Sunday, October 17, 2010

Earth Mama/Hippie Baby Dreams

My daughter celebrated her three month birthday six days ago; okay, she didn't really celebrate anything. I ate extra dessert and dressed her up. But that's beside the point. The point is: it's never too late to have a new mom realization. Learning is an infinite process, and the nature of motherhood is a learning curve. You cannot achieve a state of perfection in parenthood, Mama Nirvana is a myth. And that's ok.

I thought I knew what kind of mom I wanted to be before she was born, and then she came. And having a baby was just challenging enough to keep my mind off all my ideals. But now that she's older, and sleeping through the night (it's early, I know, but that's another post) and on a fabulous routine (also another post, the routine and I have a love/hate relationship...) I'm finding that I have a long way to go.

In my experience, there's a fine line what you wanted and what you got. I had great dreams of decorating the nursery for my first child with my partner by my side, tending to my every hormone-induced whim. I got a (not always happy) surprise and the guest room in my parents' house. I wanted to be that mom that could breastfeed lying down when the baby woke up in the middle of the night. I got cracked nipples and a dwindling milk supply. I wanted to co-sleep and snuggle my baby when we took naps at the same time. I got no naps and I let myself be bullied into keeping her out of my bed.

So it's no surprise that I really wanted to cloth diaper, but now I'm a slave to the disposables. My mother is from the convenience generation. Nipples hurting? Don't worry, just give the baby formula - it's just as good, even better because it's easier! Is the baby overtired and crying? Just let her cry it out while you get on with your business. So she really couldn't understand why anyone would want to go to the trouble of cloth diapering when we could just use disposable. And, since she was paying for everything for the little one, I couldn't really object. Of course, I said. Day cares won't even cloth diaper anyway, I agreed. I nodded and smiled and added three cases of Pampers to my baby registry.

But, really, I didn't research. I have no idea if day cares will cloth diaper - I suspect at least some of them would. Even that shouldn't keep me from cloth diapering at home and on the weekends. And I'm not even working yet, so I could have been cloth diapering (and saving money) for the past three months since I've essentially been a stay at home mom. I'm already doing laundry every other day, how much more work could cloth diapers really be?

The more I research it, the more I want to give it a try. And it bugs me that my parents still aren't behind the idea, because their preferences shape my reality. When we move into our own place (which will hopefully be sooner rather than later) I'm determined to try cloth diapering. Maybe just a weekend trial run. But I'm pretty sure I'll get hooked. Who knows what could come after that? Co-sleeping! Homemade baby food! I also have this great idea for a 1,001 Nights-themed nursery with a huge iron lantern light fixture and lots of drape-y fabric in jewel tones.

And one day, Caroline will wake up in her Moroccan-inspired nursery, I'll throw an adorable cloth diaper on her bum, strap her in the Moby wrap, put on my Chacos and we'll go for a hike. Because that's exactly the kind of mom I wanna be. My inner earth mama is dying to get out and commune with my hippie baby. I'm anxious to start teaching Caroline about the things that are important to me, and I can't let convenience get in the way.

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