But it took us 5 months into having our second kid before we finally bought cloth diapers.
Yup, that means that tossed over $1,000 in pee-soaked, poop-filled disposable diapers into the landfill. One thousand early retirement workers straight down the drain.
At least we potty-trained our #1 at 22 months. (Oh Crap Potty Training. Highly recommended. But be prepared to be peed on at least once.)
This post is not about cloth diapers? Patience.
Now we have fifteen (and counting) cloth diapers from Diaper Junction (they are great because they allow free shipping, and allow you to try the diapers for 30 days, and send them back for a credit or refund if they don’t work for your kid). You may find diapers a smidge cheaper elsewhere, but they earned my loyalty with allowing us to try the diapers for 30 days.
Anyway, we dropped a little under $300 up front, but we’ll get much of that back when we sell them on Craigslist after #2 is out of diapers, and we will have saved nearly $1,000 at that point.
But this post is not about cloth diapers.
It’s about why it took so damn long to save $1,000. It’s about frugality.
It’s about fear (but not totally).
I wanted to cloth diaper with #1 in 2012, but my wife was afraid that it would add to her already hectic list of things to do with a newborn. Plus, cloth diapers are hard to clean, and more time-consuming than regular laundry, right?
Well, they are more time-consuming, but not hard to clean. My wife finally, begrudgingly, agreed to try cloth diapers when I said I would take care of the diaper loads. (see what I did there?)
And she discovered, hey, this isn’t so bad. In fact, it was quite OK, and we even brought our cloth diapers (and pail) with us to our beach vacation, since there was a washer and dryer in our rental condo (which we got for 75% off). This was after she indicated – in no uncertain terms – a few weeks before that there was no way in hell that we were going to bring cloth diapers with us on vacation.
So, this sounds like a fear issue – and it is, to an extent – but at the core, it’s about communication.
I did not do a good job of giving my wife a reason to try cloth diapers. Oh, she was familiar with the money saving argument (she didn’t buy it before, but does now), but to her disposables were worth the extra cash in order to avoid the hassle. I should have offered to absorb the hassle, and communicated that I was willing to take on this aspect of housework in order to save the money. Part of the problem is at the time I wasn’t so good at sharing in household chores (although I was heavily involved with other responsibilities, such as handyman work and upgrades around the house). That has improved.
So I am still learning, and improving my communication skills. And learning what is important to my wife, and how to build win-win situations when the other party sees lose-lose.
I encourage you to do the same, so that fear and poor communication do not hold back your dreams of financial independence and retiring early.
What do you need to communicate better about? What fear are you fighting?