The Real Diaper Circle of Wayne County, NC recently celebrated their first anniversary as an accredited RDA Circle. Leader (and RDA Board member) Heather Bradley wrote the following in honor of the occasion.
I am so excited about this! Goldsboro isn’t a very large town, and I’m fairly sure that the main driving force behind many forward progressions is because of the military base. The majority of the attendees at our meetings are military or military spouses. I wasn’t sure that a group based on cloth diapering would be successful. Yet, I am happy to report that one year in, we’re still here! It has been so great to see the babies grow over the year, welcome new squishies, and meet people in our community. I can’t wait to see what the next year as a circle leader will bring.
Since it was our anniversary, I decided to go back and look at my vision from when I was in training. Here is what it said:
“My vision for my Real Diaper Circle is probably not as big as a lot of the other leaders. I am not hoping to reach a mass of people and coordinate numerous events. I know this may sound like I am not thinking big enough, but I am trying to economize my efforts. I would like to set up my RDC goals like stepping stones rather than mountains to cross. My goal for my RDC is to reach out and really connect with the mothers in my community. I live on an Air Force base, and my group will be held here. If I am able to handle the small group on base, I plan to set up a meeting off base as well. I am also working on getting a LLL group started on base. I would love to see a sort of bond between the mothers in my area. My purpose in starting a RDC and LLL group is not just to educate people. It’s to empower them and return that sense of confidence that a lot of the modern “conveniences” have stolen from us. This is bigger than just saving a few dollars and reducing the amount of waste that we are creating. This is about tying a knot back in the thread that keeps this world attached to those in it. Our children are not inconveniences, and I feel that a lot of the baby gadgets of the day tell mothers that they are. My purpose is to put the information in the right hands. As parents in our culture, we are taught that we know nothing; that we need commercials and books to teach us to be good parents. I would like to help create a system of parents who have the knowledge they need and can keep passing that along.
I hope to create a small group of people who feel confident in their ability to parent. Cloth diapering goes hand in hand with responsible parenting. I hope that by seeing a mother that is just like themselves, the parents in my area will feel more secure about their ability to make good decisions. I plan to get more babies in cloth by getting the parents in my community to see how beneficial responsible parenting can be. That attitude radiates from caring parents and rubs off on the people they come in contact with. My meetings will center on education and fostering warm feelings about parent/child interactions. When there are returning attendees, I would like to talk about ways to get more people involved.”
I am SO proud of myself because the only things that I have not done are very minor. My circle doesn’t meet on the base as I had originally planned because I was able to find an off-base location. I think that was the best way to serve the whole community. I think that I set my expectations at a reasonable level and it’s a real boost to see items checked off of my goals list.
I plan to continue helping families in the community find a love for parenting. I also want to help families with older children find their place in helping the new families. We all need mentors and our value doesn’t disappear once our children are out of diapers. I want to help spread the message that the RDA is for everyone. If you have no children in diapers but still have a passion for cloth, you have a place here. That has always been something very striking about LLL for me. When I go to LLL conferences, it makes me feel better to talk to a leader who has been in the organization for 10, 15, or 20 (!) years. No one sticks with something for 20 years that they don’t have very strong feelings towards. I feel strongly about cloth diapers. I want to be here for the long haul and keep good friends around me to do that with.
Congratulations, Real Diaper Circle of Wayne County! You’re making a difference in your community by helping families choose and use reusable cloth diapers!