I love cloth diapering. It is my hobby. And when I say that, I mean it is my one and only hobby. I get pretty zealous about my fluff and I love talking about it. I talk about it to strangers, I talk about it to friends and I especially talk about it to my friends who are expecting.
Over the last few months, I’ve learned that not everyone appreciates my efforts to share the fluff love. Let me put something radical out there- Cloth diapering isn’t for everyone in every situation. Like many fluff lovers, that was a difficult lesson for me to learn because cloth diapering was a no-brainer for my family.
When dealing with the non-fluffer, I find it important to keep a few things in mind before delving in to my long speech about why cloth diapering is better for your baby, the environment, your wallet, etc. Here are a just a couple of those things:
1. Follow the golden rule: treat other moms the way you want to be treated. Don’t look down on them because their views are different. It doesn’t feel good when people do it to you, so don’t do it to others. Don’t make them feel like they are intentionally ruining our eco-system just because they are not using cloth diapers. Many have just never considered it or don’t know that there are new, user friendly options available. Treating others disrespectfully often just leads them to feel more strongly about their views than before.
2. Be prepared but don’t dump information on your listener unexpectedly. There is a wealth of valuable information about why choosing cloth is a great idea. If you want to entice your friends, you should be prepared to answer their questions about cloth diapering. If you are a cloth zealot like me, keep in mind that that doesn’t mean dumping all of the facts on them because they asked you a simple question like, “Doesn't cloth diapering use a ton of water?” Your intentions may be good but your listener probably feels a little overwhelmed.
3. Be willing to meet halfway. Challenge your friend to take the “3 things Challenge” or even to just use one cloth diaper every couple of days. Or encourage your friends to try cloth diapers for swimming instead of using the expensive disposable swimmers-cuter and way easy to use. Small changes make a big difference.
4. Be willing to be supportive. If your friend is interested in cloth diapers but is still skeptical and doesn’t want to spend money before taking a test run, consider loaning out one or two of yours. It might be hard to see your fluff go for a few weeks but isn’t it worth it if it changes one persons’ mind?
5. Most importantly, listen to what they have to say. Really hear their concerns, don't just dismiss them with information. Let them share their experiences, thoughts and feelings before asking them to listen to what you have to say. They might know more than you think they do.
It may sound simple but these were hard lessons for me to learn. I hope these few ideas help you to share your cloth love in a more listener respectful way. Happy fluff sharing.
Mindy Hill is a cloth diaper addict. More importantly, she is the mother of a one year old boy and is expecting her second fluffy butt in late September.