Friends, I've gone over to the dark side.
I've given up cloth diapers.
(Short moment of silence whilst I hang my head in shame and defeat. Please feel free to use this time to point, laugh, judge, and scoff. Better yet, if you know me in "real" life, DO remember that it was I, who only a month ago, was enthusiastically detailing my LOVE for cloth and attempting to make you feel like a miserable failure at life for your unwillingness to save the earth and your precious baby's tiny bum from the known and even worse, unknown evils of disposable diapers. That was me. I'm an asshole. Can we move on now, please?)
The tagline for my blog is "mastering the universe, one cloth diaper at a time." Dammit. Somehow, "mastering the universe, one chlorine-laden diaper at a time" just doesn't have the same ring.
(I'm not really sure that I'm going to use chlorine-laden diapers, but the dramatic effect of toying with the idea is one I can't pass up. Truth is, I spent all of my precious-few research-ready brain cells figuring out the PERFECT cloth diapering system, and since that has failed me, I find myself in Target feeling like Alice in Wonderland and staring hopelessly at piles and piles of shiny plastic packages covered in adorably swaddled baby bums knowing not what to do.)
Going through infertility, I had these symbols of motherhood in my head, things I needed to experience to make this life a full one: baby wearing (check), breastfeeding (check), cloth diapering (check)...
I had not planned to give up cloth until the babies were successfully destroying Cheerios with streams of urine in the big-boy potty. But then our diapers got skunky.
I tried stripping them. Spent a week with the babies in disposables running back and forth to the washer every hour to set another hot water rinse. I tried Dawn. I tried Bac-Out. I tried leaving them in the sun for three days. I tried Borax, bleach, washing soda, new detergent, no detergent, a wet pail, a dry pail, and standing on my head in front of the washing machine chanting ancient diaper-cleansing chants.
And finally, they were clean.
I transitioned the babies out of disposables and back into cloth. We went through our full supply, and I washed them using my new sure-fire method. The next morning, I brought the babies into our room to nurse. I lay in bed with them, thinking about the day, and smelling...something. I nudged Kyle. "Our house was sprayed by a skunk. Do you smell that?" He hadn't even opened his eyes before I realized my mistake. I looked down at my two sweet babies in their adorably massive cloth diapers. Damn.
I've recently decided to test my limits and sanity by taking on some new projects around the house. In an insane moment of overestimating the hours in any given day, I gave up buying cereal, cookies, hummus, bread, and yogurt to make my own healthier, cheaper, organic versions. Add to that, I've been making the babies food from scratch all along, which isn't difficult or incredibly time consuming. It is, however, something that is not particularly optional. "Sorry guys. Mommy didn't make any steel cut oats today. Would you rather have a beer?" I've started a garden. Blah, blah, blah. I'm busy, and I take on too much. And I usually balance "too much" just fine, because I don't usually mind teetering on the steep edge of total insanity.
But I'm a smell person. A laundry person. I don't like skunky.
So last week, in a crazy and wild moment of letting something go, I gave up on cloth.
Because washing each load of diapers six times in scalding hot water is at best questionable in environmental-friendliness.
Because I don't have time any more.
Because I'm not a martyr, and I'm not perfect, and I'm working on being softer with myself.