There’s a looming and often undeniable amount of pressure put on parents to do the best for their child(ren). Whether it’s breastfeeding versus formula feeding or cloth diapering versus disposables - there’s always some type of comparison in the approach.
This leads to an exchange of opinions, often debated in Facebook and Instagram comments.
What the focus tends to establish is what each parents core values are and what they’re willing to do (and, in most cases, can do) to meet their needs and the needs of their child.
It’s that simple.
In college, we learned of this theory called the tragedy of the commons, which references this idea that if we all assumed that our impact on the world is minimal then as a conglomerate that impact would actually be quite great.
As a parent, my values are to limit my impact on the world by participating in sustainability practices in many aspects of my life. Though I don’t drive an electric car (yet), I take small steps each day to use less of the world’s resources and leave behind a smaller trail of trash.
As a default of her environment, my daughter witnesses our behavior and is influenced by our decisions. Cloth diapering for me means that, with each diaper change, I’m choosing to limit my daughter’s impact too. One diaper can last in a landfill for hundreds of years, essentially surpassing the lifespan of the baby who once soiled it.
Cloth diapering requires patience, attention and dedication. It can be an adjustment but it is essentially just an extra load (or two) of laundry each week. For my family, we have saved hundreds of dollars. We’ve bonded over the crazy poops our daughter gifts us with, and we’ve been amazed by the whole pieces of food that are never chewed. As a family, we are just more aware of a mostly taboo topic — poop. I think this awareness has encouraged our daughter to speak up when she feels the urge to potty. She’s 16 months and I know the end of our cloth diapering journey is near. I’m happy with our decision and I’m thankful for the moms, Facebook groups (like Black mom that cloth diaper) and good quality diapers that have made our journey easy.
We chose to cloth diaper because it was our way of doing the best for our child. But it’s not the only way to do the best. Life give us many opportunities to show up for our children. Besides, all children require is love, attention and snacks.
Gabbie lives in Atlanta. Loves her family and her dog. She is passionate about the environment, organic food, and local food.
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