I’m participating in the 8th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. This is my second year participating and I love it! If you want to learn more about the challenge, head on over to Cloth Diaper Revival. For each day of the one week challenge, bloggers will be prompted with a topic to write about. For day 1, we are answering the question “why?”
Why on earth would anyone in their right mind choose to forego their gorgeous HE, front loading, miraculous washing machine (or, you know, whatever their machine is) to wash dirty cloth diapers by hand for an entire week? It’s kind of absurd, no? It is. But it’s also kind of incredible. My reasons are pretty much the same as last year, and center around awareness of a very real problem for many households.
This excerpt is taken from the White House archives website and it addresses a serious problem for 1 in 3 American families who struggle to diaper their children.
…the lowest-income quintile of families with infants pay 14 percent of their income for diapers alone – an average of $936 for diapers per child each year, while many higher income families pay less than half that amount. These struggling families may not have access to transportation to the big box store, the credit or capital to buy in bulk at cheaper prices, or the access to internet or ability to receive packages required for online subscription services. The technology that makes life easier for so many of us just doesn’t provide the necessary supports for these families.
I’m a Canadian. And while our statistics may not be as readily accessible as our American friends, I can tell you that diaper affordability is a struggle here in the Great White North as well. When my first son was born in 2004, I was a single mom. I am very fortunate that my child’s father, and my parents, provided me with the diapers I needed for my baby. But don’t think for a moment that I wasn’t asking myself what I would do if they weren’t there. I was not working and newly disabled because my epidural paralyzed me. Money was… non-existent. It was a great stress for me that I was not able to afford diapering my child on my own.
Raising awareness ALWAYS helps
“Man, I sure wish people would stop talking about this problem we are trying to fix” said no social movement ever. It’s never a bad thing to bring attention to and talk about the issues that face society on a daily basis. This is one of those issues, and the #FlatsChallenge is an excellent medium for doing just that: getting people talking.
The more we discuss the issue, the greater chance that a struggling single mom, or anyone else feeling the pinch of low income, might find that handwashing some cloth diapers could be a money saving solution for them.
I love that we can all come together and get a discussion going! So here I am, washing my square flat cloth diapers by hand for one week and blogging about it each day. I hope you’ll come back each day to read about it! In the meantime, read the posts in the linkup below to hear what other bloggers have to say about Day One!