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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Unveiling the Underpants

A friend of mine asked me how much my baby weighs. A mother should be able to answer this question very easily, but I am an American expat living in Germany. I know how much she weighs in pounds, but a quick mental math conversion is too much while I am trying to keep a wiggle worm from grabbing at my carelessly placed fork.

“Well, which diapers do you buy? You have to know how much she weighs.”

1. Grasping the opportunity

There it was. Which diapers do I buy? I would love to talk about how I like the way my bumGenius Freetimes dry so quickly after hanging them, and that I just heard there was a limited edition coming out! But I know that where I live cloth diapers are for hippies. And by hippies I mean old-fashioned, hairy-legged, hemp-wearing moms.

2. Introducing the modern technic

“Diapers!?! I use the modern bumGenius cloth diapers from America.”
There it is. That is the trick. If they are from America, then they are new, modern, and most importantly COOL! If I just said I use cloth, Germans would look at me like I am crazy and move on. So I say the brand name as if they should know the name -- as if it is famous.
I was able to use the same idea with my American family.

“Disposables? I use the these cute bumGenius diapers. Cloth diapering has come so far. This is 2014! “

At this point one or two of the following flows out of my mouth:
  • “And they are so easy!”
  • “And they come in so many varieties!”
  • “And they are so cute!”
  • “And there are no stinky chemicals.”
  • “And she never gets diaper rash”
  • “And they are so cute!”
3. Showing the product -- you know you want to

Did I tell you how cute they were? By then I had to show them. It happened to be a bright green diaper. What am I talking about? She always wears bright diapers.

“Honestly, I don’t even use them because they are cheaper, but because I think they are cute!” (which is completely true)

4. . . . talking about being honest

I am not trying to sell cloth diapers, and I really don’t care so much about others using them, except for the fact that it hurts the environment. However, I always feel a need to explain and defend my use of cloth. So before I have to defend my cloth diapers, I like to show my genuine excitement for them.

That being said, I was also honest and said that I do have an extra load of laundry every few days, but it doesn’t bother me.

"I enjoy the extra load of laundry more than I do going to the store, buying disposables, bringing them up to my apartment, and then taking the trash back down. I enjoy hanging brightly colored diapers in the window to dry. And I enjoy picking out the diaper I use for my daughter."

5. Leaving it up to the momma

The main reason I think it is important to be honest and not look like a hero is that there is too much mommy shaming out there. And I don’t think we do it on purpose. I think each momma tries to be the best she can be by showing perfection to her own child. It is not to shame others, it is just that the other mother feels shamed, or imperfect.

Therefore I left it open with my friend.

“I love using cloth diapers. There are so many new and modern ones available. Check out and let me know if you need help.”

6. Offering help

The last part is the most important. We all know how it was. Although I absolutely love bumGenius, I know I love them because they fit my lifestyle and my baby. Now that I have tried a few, I can help a friend wade through the new terminology and brands and help her find what is best for her baby. And maybe she just doesn’t want to make the change. I have to accept this quite often. In that case the knowledge is what matters, so that moms know their options. But more importantly she needs to know that she can come to you for help -- and not just help related to cloth diapering.

BIO: Jennifer Teich is an American girl who moved from the Ohio river to the Elbe river in Hamburg, Germany. Along with trying to figure out the German culture, she is now navigating motherhood with her husband and six month old daughter.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post and informative! What a cool mommy!