When my twins were babies, I used cloth diapers, a decision that was based primarily on the fact that we were poor and diapers were expensive. For the first 6 months, I used the cheapest cloth diapering option out there: prefolds and covers.
But I didn’t mind. In fact, I thought cloth diapering was actually fun! But after 6 months my husband wasn’t a huge fan of all the “tucking and folding” so I decided to do an All-in-one option. But All-in-Ones are expensive and we were still poor so, I sewed my own.
They were adorable!
They worked like a charm!
Sure, cloth diapering wasn’t as easy as disposables but I was was in love with my cloth diapers!
I was a “Cloth Diapering Mom.”
(In fact, my obsession grew to the point where I was sewing and selling my diapers.)
I soon became a “Make-your-own-baby-food Mom”.
As the months progressed, I also became “Extended Breastfeeding Mom.”
I wore all of these labels proudly.
I enjoyed talking to my friends, in person and online, about my parenting choices, even convincing some to use cloth diapers or make their own baby food too (after all, the jarred options were “sooo expensive!”).
These choices worked for me, and worked well, even earning me some money and the title of “lay expert” in all things Cloth Diaper.
Then, when my twins were five, I had my third baby. During my pregnancy, I worked hard sewing new diapers for my new baby. I used disposables for six weeks, until Silas was big enough to fit into the cloth diapers. I couldn’t wait to officially don my “Cloth Diaper Mama” title again!
Finally, the day came! I put Silas in his adorable new diapers, all lovingly made by his mama.
Then I wrote a (cringe-worthy) blog post about how much I loved cloth diapers.
I lasted four weeks.
“Why are you doing this?” My husband asked me one day as I complained about the ammonia smell coming from the diaper pail.
“I don’t know,” I huffed, annoyed that I had to wash diapers again, with all the other laundry that a family of 5 created.
So, that day, I stopped using cloth diapers. We were in a different place financially now and could afford the “luxury” of disposable diapers. I went and bought myself a big ol’ box and breathed an ammonia-free sigh of relief.
But I felt guilty too.
I sewed and sold the darn things, for goodness sake…but now, I wasn’t even using them.
What happened to “Cloth Diapering Mom”?
I wanted to be her, but my life was different now. I was busier. I had two grade-schoolers, a newborn, and I was teaching online.
It just didn’t work anymore.
I felt all this angst for a few months, like I had lost a part of myself. I didn’t realize that I had actually created an identity for myself over the way I diapered my babies.
Now that I’ve had my fourth child (who wore cloth for one day. Yep, one day is all it took for me to be like, “Nope.”), I can only chuckle at myself.
In the early days of my motherhood, I was scrambling around, trying to figure out what the heck I was doing, trying to discover who I was as a new mom. When I found something that worked, something that made me feel like a
“Good Mom,” I wanted to sing to the heavens, “YES! This is ME!”
But really, those early decisions about diapers or baby food or breastfeeding were just a brief, fleeting stage of my motherhood. Those choices didn’t define me as a mother.
I didn’t need to defend myself or try to convert others.
They were simply choices that worked for me at the time.
When they didn’t work anymore, I tried something else, like disposable diapers and fruit and veggie pouches (thank God for pouches. Who cares if they are expensive??).
Motherhood can’t be defined by fleeting moments, stages of parenting, or fad choices.
Really, my identity as a mother can only be summed up in four words: Micah, Benji, Silas, and Eli, and all the love it takes to raise these unique boys to adulthood.
Did you change a decision that didn’t work for you anymore?
Did you feel like you were redefining yourself when you made that change?
Share your story below!
I hope that my story can bring hope, healing, and happiness to you. TheBamBlog is trying to grow! Did this post encourage you or would it inspire someone you know?
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