Changing Diapers: the Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why I do what I do.

I wasn't able to sleep last night, so I figured I would utilize the quiet time and get some work done on the DFW Cloth Diaper Project.  As I thought about everything that needs to be done, I became a little overwhelmed.  This, is in addition to family life, church, both global and local committees for the 2012 Great Cloth Diaper Change, the DFW Cloth Diaper Group (which has 2 monthly meetings, and a very active Facebook page), and recovering from the motorcycle accident.  Any one of those things is a job in and of itself.  I sometimes think I have lost my mind.

So, why do I do all of this?

When I started the Cloth Diaper Group in August 2010, my hope was to meet a few local families with similar interests.  While visiting online cloth diaper forums, the common theme was that everyone felt alone in their choice to cloth diaper.  They felt isolated when their family and friends disapproved of their choice to do what they felt was best for their family.  While I didn't feel this way (I knew a few people in real life who also cloth diapered), I thought it would be fun to have a local group.  So, I started one, unsure of where it would lead. 

It was a slow start, with only 1 person at our very first meet up (followed by no one at the next 4 meet ups).  But in January of 2011, we grew to 100 members!  Suddenly, people showed interest in this little group that I almost regretted starting.  We had about 15 mama's and their babies at that meet up!!  Now we have nearly 800 "likes" on Facebook (and a very busy page!) and two monthly meet ups.  I am blown away, and deeply humbled, by how amazing the group is now.  It is more than I had ever imagined.  I am learning as I go with the group, as I have never done anything like this before. 

I had hopes of what the group would become, but I never thought it would be a reality.  In April 2011, we participated in setting a Guinness World Record (tm) for the most simultaneous cloth diapers changes around the world!  A global event to promote the use of cloth diapers, and we were part of it.  How cool is that?! 

The DFW Cloth Diaper Project seed was planted in my heart a little over a year ago.  I was in line behind a young woman at the store.  She had two young kids with her, and only a few items in her cart.  She had food stamps, but did not have enough cash for the food and diapers in her cart that the food stamps did not cover.  She stood there, trying to decide what to put back.  I told the cashier to add something to my bill, but she ignored me.  I asked her again, but she refused to ackowledge me.  The young girl made her decision and rushed out of the store.  I knew even if I purchased her abandoned food, I would never find her by the time I got to the parking lot.  It broke my heart to think that she had to choose between food and diapers. 

I contacted someone at a local non-profit about possibly leading classes on cloth diapers.  The idea was not supported, though, since they didn't feel their clients would be disciplined enough to follow through.  So I shelved the idea for awhile.  In the spring of 2011, I had the idea to start the Project for a program that helps homeless teen moms.  In the end, that did not work out.  But the idea was there, and we are moving forward, though in a different direction than originally planned.  We will soon be accepting applications for those who are unable to afford both diapers and their household bills. 

I was overwhelmed with how the DFW Cloth Diaper Group responded to this little idea.  Diapers were sent to me in boxes and bags to be used for the families.  We even hosted an online auction to raise money for the Project, where we raised over $350!!! 

I have a passion for sharing the "fluffy love" that has become part of my life.  It has not only given me a hobby, but it has been a great way to meet the most wonderful people!  I have the opportunity to share something that is not only better for our babies, but for our planet and our bank accounts!  Imagine, the very first disposale diapers ever made are still in landfills across the globe.  What kind of world does that leave our grandchildren and their grandchildren?  We did not start using cloth diapers for environmental reasons, but it has become a reason to continue using them.

I do what I do because it has been placed on my heart to help those around me in my community.  It just so happens that it is fun!  I am not paid a penny for any of this, though it sometimes feels like a full time job.  I seriously love what I do. 

Even if I do feel a little insane sometimes.


Fortunately, there are some wonderful people who share the same passion for cloth diaper advocacy that help me out!  I could not do any of this without them.  They keep me sane, simply by knowing they are there to help.  A very special thanks to Elise of Baby Rear Gear for taking everything over last minute for the Great Cloth Diaper Change 2011, since I was in the hospital and unable to attend the event.  She did an amazing job, and it could not have happened without her.  I also want to thank Lori (the Gnome's Mom) and Tara of Diaper Solutions for serving on the Project Committee.  I am in the process of creating a committee for the 2012 Great Cloth Diaper Change, so I want to thank all of you in advance for doing your part in being advocates for modern cloth diapers! 

I also want to thank each and every member of the DFW Cloth Diaper Group and all of our local cloth diaper shops.  You are all amazing!  Just by doing what you do, you are making this world a better place.  Yes, that sounds cheesy and mushy, but it is true.  So, thank you! 




Brenda is the founder of the DFW Cloth Diaper Group and the DFW Cloth Diaper Project.  She and her hubby have been married for 5 years, with 2 amazing boys! 

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