be completely cloth diapered. His sister, baby 3, only went into cloth as she started potty learning. I was tired of spending too much on pull ups and a friend suggested the BG OS. I'm so glad I listened! I don't know how we ever did without these adorable dipes!

When I tell people my plans to CD, I get weird looks and get asked, "why?" in a disgusted tone. Most don't understand about the new options. My husband thinks I'm a little nutty too but is onboard. He asked my Mom if she was upset about the dipes and my mom said, "No way! They're so cute and will be just as easy as disposables. I throw them in a bag and send them home no matter what!" lol. I'm glad my mom supports my choice. :D

Chic Mama said...

It is funny how people respond to cloth diapering- I have had every reaction out there! I have actually been able to develop a whole business out of educating parents on natural parenting issues- specifically cloth diapering. My biggest reason for my switch to cloth was all the chemicals and health risks I found out I was exposing my son to through the disposables- scary stuff!

Katrina said...

Both my husband and I were cloth diapered, so our families were happy and supportive when I chose to switch to cloth.

As for some people's reaction that people that cloth diaper do so because of income...I've seen stats that show most people that CD have household incomes greater than 80K.

Montana Mama said...

LoL, TOTALLY agree with you Serena!!! Everyone's first reaction when I tell them I cloth diaper is an incredulous "WHY?!?" As if it's the plague! :)

I Love it though! And I agree with you about the instinctual feeling of it being the natural thing to do!

Two Thumbs WAY up, Serena!

Senior Family said...

I love the LLL leader's advice .. I am gonna keep that in mind also. I love to CD and have gone back to sposies and hated it. CD are just so cute ! I love to share it with people but if they do not want to then i am fine with that. And Serena I am like you I have to have a rainbow :) Thanks for a great post !!

Angela said...

Great post!
My husband's grandmother insisted that I couldn't cloth diaper my daughter, that it would be too hard. Of course she thought that...she had maids when she was raising kids! LOL

AScott said...

I don't know why people think that "easiest" is the only way to go. You ever stop and think about what the baby prefers? Maybe they don't like sitting in plastic chemical diapers! How would you like to wear those instead of your cotton undies?!

I am the only person I know who is CD'ing. There are so many misconceptions out there: you have to have a laundry service, too much work, too expensive, etc. Even when I try to explain all the benefits they just give me a doubtful look. Even my husband is constantly putting cloth down even though he knows why I love them.

Like someone else said on here, they are the ones missing out!!

Aisha said...

Wow, I was lucky...my mum was completely behind my decision to cloth diaper..Actually, it was my husband's idea to CD (and I decided to investigate CD'n with absolutely no intention of doing it---just to prove him wrong---but in the end I was the one who became convinced of CD'n and a bit obsessed).

I've not encountered the whole you-can't-afford-disposables angle?? I would be miffed if someone approached me like that. I'm really opinionated (like Teresa Heinz-Kerry) and would really need to take several deep breaths or walk away.

Aisha said...

Anelys: you did it again with Illyas's photo!!

Katie said...

We actually decided to use cloth diapers to save money. And after using cloth, I just could not see myself, throwing money away (literally).

I got strange reactions from my mom and MIL. Now, my MIL is fascinated with them and cannot believe how easy they are.

We've come a long way, baby!!!

EdenSky said...

Your situation is identical to mine, I too have turned to the smile and nod approach.

Sheezwhiz said...

Isn't it great when we can share how wonderful new style cloth diapers are and change someone's impression of them?

Day to Day Tripper said...

Some people are so surprised I cloth diaper my 3 boys. "You mean you have to clean them in the toilet?"

I love all of the varitey of diapers out there. They are even better than when I first started with my 4 year old. Just imagine what they will be like for our children's kids!

Jennifer said...

Yes the "new and improved" cloth diapers make it so much easier to save money but at the same time making it easier on the environment and our baby's bums. I love it!!!

Jess said...

Oh Serena you sound just like me smile & nod mmmhmmm & when asked if I like it I respond I love it!

*~*a.l.s*~* said...

That is so funny! We get that question, too. I feel like people pity us and think, "Oh, they must be struggling in this economy." Oh well, I LOVE it and can't wait to put a new cd on her every time she needs to be changed :)

angelina said...

sarina,
i totally agree with you. as neither myself nor my partner are fulltime employed we get the same thing from my parents which we live with. they constantly say " let us buy you some diapers!" (meaning throw away ones) as if we are putting our children thru some form of poor persons torture. why do people see it that way? i was making white christmas ( aussie candy treat ) over december time and had kept the wax paper lining for the next batch. mother , who LOVESSSSS to throw things away, goes over to toss it and i said i'm keeping it!!! she said, well there's plenty more wax paper! i said that's not the point mom! she said with such a hint of annoyance to me " well what IS the point then?". some people just dont get it, nor will they ever. the book i am now reading has a quote that says " its not what you do, but who you are">
angela

Matt, Sara and Kinsley :) said...

Wow! I can't believe that anyone would associate these BEAUTIFUL cloth diapers with being poor! I envision just the opposite and wish I had MORE money to spend on them!!!! I would have one in every color, every print, every variety!

Andrea said...

There were so many reasons we choose to cloth diaper, and part of it was the money thing, but even that was mostly to do with that we just didn't want to spend that kind of money. People have seemed really interested and curious about it, but they didn't seem to be judgmental. In fact, people were more inclined to think I was going green than frugal.

one_lucky_mom said...

I have been lucky to have my family not go against my cloth diapering. Many have found it interesting and loved seeing how much diapers have changed.

Kristen said...

LOL, I mentioned to my MIL that I was THINKING about cloth diapering... and her response was much less than enthusiastic. I dropped the subject, but I sure wonder what she'd say if she knew I'd already started to buy cloth diapers! Her reaction has kept me from telling anyone else IRL that I'm going to be cloth diapering. I don't want people trying to talk me out of what I feel is best!

Luckily, my mom is supportive. She comes over and oohs and ahhs over my purchases. And, DH could not care less about the diaper situation, so no unwelcome opinions there either!

Diana said...

I just started CDing my fourth baby (and third toddler). I was one of the 'nonbelievers', remembering the prefolds, pins, stuck fingers, accidently pricked toddlers, and rubber pants and the diapers in the toilet growing up when my sister was a baby. Oh how times have changed!! I wish I'd known sooner...I'd have switched over when DD ( baby #2) had an allergic reaction to a certain brand of disposables. Instead, I switched brands. What I love most about CDing....I'm nurturing my baby in yet another way, and it's surprisingly fun!