Monday, May 21, 2012

It's That Time Again!!!

Time for what you ask?  The 2nd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge is happening this week and I've decided to attempt it.  I did it last year and we managed to finish despite a daytrip and a stomach bug that ran through the family that week.  Last year I learned that handwashing really wasn't that bad.  I even learned that since I live in a warm, dry place with hard water I am able to get cleaner diapers faster when I handwash them and dry them outside in the sun.  All in all I considered it a success and while I wasn't about to sell my washing machine I knew that I could use flats and handwash them if I ever needed to.  This was especially reassuring because my daughter A. refuses to to use disposable diapers because she claims that they hurt (or did the last time we tried one on her over a year ago).

Now I bet you are asking yourself if everything went so well last year then why am I even hesitating this year?  Why am I saying that I am "attempting" the challenge instead of assuming that I'm going to do this no problem?  Well, there are a couple of things going on.  First of all, last year I only had one baby in diapers and that baby was a toddler who really didn't use that many diapers.  This year I have a not quite potty trained toddler and a baby who goes through a lot of diapers.  The second reason is that we have plans for family fun  during the challenge and having to take the time to handwash diapers would get in the way.  The third reason is that while A is getting pretty good at using the potty, she still needs training pants and I couldn't figure out how to make that work with flats and didn't terribly want to handwash those.  The bottom line is that I've gotten lazy.  Yup, that's right, I said it, I'm worried that I'm too lazy to complete the challenge this year...
Who can argue with these cute diapers for a baby boy?

The more I thought about it the more I realized that this is exactly why I need to try it.  So many women don't get the chance to be lazy and I just need to suck it up and deal.  I complain that it's a pain to wash diapers when all I have to do is throw them in the washing machine and push a few buttons.  I complain that it is a pain to go to the grocery store with both kids when I can load them in the car and drive.  I need to stop complaining!  I don't know if I will manage to complete the challenge or not this year, but I do hope I will remind myself of how lucky I am and stop complaining so much.  I am hoping that by doing so I will be a better wife and mother.  Wish me luck, I think I'm going to need it.

Turns out the overpriced Gerber flats work just fine as inserts
in her normal training pants.
If you want to learn more you can explore some of the links below or click here for the main post and to link up yourself.


  1. I love your mindset! I'll remember that on Wednesday, which I have already started complaining about because I "have to" drive my husband to work and I "have to" go to the conveniently located grocery store before going to two doctor appointments with my two little ones. Thanks for the perspective!

  2. That is something that we need to show is that there still will be challenges. Good luck!
    CJR @ The Mami Blog

  3. So, we don't have any diapers, but we have to handwash EVERYTHING by hand. Very few people in Ecuador have washing machines, and even if we weren't on a Peace Corps budget, basic washing machines cost around $1,000, and it only goes up from there. It takes A LONG TIME. That being said, my clothes are all way cleaner than they ever were in the US!

    Good luck!

    ps I'm super stoked I have internet now and can blog-stalk you!

  4. I guess that means I should update more :) I'm glad you guys have internet too because it means that I can blog-stalk you, though I never actually comment...

    Seriously though, I didn't quite complete the challenge because we were traveling at the end of the week and the place we were staying had nowhere to hang anything up (there was one small towel rack and that was it), but had a washer and dryer so I chickened out. That said, I did find that while handwashing is more work everything gets cleaner using less water so I've continued handwashing diapers sometimes at home. One thing that I found is that letting stuff soak in the water for a bit really helps loosen the dirt without as much work from me. Also, while I used the bucket washer for the actual washing because diapers are kinda nasty at first, for the final rinses I would just dump them in the bathtub and use my feet instead of my arms. That way I can stand up which my back likes and I don't have to worry about dumping and filling anything because the tub has a faucet and a drain. Don't know if that helps you guys at all, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

    I'd love to hear more about what life is like in Ecuador when you guys have time.