3rd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge

flatschallenge2013header-600x269Starting today, I will be participating in the 3rd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge created by Kim Rosas at Dirty Diaper Laundry.

What is this?  It’s an event that was created to help not only bring awareness to cloth diapering, but specifically to how economical it can be.  Those that are familiar with cloth diapers know that some of the more popular styles can cost $15-$25 a piece.  For those that aren’t familiar, yes, I meant per diaper.  That can be a frightening up front cost for many.  Yes, you do save money over the long run, but it still hurts to see the initial price tag.  Those numbers are enough to give anyone pause, especially if you’re strapped for cash.  Add in the cost of a washer and dryer(if you have none), and disposables look cheap.  For those that have bought disposables, you know that they aren’t cheap.  They pose a significant weekly cost for a family.

That weekly cost of diapering a child has caught up to some, and there have been stories circulated through social media and the news about people rinsing and drying disposables.  About people who leave their children in diapers for extreme amounts of time, to reduce the numbers of diapers they’re going through in a day.  About those that have had to make the decision between food and diapers.  I think we are all in agreement that no one should be in that position.

That is where this challenge comes in to play.

This challenge is here to show that for $100-$150, you can diaper your child from birth to potty training.  If you’re creative and resourceful, you can actually do it for far less.   This isn’t just a case of people saying, “Hey, why don’t you just do this?”  It’s people who are showing that it can be done.  Yes, it’s only a week.  However, that is just long enough to give one a taste of it being a part of daily living, and not just a whimsical activity.  Just long enough to give serious thought as to the feasibility of the idea.  I have tons of “great” ideas.  Most don’t pan out once reality steps in.  This is the difference between “saying” and “doing.”  In my ideal little world, this challenge wouldn’t exist.  It wouldn’t have to.

This is actually my second year doing this, and I really learned a lot last year.  I hope that this year I can delve into this a little more deeply, and bring it back into my daily life.  Believe it or not, I actually preferred many of the aspects to hand washing my diapers.  It was quick, easy, and used far less water than my regular wash cycle.  I did back-slide once all was said and done last year, though.  I’ll admit, it’s really nice to just throw it into the washing machine, and forget about it for a while.  To let the action be done by something other than you.

I do miss it, though.  As strange as it sounds, I found it to be relaxing.  There was something about doing something so basic, so easy, that really grounded me.  Shoot, I was even ironing them last year and enjoying it.  If that doesn’t qualify me for a straightjacket, I’m not sure what will!  Of course, last year I did it with a toddler that could entertain herself for a few minutes.  This year I’ve got two kids,with one in diapers and obviously not as capable of self-entertainment.  So, join me this week, as I get truly “down and dirty” with my diapers.  At the very least, you should be entertained.  Hopefully, you’ll come away from it with a few new things to consider.  For more information about the Challenge, please check it out here.


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