You need to cut spending, so start with the cuts that will offer the biggest payoff. Don't waste time driving around town to find the best price on frozen peas -- look at where you can make big changes. For example, housing is by far your biggest expense -- it's typically about 30 percent of a home-owning family's budget. Can you move to a less expensive neighborhood? Or downsize your digs? Would you be willing to? This leads to the next big consideration.
Rachel, you’re right! Technically, cloth diapering is not “simpler” because it involves quite a lot of washing. But, like you, I’ve also found it to be definitely worth it (due to health factors, cost, and environmental impact, in that order). I played around with several kinds of diapers at first, but I now have a streamlined system that’s easy to use — really, once you get used to it, washing diapers becomes so routine that it’s really not much hassle!
Maybe you just want to get out of the house for a few hours to make some spending money, or get a discount at a store you shop at often. If that's the case, a part-time job in retail could be great for you. The pay isn't necessarily amazing and the job might not be particularly satisfying, but the flexibility and the you time you get could be exactly what you need.
I decided that after already dealing with three months of runny, mustard-colored EBF stains (exclusively breast fed... another abbreviation you pick up quickly from blogs), figuring out which materials would prevent my heavy-wetter from leaking and getting a rash, and especially after my $500.00 initial cloth diapering investment, I was going to make this work! Cloth diapering while working is much like continuing to breast feed while working - they both involve an adjustment period during this learning curve, but are not impossible once you cut yourself a little slack and find your groove.
Those who are in higher income brackets also enjoy a better income-to-child-care ratio: wealthier families can expect to spend as little as 7.2% of their family income on child care, according to research by the Census Bureau. (While that’s still up from the average of 6.3% in 1986, the earliest year that data is available, it’s not going to break the bank.) Families on the lower end of the income spectrum are often required to shell out as much as 40% of their income on child care, according to the Census Bureau—substantially more than many families spend on food.
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I did work for a while, and then I got married, but when our first baby came along, we couldn’t really afford for me not to work at all. So I started a small editing business from home, which allowed me to bring in a little cash and keep up my professional skills. After a while, I wanted more regular work, so I started doing online tutoring. I set my hours around my husband’s schedule, and it all worked well.
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Hi JuD. At daycare we always provided disposable wipes. I never did explore cloth wipes with them. I was happy enough that they were open to cloth diapers. At home we used cloth wipes until my son started solids, since BF poop doesn’t have to be sprayed. Then we switched to disposable wipes full time. Spraying out diapers is enough in my opinion. I don’t want to spray off cloth wipes too!
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I’m on my third cloth diapered child and my stash is large and extensive. My current favorite is Sbish OBFs or GMD workhorses with wool covers. However, if I was recommending cloth to someone who was new, I would suggest Swaddlebees AIO onesized. They snap. They don’t need to be stuffed-yet it is super easy to put more absorbancy in if needed. And, most important in my book, they extend larger than bumGenius. BumGenius only lasts on my big kids until about 2 years old. Swaddlebees takes them right to three and fully potty-trained.
After I had Logan (my daughter), I had to leave my day job due to Heath Reasons (RA). I joined a company from Monat and it has changed my life. It is an all natural hair care line void of toxins which was important for me. I just got back from a trip to Hawaii paid for by the company. It has been an awesome year and continues to get better every month. I work from home and essentially from my phone. Message me if you are interested.
I think the biggest concerns in your situation would be needing to buy a new washer, and would whoever is watching your baby while you work willing to work with cloth? I cloth diaper, and honestly the “extra work” isn’t much. Every couple days, I grab the whole bag of diapers, dump it into the washer, run it through twice, then toss them into the dryer. It’s extra laundry, yes, but it isn’t laundry that has to be folded and if I forget to put them in the dryer (which happens a lot, since I usually wash only after baby’s in bed for the night), it isn’t a big deal because they’re only diapers. I use pockets, which do have to be restuffed before using, but that usually happens the following evening while we’re watching tv. So it’s definitely doable in general, even as a working mom, but whether or not it will work for you depends mostly on those first two factors.
The fact is, cloth diapers do require more work than simply tossing a disposable into the trash, and they aren't the right choice for every family. But thanks to progress in modern tush-covering technology, they may make more sense for yours than you realize. Read our modern mom's primer for cloth diapering—you might just be inspired to give an old-fashioned choice a new look.
“I wash twice a week but always stuff on Sunday. I have built a large enough stash that I wash them so they don’t sit too long, but they sit clean in a basket until Sunday. It is just part of what I do Sunday evening to prepare for the week ahead! When I feel stressed about it I remind myself why I made the choice, and since I am passionate about cloth diapering, it makes it easier to push myself to do it!” – Becca H
Wonderful article! I have been searching for years for a way to stay home with my 2 year old son. I finally found the answer! I am a weight management coach with a program called LTL (live the Lifestyle). It’s a program based on low glycemic eating. I teach clients how to eat right and exercise often. This program is part of a bigger company who also allows people to become distributors of other wonderful products like beauty products and isotonixs.
The diapers come with inserts, though you can totally get sucked into a shopping wormhole by all the other, additional inserts and doublers and stuffing-type things that are out there. (Microfiber! Hemp! Unbleached cotton! Flushable! Oh my!) Fuzzi Bunz come with one microfiber insert, but I found that I need TWO inserts (or one insert and one cheap pre-fold) at night, or even just during naps for Noah. bumGenius diapers come with an insert AND a doubler (a smaller, thinner version of the insert), which worked great last night for both boys without making the diapers so big and bulky that I can’t get pajamas on over them.
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Or how about the costs of disposable diapers? I had been putting my children in cloth diapers at home, but the daycare centers would not use them. So I had to purchase diapers each week for my babies to use at daycare. Not to mention the fact that I was supplementing my youngest with formula, because I could not pump enough breast milk to provide for her throughout the day.
This is a great list. I’m thinking about leaving a corporate job to stay at home with my 2 year old until he goes to school. My husband travels extensively and I feel like my son doesn’t have either of his parents right now with the hours I work and stress I’m under. I’m very hesitant however, because I’d be leaving a good salary and I never, ever thought being a stay at home mom would be for me. I have a long background in marketing, advertising, business development and training. Would appreciate any suggestions or words of wisdom to help me make this decision.
Learning doesn’t only happen in a traditional classroom setting. Education is one of the most popular work-from-home jobs out there, allowing teachers and educators alike the opportunity to school students from anywhere in the country—and frankly, the world. For this full-time remote job, you’ll work one on one with students virtually offering math tutoring in geometry, trigonometry, precalculus, AP statistics, and so on via iPad and iPhone applications. You’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree and a current teaching license to apply for this position.
You really need to look at the entire financial picture when considering staying at home. There were times when I worked part-time outside the home that I was putting gas and groceries on my credit card because I simply didn’t have enough money in my checking account to get me through till payday. I can tell you first-hand how awful that feeling is. I cried more often about not having enough money while I was working than after I started staying at home with my kids.