My Sanity Is More Important Than the Environment
I'm willingly destroying the earth, one disposable diaper at a time.
For our first two kids, we loved using cloth diapers (as much as a person can love diapers), so I figured we'd easily use them again when Annie's butt got big enough.
Two weeks ago, her butt got big enough. We used our last Pampers size two with its Lazy Genius yellow-to-blue pee line, and I gave it a weird, audible farewell.
I grabbed the first cloth diaper, snapped the sky blue fabric around my smiley baby's thunder thighs, and immediately thought of All the Laundry I just snapped into existence. Because you have to wash cloth diapers. Three times. Every two days. Then you have to hang up the covers to line dry so they don't shrink. Every two days. And then you have to stuff the inserts into the covers. Every two days.
I started to panic.
can't do this. I can't add a fourth kid in the form of diapers! But we can't afford to buy diapers. They cost more than food! And we already have the cloth ones and know how to take care of them. Plus we're not contributing to filling landfills with bags of non-biodegradable poop containers, which is one of the biggest reasons we chose them six years ago; Al Gore would be so proud! Pull it together, Kendra. It's just a diaper.
Nope. Still panicking.
My husband came into the room, unaware that his daughter's nursery had morphed into an MMA ring where my logical side was beating my emotional side to a bloody pulp.
"Honey," I said, "and I know this sounds crazy - but what would you think about not using cloth diapers for Annie?"
Zero hesitation. "Sure, babe. That sounds great."
I let out a guttural sob reserved only for Olympic victories and the end of Homeward Bound.
"Really?! You don't mind? Because diapers cost so much money." Snot drips down my face.
"Yeah, I know, but if cloth diapers feel stressful, let's not do them. No problem."
I grabbed his face in my hands and kissed him like he just returned from war. Then I grabbed my keys and sped to Target. It was the most delightful hundred dollars I'd ever spent, and I have Tieks.
Such a simple concept but one we forget:
You don't have to do something just because you have before.
At one point in your life, the environment matters more than your sanity; other times it doesn't. You might really love your job... until you don't. You might have loved that living room paint color... ten years ago. You might been afraid to dance in front of people... until looking stupid wasn't as important.
Just because something was doesn't mean it still is. You get to change your mind, and that doesn't mean that your decision before was wrong.
Things change. You change. So buy the diapers, and save your sanity.