I ran out of wipes, once, when we were on vacation. Even though I had packed one of those huge packs from Costco, and even though I had a backup in the diaper bag, we ran out. I remember the panic that came with knowing that I had no more. It wasn't even that big of a problem, really. It meant an extra trip to town to go buy more, but that wasn't a huge deal. I missed an hour of time with my baby, and Tom had to deal with some witching hour antics by himself, but it was fine. I ran out, bought some more, and our crisis was over. I remember I barely even paused in the aisle with the wipes. I grabbed whatever was closest, and was on my way.
Still, in the moment when I realized we were almost out and I didn't have any more, I panicked. I felt like a horrible mother. I felt like I'd let down my baby.
Do you know that WIC and SNAP don't provide diapers or wipes? Parents that are struggling often times don't have the extra money to buy enough diapers and wipes. That means babies are often without clean diapers, which leads to diaper rashes, UTIs, and unhappy babies. And those parents feel the same panic and guilt that I felt, but without the easy solution that I had.
It's one of those things that used to make me sad before, but now that I'm a mom, it causes me actual pain. I can feel the anguish, and my heart breaks for these babies.
There's a woman who lives in our town who works with women and children in safe houses and homeless shelters to get them what they need most. Occasionally she'll post a cry for help on Facebook and it's amazing to watch our community pull together to get a pack n play for a mom who doesn't have a safe place for her baby to sleep, or clothes for the woman who left an abusive situation and now has no warm clothes for her children. But most of the time? She's asking for diapers. Any size, any brand, even open boxes of partially used diapers. She'll take whatever she can get, because there are babies without clean diapers, without wipes, and they need help.
So occasionally I'll send her a package. While I'm sitting online, it's super easy to click over to Amazon, throw a few things in a cart, and ship them directly to her. Whenever I see a sale and stock up, I send some her way as well.
I'm not posting this for acknowledgement - I don't need that. I don't even know if Tom knows that I do this, or how often. I'm posting this because I have an idea. A small favor to ask. My birthday is coming up, and as I mentioned last year, I don't feel the need to celebrate anymore. I don't need a party, and I don't need gifts. (I may still need a cake though...). Instead, I'm wondering if we could do a small diaper/wipe drive? If you were planning on sending me something, maybe you could spend that money on diapers instead. And if you weren't, maybe you can use this opportunity to increase your own donations a bit. It would make me super happy.
In an effort to make this as easy as possible, I've come up with a few ideas:
Amazon Wish List
I've set up a wish list on Amazon. Browse, click, ship. Super easy, super quick, you can even do it on your phone.
If you happen to shop on another site, or see a sale elsewhere (Target and Babies R Us occasionally have cheap diapers), you can ship directly to the woman in my town that I usually give to. By now she's used to coming home to large boxes on her porch, and will make sure they get where they're needed. Just enter this as your shipping address:
4 Denault Dr
Wilmington, MA 01887
Size 4, 5 and 6 diapers are her most needed, as well as wipes.
Most likely there's someone like this in your town too. Or maybe there's an organization or church that takes donations and passes them out to local parents. Most food banks also will take diapers and wipes. Maybe you'll consider taking some time to see if there's somewhere near you that you could easily support, and take them some diapers?
Thank you so much. I can honestly say that the best birthday present will be knowing that there are happy and dry babies out there with parents that have one less thing to stress out about.
Love you all.