So I’m a quirky; trend-following, cloth diapering, hip-hippy, yuppy. Alright then. It’s a trend I’m proud to be a part of. What I don’t jive with, however, is the passive aggressive frost. It’s no breaking news bulletin that although women should stand united to support each-other in all of our vast/different ways of life, a majority of us, we don’t. We judge, we get our meow on. Even if we don’t say it, we think it. We label. Over GOOD things. Why? Hmph. Well, that’s a whole other post. Something to do with raging ego’s and a lot of other complicated things. I never thought that when I made the decision to cloth diaper that I would be ostracized for doing so and labeled all sorts of tom foolery. I read about it, I experience it in groups with other mommies…it’s everywhere! My subscription to babble sends great articles and on occasion such partial hooey as written by Carolyn Castiglia.
*Note.* I don’t think the article in it’s entirety is hooey, but the jist of it is. Errrr…that is to say – I think it is slight rubbish to be tagged a, ‘Radical Homemaker’ because I opt for some of these choices. (Sometimes more, sometimes less.)
I choose to not always use the more convenient/’modern’ route. There are obvious reasons for these choices, having to do with our environment, our bodies and our cultural beliefs. Not to be a hippy-trend-setting martyr for silly/trend-setting reasons. Mother Earth is in danger. Oh, pshaw! I celebrate in the miracle of my body being able to pro-create, birth and nurture. Guffaw! As naturally as possible, working as it may or may not within our family. Preposterous! I choose alternate ways to tend to my child’s bodily functions rather than the most easy, readily available. How pseudo-intellectual! You get the point.
While those terms may not have been used – the illusive tone is there. Is it really all that radical, just because of today’s modern inventions? Would our elder’s elder’s still be doing it up old school if they had the conveniences then; that we have now? Having said that, it is not Castiglia using the term, ‘Radical Homemaker’ . The piece is on Strollerderby blogger who wrote an essay for Salon, ‘I Am a Radical Homemaker Failure‘, in which she goes on about a book, “Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity From a Consumer Culture” by Dr. Shannon Hayes, who has an academic signature out the whazoo.
It is as excerpted below which induced a bit of a jaw drop pour moi. Originally referenced by Holler, (again by Castiglia and now cited by me….!) on the French feminist Elisabeth Badinter’s book, “Le Conflit”. Turns out Castiglia’s ‘favourite’ part of Holler’s piece is mine too. Of opposing design. Although she did not exactly say why it was her favourite part; it does not take a rocket scientist to ascertain what her opinion is. It is in my opinion that she agreed with it…perhaps not fully. But enough for it to be her most favourite part.
Excerpt: “today’s new mothers are falling for eco and bio-mumbo jumbo. They willingly breast-feed their kids, give birth at home, leave careers and forgo conveniences like disposable diapers and painkillers during labour. According to her; the modern baby, she blathers, is, “the best ally of masculine domination, love-struck mothers accomplices in their own demise.”
Well then. I sure put that in my pipe and huffed on it. While I may agree that many corporations have marketing guru’s that prey on the minds of those who do not take the time to do their own research and make educated decisions; right down to what kind of t.p. they wipe their tooshies with, really now.
In all fairness, Castiglia questions whether the above excerpt is true or not. She expresses how very difficult it can be to do as much as possible the old school way – especially so, for moms living in large urban landscapes such as NY. She writes about how Holler expresses the same in her post. I live in Toronto and sure…it IS hard, but not impossible. Life is hard. Being a momma, and keeping up with life’s myriad of responsibilities is REALLY hard. I have found that for me there needs to be some small amount of joy found, even in the mundane. It’s a way of life. It’s about some serious personal overhaul of Freud’s ole id, ego and super-ego. Really looking at what the demands and constraints of my reality are and how I spend my time each day.
To me, there is a subtle beauty in having my own herb garden with aspirations to move onto veggies next year. Some ‘green’ alternatives in our home; to name a few: Satisfaction from hang drying our clothes, even though it takes twice as long. If it rains when we are out with clothes on the line…oh, bugger! I get excited about learning how to preserve and can food. I enjoy making/using my own household cleaner which works better/is non-toxic and happens to be the cheapest route. If it rains when we are out with clothes on the line…oh, bugger! I enjoy making/using my own household cleaner which works better/is non-toxic and happens to be the cheapest route. For me, there is great reward in the the hard work it takes to forgo some of life’s modern conveniences. Perhaps not for the next momma. Surely not the Kourtney Kardashian mommies of the world. I guess that’s fine? Although Mother Earth weeps for us all to try and make these small changes…I try not to judge those who do not and would appreciate the same.
