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Day 5 – Open Topic

Today we can talk about everything and anything you want to talk about – you can also take a day off.

You are doing an amazing goods. 

Curious about the stats from the 2019 Flats & Handwashing Challenge 

Not getting emails? – Read Today’s Email here– sign up direct to the mailing list here – https://www.clothdiaperpodcast.com/flats-challenge-email-sign-up/ – for some  reason some emails are glitching. Be sure to check your spam folder. You can also find the daily email on my facebook page.

 

Participants
  • join the conversation in the comments or on social media.
  • If you choose to share on social media use #FlatsChallenge and tag me @clothdiaperpodcast so that I can cheer you on (I’ll try to read as many as I can see, and have time for)
Bloggers, Vloggers, Instagram Peeps & More
  • Share your links in the comment section of today’s blog post. You can also share them on our daily Facebook group thread.
  • Don’t forget to include a brief link, info and/or tag me. If your blogging or sharing on YouTube – ““I’m participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by the Cloth Diaper Podcast. This event ______” 
  • Disclose any and all brand partnerships, free product, sand affiliate links as per FTC guidelines. Focus should be on the greater conversation of cloth diapering, and not on advertising brands.

Today’s Topic: Privilege of Diapering

 

I originally titled this the privilege of cloth diapering, but then I hit delete because the entire conversation of diapering is loaded with privilege. 

What is privilege? Privilege is a special right or advantage enjoyed by a select group of people.  

Why is privilege important? Because it reminds us that not every suggestion or answer can work for every person or family. The conversation of privilege is important because it encourages us to remember we cannot expect the same from everyone. We must check ourselves in our conversations to not enforce, judge, shame, and exclude. 

Cloth diapering is a privilege! Yes, it is. Not only are some cloth diaper communities highly exclusive in how to cloth diaper, but the entire cloth diaper journey requires the relearning of a what feels like a new language and lifestyle. This learning is not something everyone has the time, the emotional energy, or the social supports. It is a privilege to have access to laundry facilities, the time to launder, and the resources to launder. 

But, so is disposable diapering. There is not the same social constraints, but rather the environmental and economics of disposable diapering is a privilege enjoyed by many around the world. It is a privilege to afford disposable diaper (something well documented by the 1 in 5 American families struggling to afford diapers) It is a privilege to throw away 3 years worth of plastic diapers per diaper. 

Diapering, something many of us assume is a right – a child’s right to healthy clean skin – is loaded in privilege based on our economic and social standing. We are only able to do what we can based on the money in our pocket, the time on the clock, and the social constraints of those involved in supporting families (re: childcare, partners, and general access to knowledge). 

As you create content to encourage others to diaper, be aware of these privileges and think of ways that we can support all families. I believe this starts by tearing down he exclusivity and gatekeeping of cloth diapering. We need to stop fighting about the right way to wash diapers and the right diapers to buy; instead, focus on cheering parents on through their successes, set back, and pivots. Cloth diapering shouldn’t feel like a clique people can’t join, but rather an option on the shelf. Cloth diapering is not all or nothing and can be done full time, part time, or just on the weekends. 

And yes, I have not always been this way. But I am human, which means that I grow and change through the people and experiences that I have been exposed too. This is who I am today and it’s been a wild journey with many mistakes and poorly said words. 

 

Here in Canada, the ability to purchase, use, and dispose of disposable diapers is easy.  For many of us, disposable diapers are readily available on grocery store shelves. Caregivers and society disposable is the social norm. It’s what we know, and it’s been a few generations.

In Canada it’s estimated only 1 in 5 families struggle with the cost of diapering; whereas the number is averaged at 1 in 3 in USA. That doesn’t negate that 1.3 million children live in poverty, and 1 in 2 indigenous children live in poverty. Meaning that those hardest hit are already dealing with a lot of other struggles including access to clean water and safe homes.

—-

Around the world, these conversations look very different. I have talked to parents where modern cloth is the dominant conversation. I have talked to parents where the use of disposables is loaded in social expectations as a display of wealth and well being. I have talked to parents where cloth is chastised by their social connections and limits their ability to access resources. These conversations are complex and loaded in historical experiences, social and cultural pretences, and a quickly changing world.

This is why I love hosting the podcast because it gives me the chance to get off the screen and into peoples lives to hear hwy, what, and how their cloth diaper journey was influenced and shaped.

 This challenge is also loaded in privilege – to even participate and have fun is something that almost mocks at the day to day challenges of some families and I approach it with caution each year.  I know that many people have found the flats challenge as a resource that changed their lives, so I continue to be a champion for this Really hard conversation. I also believe this is a really important week to empower cloth diaper parents to better better champions of cloth diapering. I know that I have learnt more than I could ever gain anywhere else during this challenge. So maybe the privilege of participating helps break down other barriers for other families.

Bailey Bouwman
Host of the 2020 Flats Challenge
Previous Challenges

In past years, I wrote the following posts for Open Topic Day

2020 Values

This challenge is about the conversation of Diaper Need – and the practicalities of repurposing materials, buying cheap or used, and washing without regular access to electric washing/drying facilities. 

Let this thought shape your conversations, your intent, and your passion behind this year’s challenge.  

 

You are welcomed to share links and thoughts here. 

If you blog, vlog, or create content elsewhere, please share your links in the comment section. This will be how we do the link up this year. I’ll be approving comments periodically during the day.

If you want to just share your experience as a comment, that is very much encouraged too.

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