Over the course of my two plus years cloth diapering, the question I have gotten most often has to be, "Isn't all that extra laundry hard?" My answer is always the same: "It's really no different than any other load of laundry."
But what about families that don't have regular access to laundry facilities, or those that have to pay per load to wash? How difficult would cloth diaper laundry be for them?
I am from a very rural area in southeast Tennessee. Over 50% of the population is on some kind of assistance or below the poverty line. I personally know quite a few families that struggle day to day to provide for their family's basic needs. It's very sad.
As a cloth diaper advocate partnering with my local birth center, the number one reason I give for cloth diapering is for cost savings over the diapering life of a child. And for many families, this would really help them make ends meet and not have to choose between diapering and feeding their child.
So one of the main reasons I decided to join the Flats Challenge this year is to be able to relate more to the people I advocate to. I want to be able to tell them that you can cloth diaper for little to no cost, using only found items (how I'm doing the challenge), and that hand washing really is doable with little ones running under foot and little time left in the day. I think it will really give me some perspective on what it's really like for some families.
I also want to prove to myself that I can do it. When I first starting using cloth diapers, my husband bet me that I would hate it and wouldn't last a month. You see who won that one! I genuinely love cloth diapering. But would I be willing to stick with it if it came down to me having to hand wash them? We shall see...
Another reason I want to do this is -- and it's kind of off the wall -- my husband is pretty into post-apocalyptic survival. We talk, quite often, about how we would react in different survival situations. We don't have a huge stock pile of food or crazy bomb shelter or anything, but we do have some pretty interesting conversations about what we'd do if life as we know it were to come to an end. That being said, learning to wash laundry, exclusively by hand, would come in very handy if we had no electricity to run a washer and dryer. I know, kind of crazy, but nonetheless, it's a real reason to me :).
Tomorrow: A rundown of my $15 stash. Really, a complete stash for $15!