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Balancing Act

Although I like to think of myself as an eco-friendly person, I am not using cloth diapers for our new baby. I am just too tired and too busy to add more dirty laundry to our overflowing hamper.

With two active, older boys, I am constantly spraying stain remover onto dirty baseball pants and grass-stained soccer jerseys. The laundry never ends.

My younger sister, on the other hand, is the role model eco-friendly mom: she uses cloth diapers, sprays water and calendula oil onto a cloth to wipe baby’s bottom (doesn’t use disposable baby wipes), only serves baby organic fruits, veggies, etc. from her own garden), as well as from glass (vs. plastic) containers. When I compare myself to her, I could easily blame myself for being lazy and environmentally irresponsible.

But she’s on baby number one. I’m on number three, with two busy, older boys. A fitting bumper sticker for my car would be ‘Mom’s Taxi’. There’s a huge difference there. My sis does claim that her water bill is higher since adding dirty diapers to her daily laundry routine, so she’s using more water than before.

Another disposable item I use for baby are liners for Playtex Drop-ins bottles. I have found the collapsible liners to be very effective in keeping air out of his tummy. (Less air equals less gas, equals happy baby, equals sane mommy!) Plus, with all the talk about the potentially harmful BPA found in many plastic baby bottles, BPA-free liners are probably a safer choice when you have to bottle-feed.

It’s all a balancing act. I have to consider how valuable my time is: Can I really devote more time to doing laundry when I can’t keep up with it as it is?

I’d rather spend what little time I have with my family, taking much needed breaks for myself and even, on occasion, writing.

I will try to continue to bring paper, cardboard and magazines to the recycling bin in town. I will try to remember to use my cloth grocery bags again (I’ve found it hard to remember such things with a new baby in the picture!). For now, I’ll just have to pick and choose when it comes to doing what’s best for my family, what’s best for the planet and what makes my hectic life a little bit easier.

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