When will it become obvious to more that such segregation really does not unite us at all? Sure, sometimes it’s a pain in the arse, when both parents/single parents have to work instead of staying home; to make ends meet, especially given the higher cost of city living. No one has to be a martyr. And some can martyr on. GOOD FOR THEM!!!! Those are the ones I learn from. It’s good learnin’. Can’t we do what works for/in each of our unique, familial time allowance/set-ups/environments? I suppose really, that both of these women; Holler and Castglia, are just expressing their personal lifestyle choices and what works for them with just a minor side of sarcasm. I suppose I could glean that Radical really is RAD, and far-out man! The thing of it is, that while as Holler writes, ‘the thought of spending afternoons rendering fat and lacto-fermenting cucumbers is unimaginable, that it would be too much like shoveling rocks, even if it wasn’t for Satan,’ to me, is revolutionary. Small revolutionaries everywhere make quite the ripple.
Now then, onto you radically revolutionary mama’s (me=tongue out), who are overwhelmed with the outstanding array of cloth diapers to choose from. One could pimp out their babies bottoms along with the hefty price-tag; or if you really are about saving some bucks, do what we did. Which is prefolds, snappi’s (what’s that?) and covers. The key here is to get on the cloth-diapering band wagon with your first babe, especially if planning to have more than one – that way you get the best bang for your zahoonia. When I first started researching brands, comparing prices and checking out reviews, it was a tad bit overwhelming. I thought, ‘really’? Does this have to be so complicated?’ I didn’t even know what the abbreviations meant!
Since I was looking for diapers that were Canadian made, preferably bamboo, had good reviews and were competitively priced, then yes. Time was to be spent. So. I could share the countless reviews and companies vs. small business’ I came across in my research, but this post is gettin’ on, so I ‘ll just get to the goods and you can take my word for it. If you feel like having another cup of coffee/tea/wine, check out one of my fave bloggers and her thoughts/reasons on CD’ing and BF’ing. I did not know what those were short for…new/first time mum’s – you’ll figure it out. She’s as groovy to (whoops, guess I am a hippy after all) equate the cost and savings to show us how much money she has saved.
Without further ado, the gorgeous WSL (wee strappin’ lad), you see above is sporting Bamboo French Terry Prefolds and PUL covers from Wee Ones by JaJoc. Made in Canada, Daddy Approved, (in Whitby by a Mompreneur no less, and as local as I could find!) They were the best priced with great reviews. Done. Since his adorableness’ birth we have ordered the smalls (both cover and diapers) and the mediums, 24 diapers and 8 covers each time. Actually, on the second round we added 2 medium ‘special order’ Bamboo French Terry Fitted Dipes, like this, only with different fabric, for overnight. We can fold in one of his smalls as an extra insert. Super Soaker! The owner, Crystal Hall has been patient; helpful and all ’round fabulous, answering all of mine, the BSL’s and even his momma’s q’s about our purchases. So, if you are verging on making the move and decide to take my word for it by going with Crystal’s diapers, rest assured you are in wonderful hands. So many benefits by going with a small business rather than the biggies.
This neat little resource will aid you in everything you need to know, or are wondering about cloth diaper care. I myself went with a dry pail (way less mess) and bio-liners that I get at the store Grassroots, in our hood after he started on solids. Catches all the business for easy flushing. I also opted for cloth wipes over disposable ones. Since we are already CD’ing, it really makes no difference on the workload to wash them together with the dipes. At home we use a Prince Lionheart Wipe Warmer to house them and simply put a bunch in a tupperware container for outings. Wet bags are essential I found as well, one small for outings and one large for at home to line the pail. Simply pull the drawstring up and out and dump in the washer. If you find that they are getting a tad smelly even after washing, I found that putting 4 drops each of lavender and tea tree oil in the wash works wonders. I also put a few drops in the mildy soapy water I wet the wipes in and also in the diaper pail in his bedroom. Now that summer is here, I hang dry them as often as possible as the sun is the BEST natural bleach. Really. No stains.
In the winter, when we were using the dryer there were. I just pop them in the dryer for 10 min. when they are dry to fluff them up a bit. Apparently using liquid fabric softener on them; as I do on our clothes, makes them less absorbent. Makes sense. We use Nature Clean soap and bleach, (one could also use peroxide and lemon juice instead of bleach). Cheap, enviro-friendly and works. Washing was easier I will admit, when the WSL was a newbie. His #2′s were, uhm…y’know, runny, wee, breast milk poo. So no pre-rinse required. Now that he’s eating however…WOwwwEEEee! Let’s just say pre-rinse. OBVIOUSLY. Not required very often though, with the use of the bio-liners. However, if a poonami occurs, then it’s time to get a little dirty and get over it. LewwwOMG I touched poo! LeeeeewwwOMGross! We hold on tight and let the toilet flush do the rinsing. Good times. Ah, but only a mere blip on the life train. It helps they look this darn cute squiggling around in them too.