So I’ve decided to brave mama cloth. I say brave, and I do mean brave. The entire concept had my nose turned up for a long time. And honestly, I’m still a bit iffy, emotionally–though logically I know that it makes sense.
For those who don’t know, mama’s cloth is essentially reusable sanitary napkins and panty liners. And while the idea of dealing with pee and poop in my son’s cloth diapers is fine, the idea of a bloody reuseable cloth napkin *shutters* gets to me.
However, I had to take a step back and realize how far I’ve come in relation to making my household a cloth-friendly one… and assess how far I was willing to go. We have unpaper towels, which I love, that double as cloth napkins. I have cloth cleaning microfiber rags and sponges instead of using paper towels. And of course, lots of cloth diapers. There was a logical reason connected to each clothing decision that I made. Usually economics and the environment had something to do with each decision.
So what about mama’s cloth? On the low estimates, I’ve heard that women can use about 12,000 pads or tampons in a lifetime. Let’s say she has her period for 40 years: that’s 300 a year, and 25 per month. Forgetting the fact that most of us have several types sitting around, some with wings, some without, some with blue stripes down the middle, some without… let’s just say that a woman buys one bag of pads or tampons per month at $5. Yes, that is very conservative, but let’s just lowball it. That is $2400 over her lifetime.
Do you know what I could do with $2400? A lot. And remember, those are lowball figures.
You can buy mama’s cloth cheaper than you think. As a rough average, you can get 4 pieces for $20. If you’re like me, I’d probably be washing these every day, every other day tops–just like my cloth diapers. Having 15 pieces on hand would be great.
Hum, let’s think…. an investment of $100, give or take, or $2400.
Yes, it’s money up front, but it comes back in dividends. Also, there is a sense of worth in knowing that thousands less menstrual pads will be sitting in some landfill somewhere when I’m long gone and my son is a grown man (you know, a little piece of me I left behind just for him–ugh!). Since disposable menstrual pads are designed very similarly to their diaper counterparts, any issues I have with one’s effect on the environment goes for the other as well.
And just like diapers, which were cloth much longer than a disposable option was ever available, disposable menstrual pads are less than 100 years old, having been discovered during WWI in 1921. I guess it isn’t that impossible to imagine myself without disposable pads. After all, what did women do before they existed?
I’m not going to lie, I’m probably going to be a bit grossed out, especially in the beginning. But then again, I was grossed out at those super poopers my son lays, but I’ve gotten used to them. Soap and water work miracles. So yeah, I’m going to stop being a big baby and order myself some mama’s cloth. Which brand to try first? That is the question!