Tag Archives: natural living

Diaper Guilt

As someone who considers herself a natural, alternative, bordering on the hippie kind of Mama and homemaker, my guilt over using disposable diapers has been excruciating, but, hey, since my last child is showing signs of potty training, it’s almost over.

On Ghost Mountain, Lompico, California, circa 1990 -- Back in my seriously hippie days

I lodge no complaint against the holier-than-thou attitude of the cloth diaperers. I know they are in the right, fulfilling yet another of the requirements of the “Natural Living” standards that gets you in the club. I completely ignore the ECers (“elimination communication,” where apparently you follow your barebutt, legwarmer-wearing child around with a bucket all day) since who even wants to reach that kind of saintliness. I’m only human, after all.

But how many of them have gone totally carless for nine years, like I did? Relying solely on a bike with bike trailer or buses, whether rain, shine, gale force winds… no matter what? (And yes, this was with two, then three kids, not as a single childless person!)

Yeah, I thought so. They toted their righteous poop catchers ┬áhome in some kind of earth-polluting monstrosity. (And hey, even the electric cars are tied to resource depletion, so don’t even start with me!) My near-decade of pedal power has to count for something.

I did try cloth diapering for about three months with my third child. This was during the two years I didn’t have a dryer, but had to either use the clothesline in the back yard or, when the Oregon weather would piddle for days on end, I’d have to use wooden racks, shower rods, the backs of chairs, etc. (Yeah, and how many have done THAT? So see, I do have some karma in the bank…)

After the three months it just sucked unbelievably bad. Like not even worth being in your lousy club bad. Maybe if I’d had the money to invest in the fluffy-bunz-smooshy-cozy-ne’er-do-leak covers and the pre-fold-half-caf-double-back-flip-twisted inserts, it would have been a true joy. But with some old hand-me-downs and some stuff I found at the thrift store being the only diapering system within my financial reach, it was beyond craptastic.

So as I begin to wonder which will be the last pack of evil throw-away pee soppers I’ll ever buy, I can also feel myself relax into the possibility of being a real, 100% grade A certified natural human, once I’ve shed this terrible addiction to convenience.

You’ll have to excuse me, now, I think I smell something untoward that’s gonna put another black spot on my record…

AP and guilt

I was raised a Catholic, so I’ve got a head start on this guilt thing.

But I realized yesterday as I was making cookies that AP (Attachment Parenting) and Natural Living has become all about feeling bad.

It’s not enough for me to make my kids a good meal for dinner. That alone doesn’t make me a “Good Mama.” I have to have a treat ready for them afterwards.

And it’s not enough to buy some cookies at the store. A packet of Chips Ahoy isn’t going to win me that “Good Mama” badge. I have to provide a homemade dessert.

And it’s not enough that I make a treat from scratch that they love. In order to feel genuinely good about it, I have to let one of them help me.

And it’s not enough to allow their assistance. I can’t express one tiny bit of frustration, irritation or, heaven forbid, anger, while we make our treat.

I’m not saying anyone in the NL/AP world is trying to make me feel any of this. I’m just saying that these are the words of self-flagellation that torture me on a daily basis.

Does it not defeat the entire purpose of moving toward a better life if along the way (which is all there is) I am going to be a miserable wretch?

Isn’t the point to cultivate a life of meaning, love and joy?

Can you get there by way of constant, unrelenting negativity?