I’m participating in Dirty Diaper Laundry’s 4th annual Flats & Handwashing challenge. One week, no washer, no dryer, no problem. I am doing this challenge by choice. No one is making me do it, and in fact I’m hand washing while standing right beside my perfectly functional washing machine. However, I’m not doing it for fun, but rather to put myself in the shoes of someone doing this out of necessity.
It kinda stinks. On the first day (Mother’s Day), I was up at the crack of dawn with my little as usual. The other 2 kiddos followed shortly after. Dry & fold a load of laundry, wash, dry & stuff the diapers from before the challenge began. Empty, refill, run & empty the dishwasher. Sweep the floor. Wipe the counters. Hand wash flats.
I’m standing over the sink, sweating, scrubbing diapers. My middle is freaking out because he wants me to help him get a “thing” but can’t tell me what it is and needs me to stop and come look. My youngest is screeching because he wants me to put his shoes on and take him outside RIGHT NOW. My oldest is ticked because I won’t immediately stop, take the gloves off, and open the vitamin container for her.
“6 more days,” I thought. 6 more days. OK actually 7 since I’ll be hand washing Saturday’s diapers a week from today. Poop. Now that it’s almost over, my attitude has improved. 😉 I felt kind of silly being so stressed out about this. I don’t have to. It’s not a necessity. Then I actually felt guilty for taking the time to do this.
If I were hand washing diapers out of necessity, I might feel beaten down that I didn’t have much choice and had to do this, or I could feel empowered that I was totally rocking this, taking care of my kids and saving money. So this week I’m keeping my chin up that I’m teaching myself valuable skills, proving that I can do this, and most definitely am feeling grateful for what I have.
Doing this long term would require a more sophisticated & streamlined system in my opinion (camp washer etc.) rather than doing it somewhat haphazardly and all by hand. That way it could be “budgeted” into your day as a chore to do at a certain time that takes xyz minutes to do. The poop threw me for a loop since…well… (corn, grapes, apple juice…’nuff said.)
When the first day’s diapers were hanging, my son pointed & said “wat dat mommy?” I said “diapers.” He says “oh” in this way that says “wow this woman has really gone off the deep end! Those are so not diapers.” Later in the week he “stole” a clean flour sack towel and I found him “scrubbing” it in his (clean, empty thank goodness) little potty. Pretty cute.
So, you know how there are rules & guidelines for the parents participating? I think there should be rules for the babies in this challenge too:
Thou shalt not pull on Mommy’s leg while she is washing your diapers. Napping preferred.
One poop per day is permitted, exceptions granted in cases of ploppable poop.
Thou shalt not poop as soon as diapers have been washed.
Hand washing adult reserves the right to deny juice, grapes, raisins and corn at his/her discretion.
Your diaper washer accepts tips in the form of hugs, kisses, sweet smiles, drawings and “I love Yous.”
What can I say? A sense of humor is necessary when hand washing flats.