Monday, May 20, 2013

I'm Too Busy To Handwash!

I signed up for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge almost two months ago.  At the time I was thinking "This will work out perfectly, that's the last week of my maternity leave."  As the event quickly approached, my perspective suddenly changed to "Oh my gosh, that's the last week of my maternity leave: I am way too busy to handwash diapers."  Between wrapping up writing projects for work, trying to cram in all the kids' last minute doctors/dentists appointments before daycare started, and finishing all the other things that needed to get done, I was feeling a little overwhelmed.  To add more excitement, I had a 2-month old with terribly sensitive skin and he had broken out into another diaper rash.  I had fully decided "No way, I'm just too busy for this."

However, I suddenly realized that this was the perfect time for me to be participating in the Flats and Handwashing challenge.  I wanted to show people that handwashing is actually really easy and non-threatening.  How would people believe that handwashing is feasible, unless it was performed under normal life circumstances?  My life is messy, busy, unplanned, and a bit chaotic.  My life is filled with 5-minute showers, two kids and a dog (who need nearly constant supervision), and a full-time career.  There wasn't going to be any flowery story about how I had time to fantasize over 50 ways to fold my flat diapers: just real experiences showing that, yes, anyone can make this work in their schedule.

Aside from participating in the Handwashing challenge based on principle, I needed to participate for my own education.  Our family is planning a camping trip this summer and, unlike our previous excursions to the cabin, this time we'll be camping in a tent.  I had planned to use cloth diapers during our camping trip, but I didn't want to have the problems I'd experienced previously when handwashing microfiber pocket diapers.  I didn't want to pack a ton of cloth diapers, nor did I want to wait 24 hours for them to dry.  I wanted to try flat-style diapers because they would be easy to wash, space saving, and quick drying.  Flat diapers and handwashing were going to be perfect for our camping trip: yet I hadn't used flat diapers before! 

So, thus my adventure begins! Please follow me this week as I share our experiences, our failures, and our successes as we dive into handwashing and flat diapers.  This event would certainly be no fun if it weren't filled with opportunities for learning, mistakes, and, of course, real life.

Our family has one child in diapers, and over two years of experience using cloth diapers. Both of us parents work full-time and have have exclusively cloth diapered our children through daycare, camping, and travels.


  1. You're completely going to kick butt at this. :-)

    1. Thanks for the confidence boost! Day one is going well :)

  2. I could never participate in the handwashing challenge. I have neither the time nor the desire.