Caffeine-fuelled mum tries eco-friendly path

I AM embarking on a nerve-racking exercise in parenting commonly known as cloth nappies.

Some (read: my husband) would question why, for our third child, I would suddenly "mess with the system", but it was something I originally imagined for myself.

Cloth nappies, papooses and organic blah-blah.

Back when I thought I'd be an earth goddess-type mother - not the dishevelled, caffeine-addicted, "get in the car"  screaming mess I actually became - I researched the financial and environmental costs of baby nappies.

Then I promptly went into labour. Two months early.

I was completely unprepared and fell into disposables. I am pleased to say, it's only taken me seven years to get back on the eco-friendly nappy track.

While I am brimming with confidence and optimism (in front of my husband) for our next foray into eco-parenting, truthfully I'm a little freaked out.

Friends tell me: "It's easy, just attach a hose to your toilet." Huh?

"It's easy, I'll come over and give you a demonstration." Come again?

"It's easy, but don't wet pail." Wet what?!

"It's easy, but don't wear them at night."

"And you'll need a special bag that holds the smell."

Insert sound of Peta hyperventilating.

This is just fear of the unknown right? I can handle this, even the extra laundry, a chore that my husband gently pointed out is already suspect.

Pretty soon I'll be an expert cloth nappy user like my ancestors … using a top loader, instead of a washboard thankfully.

The moon goddess image of me hanging out bamboo nappies with my happy baby slung in a traditional African wrap still persists, but to be honest, she's got a snowflake's chance in hell of getting my kids to school on time.

That sort of daily feat takes a dishevelled, caffeine-addicted, "get in the car" screaming mess of a mother to accomplish.

Peta-Jo is an author, mother of three and has baby spew dried on her t-shirt. She's not kidding. You can read more at or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

Five sneaky "me" time tips:

  • DVD for children, warm bath for you.
  • Hide and seek for kids, book for you.
  • Read up on yoga moves you can do with your baby either in your arms or in a sling.
  • Small meditation intervals to break up the day.
  • Drawing, painting for children and you. Don't just supervise, join in and let creativity rejuvenate you.