Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Addicted to Diapers?!?!

I almost said "it's been a wild ride," but "wild" is just too exciting a term.  Expensive would certainly be appropriate.  Frustrating ... educational.  At times, very addicting.  In fact, so addicting that I've been distracted from the other aspects of my life.

Let's face it:  finding a way to altogether prevent my daughter's eczema has been consuming me.  So much so that my son has been getting the shaft.

I know I'm not alone ...
... when I visit Diaper Swappers, for instance, I read the guilty-pleasure posts of many a mother proclaiming to be addicted to CD'ing.

... addicted?!?!  Is that what I've become?
It really makes me wonder about my generation.  Grandma would be laughing ... or otherwise just shaking her head.  How, oh how did we become so obsessed with the scraps of fabric that catch our children's excrement?

Well, I'll tell you: it's this lovely thing called displacement.

In yesteryear, the ins and outs of marriage and raising a family were assumed by young women as they grew up.  Only the very wealthy could afford a luxury such as college; the rest prepared to be a helpmeet.  You were to be chief cook and bottlewasher.  Your mother's methods were passed down to you and (as long as you had a genuinely loving husband) you were overall content with your role.  Sure, they craved excitement; this is not a knock on these women.  More often than not, they were shrewd and ingenuitive.  Do not make the mistake of belittling your lady ancestors in your mind!  They could easily kick out tails.

Then, times changed.  Collegiate education became more mainstream.  Meanwhile, in an effort to drive up consumerism, advertising companies began to push a "you deserve" mentality.  They played our pride and greed to feed their own.  Things once considered luxuries became necessities in our country ... (and now we wonder why there's a recession).

As a result of this lovely evolution, women did get opportunities they once would have had to fight for.  I'm not saying this is a bad thing.  I loved college, and am grateful I was able to store my education for future use.  However, it came at a painful price: post-partum displacement.
It's not so bad when you first get married.  Many women are able to find careers related to their field.  Sadly, for every one that does, there seem to be at least two who are struggling to find employment beyond entry-level grunt work and feel trapped in the cycle of paying off their student loans (or their spouse's).  In any case, when baby comes, there is a tremendous shift.

Life, which had once revolved around self and/or spouse, now revolves around child.  At first I didn't even really notice the onset of the loss of my identity, but I noticed around my son's first birthday that I was depressed.  I had lost my "spark," and even when I looked in the mirror, I swear a woman ten years my senior stared dully back.  I don't think I read a book that entire year, and for me, that's saying quite a bit.  I know my son was at least 9 months before I spent even an hour away from him.

It was around the time he was 6-7 months that I first developed an interest in making my own cloth diapers.  Now, the efforts didn't turn out all that well.  Mind you, my son hardly napped and was a very extroverted and high-strung baby.  This made for a harried and distracted seamstress: not good.  I gave up.  In fact, since he was outgrowing infant covers and prefolds at an alarming rate, I gave up on CD'ing altogether!  For the sake of our finances, I wish I hadn't ...
But the point is, I was obsessed with this sewing project because I was the only one doing it.  As far as CD'ing went, I was one of two people I knew diapering my child that way.

Suddenly I had a sense of identity again.  Something I cold trick myself thinking I was an expert in (for my circle, anyways). 

With my daughter, I thought I had it all figured out.  Then there was a new puzzle to solve: her synthetic allergy.  Since I am by nature a problem solver, that obsession crept in again.  Only this time, it had a new element: addiction to luxury.  Even at Diaper Swappers, I saw comments flying around about ""diaper petters anonymous."

Yes, some of us like to pet (or at least gaze upon) our baby's diapers.  Before you smirk, tell me:  who doesn't like to stroke organic velour?
Yes,  velour.  100% organic cotton velour ... zorb (bamboo/cotton blend) ... cashmere/merino blend ... the luxury options are endless.  Why?   Quality, that's why.  These fabrics have superior absorbancy and durability to the comparatively "cheap" flannels that our ancestors used.  Consequently, even those of us on very tight budgets can legitimize dropping several hundred dollars on the practical use of these fabrics when we would never dream of buying ourselves a cashmere sweater (well, we might dream it, but ...)  Hey!  We'd be dropping at least $2000 on paper and silicone diapers over the next two years anyways, right?

With the plethora of options and lack of awareness in the general public, we also have the opportunity to flex our "expert" muscles.  We take other newbes to CD'ing under wing and for a brief moment, have a sense of self-worth.
Still, for some reason I can't help but thinking of Isaiah 64:6: "All our righteousness are as filthy rags."  Kind of a funky parallel, huh?
On the positive side, thanks to Etsy, moms also have the opportunity to exhibit Proverbs 31: "She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands ... she considers a field and buys it."  Many entrepaneuring and housebound mothers are converting their love of CD'ing to a profitible enterprise.  I confess that I am considering joining the WAHM ranks ... in good time.

To be honest, I really don't know where I'm going with this.  All I can ask is that, if you find yourself addicted to cloth diapers, take a good hard look in the mirror and deep into your heart, and ask yourself, "Why?"

1 comment:

  1. So much that I want to say---you are a beautiful and engaging writer. I really enjoyed reading this. But on a deeper note, I'd love for us to meet up halfway like you suggested


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