Up until this point in my “cloth diapering career” if you will, I have been home the majority of the time with my son. I work part-time 1-2 days per week. I have become accustomed to this schedule and in my opinion, I get the best of both worlds. I can get out to have a little adult socialization while being allowed the best job in the world of watching my son grow and learn every day! But this all changed a few weeks ago when I went back to work full-time while being 6 months pregnant. While I will only be working full-time for the summer, the experience has opened up my eyes to the challenges of pregnancy, working full-time and cloth diapering.
The first thing that I didn’t realize was how exhausted (mentally) I would be. It is far more exhausting chasing a 20 month toddler boy around physically, but when I have to use my brain in a different way all day long at work, I have reached a new level of exhaustion. I know any changes take time, and adapting must occur before you get into a routine, but pregnancy sure does not help either. Over the past few weeks I have come up with some tips that might be helpful for you moms who are pregnant, working full-time and cloth diapering. I hope these tips help because they have helped me stay organized and sane! Feel free to leave your own tips in the comments below because I am sure there are many of you readers who have much more experience in this area than me!
- Pace Yourself – You can’t always be superwoman all of the time at work or at home. Sometimes you just need to take a few minutes to breath and do things that you enjoy. While those things or times may come fewer and further between, it is still important for your sanity. Try to space things out and not wait until last minute to do everything, otherwise you will be overwhelmed and stressed! I speak from experience on this one.
- Prep, Prep, Prep – When having full time childcare while cloth diapering, it does involve some preparation. Whether is be a spouse or a daycare center, you must make sure they have everything they need to properly cloth diaper your child. I like to prep all my diapers the night before and get them all ready for the next day. I will even pack the bag with all of the diapers, 2 wet bags (just in case), cloth diaper rash creams, a change of clothes, etc. Anything and everything that my son might need is in that duffle bag, including a set of directions or helpful reminders (see #4).
- Educate Your Childcare – If you childcare provider is not familiar with cloth diapers, it is a great idea to see if they have a little time for you to explain how they work. I did this with my mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and of course my husband (who is now a cloth diaper expert). Explain to them details like how often the diapers should be changed, how to change the diapers and what to do with the dirty diapers. You can also mention that they should use a “cloth diaper safe” rash ointment if your child needs it. A lot of times, the fear of the unknown is why people are hesitant to try new things, and the same may be true with cloth diapers.
- Be Clear/Have a Plan – In my duffle bag I mentioned above, I also like to have a print-out of everything the child care provider might need in regards to the cloth diapers, or general information about my child. I have typed it up and added to it over the past few months, that way I can print out a new copy. I make my list very detailed and easy to understand. I spell out the cloth diaper information as if the person reading it had never cloth diapered before. Truth be told, I even have pictures of what the diapers are supposed to look like prepped and on. I know, I may be a little overboard, but for all those visual learners out there, this is great! This paper is especially important for those family members who may watch your child on occasion, but not consistently enough to know their routine.
This is just a list of a few things that I found helpful, and maybe you will find it helpful too! I would love to hear your suggestions and ideas for cloth diapering full time while working and pregnant!
Do you work full time and cloth diaper?