I finally pinpointed the root of all my evil problems. Well, my cloth diaper, babywearing hoarding problems. FOMO: Fear of missing out. I was supposed to be a college graduate, going into the working force, happily married and looking forward to welcoming a child and growing my family. That didn’t happen the way I planned, and as many times as things seemed to line up, something seemed to keep me just out of reach of the perfect ideal dream of what my life should be like. In the mean time, the planning for a future, reading the books, learning about the different styles, learning about environmental impacts, factors, and considering what it takes to raise a child in this state of the world and economy, I found distractions in the little things. Those little things became cloth diapers and baby carriers, but mostly cloth diapers that started as a $17 investment, and eventually turned into a $17,000 investment. When I first started, there were a handful of brands, no Facebook groups, and the places to get information and BST were all on diaperswappers or babycenter.
Before I started cloth diaper educating myself, teaching others and eventually hoarding, I was your average 20 something who loved fashion, fine foods, and adventures around the world. When I started educating myself to prepare for a future as a mother, it changed the way I looked at my life and altered a lot of what I found joy in. Whoever said you can become a mother without changing, didn’t really want to become a mother. Before even crossing that path to positive sticks of joy, I was already changing my plans to better myself for a future offspring. Little things like cutting out processed foods, reevaluating the prescriptions I was on, looking for alternative medicine, and investing in my health, mind and spirit. While I slowly altered my money pits from expensive dinners out and day long trips to go shopping, to cloth diapers and baby wearing, I found joy in the potential that I wanted for my life. But like many great life plans, things don’t always work out the way that you think they will, or even remotely in the course that you had planned. Life is funny that way huh?
In the absence of the family that I felt I wasn’t having because of the sacrifice for my career and because life doesn’t always work out, I had a void that needed to be filled. That void was filled with little tiny soft cuddly things that would be useful one day. That little void turned into an obsession, simply because of FOMO. The Fear of Missing Out, was causing me to go absolutely crazy for things that I didn’t need, but wanted for a one day that might never come. I didn’t want the day to come and look around me and feel like I could have had that if only I had started collecting earlier. I was afraid of missing out on the cool prints or on having the super stash of all the prints. I was afraid I would fall behind an imaginary standard that I had set.
Life has its ups and downs though, and when I stopped focusing on the future that might happen or never happen, and focus on the present, things get a lot clearer. The FOMO of cool cloth diapers had taken over and my sense of being wrapped with my concern over mission out faded away. Cloth diapering was about minimizing waste, minimizing environmental impact, and minimizing cost. It was also about not having to run to the store all the time to get more diapers or finding a place to store all of them before use. I ended up spending a lot of time stalking diaper releases and set up an external storage space just to keep all the diapers safe. This became a slight obsession and it needed to stop.
Looking back at the last 5.5 years, I can see what the driving force was. I can see where the interest lay, but I can also see where peek shopping happened in times of depression. Filling the void, fueling the obsession, and ultimately setting me up for what will ultimately be the worlds most crazy stash shot/stash sale.
The FOMO on a future of belonging in the cool kids club didn’t take away from my present, but it did take away from my pocket book. So I am reclaiming my space, reclaiming myself, and being realistic about what is considered a need. I will probably never be without cloth diapers until I am for sure done with cloth diapering my own children, or have decided not to have children at all. I loved what I have learn about cloth diapers, but as the years have come and gone and the obsessions and brands have changed and prints have become a thing, I can see where the obsession is about having everything, and not about having just enough. I plan on going a little Konmari on my diapers, and while I probably can’t live without at least 100, at least I know they are the 100 that I know I will want to use one day.
Will I stop buying cloth? Probably not. Will it reduce the amount I buy. Probably a lot.
Cloth diapering obsessing was filling a void, but without the void in my life, I don’t have to worry about needing it to be filled. New fun things come out all the time, and I will continue to watch the stages of my life change, as I watch the industry change, and will continue to ooo and ahhh over the many new fun prints that will continue to come out. Who knows if my stash will grow to this size again, but let’s just hope this super purge is a one time thing.