The Pampers #cheektest and how we can reach out to a wasteful parenting generation

The Pampers #cheektest debacle

We have recently witnessed one of the most badly thought out marketing campaigns from a worldwide brand I can remember. In a time of climate crisis, mass extinctions and unsustainable plastic usage, Pampers have chosen to pay ‘influential’ bloggers to perform a wasteful test to promote their brand of single use nappies. The test involves pouring water on a supermarket brand and a Pampers nappy and holding it against their cheek to see which is the driest, and pose for a photo. That is two nappies that will end up in landfill, having never performed their intended use, and where they will stay for the next 500 years. Worse still – bloggers are asking their followers to do the same.

Choosing a different path

Our Instagram feeds were filled with these promotions and the mindlessness of it all resonated with those of us who are doing what we can to live a more sustainable life. Emma Reed  took a stand and posed with her cloth nappies to demonstrate against such a ridiculous campaign – creating her own hashtag #TheCheekofClothNappies in protest. it wasn’t long before hundreds of parents using cloth had followed the call to action and posted their own humorous photos – with a very serious message to Pampers – waste is NOT ok.

IMG_3034

Mum Shaming

We all make our parenting (and life) decisions based on the information around us – that can be from our parents, siblings, friends, health visitors, social media, ad campaigns, and influencers amongst others. Hopefully along with our own judgement we can come up with the decisions that are right for our own situations. This may be using cloth nappies exclusively from birth, using single use nappies, or a mixture of the two. What there is no room for is undermining parents decisions – we are not walking in their shoes. So what do we do to influence more eco friendly choices?

2019-04-27 17.14.54

Myth busting and normality

Well, if I knew the answer I would be very wealthy and and the likes of Pampers would be a small dot in the nappy market. What I do know is that POSITIVITY breeds positivity.

2019-05-15 13.38.31

People don’t respond well to having ideas rammed down their throats. What it needs is a drip drip approach on the smaller individual scale, with individuals being seen to use cloth, at their baby groups, nurseries, amongst their friends, and also on social media. There are myths abound with using cloth nappies – that we spend all our time washing –  that it can’t be done if you work/have more than one child/ have a life – that the benefits of using cloth are outweighed by the washing (a single use nappy uses one cup of crude oil and 37 litres of water in its manufacturing process). openly discuss these myths, find out the facts, answer the questions with positivity and encouragement!

Cloth needs to be seen as the perfectly normal option that it is – not just some left field idea dreamt up by crunchy mums. This will in turn hopefully lead to a bigger reform on a national scale. Better awareness, support and incentives to parents to lead a less wasteful lifestyle. And there is growing support for this, change is happening and it’s exciting to be a part of it.

2019-05-21 16.31.31-1

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

DesignWith the Easter holidays looming, I am always looking for good places to visit with the boys that are 1.Not too expensive, and 2. Not ridiculously busy. We visited on a frosty Saturday in January after a tip off from one of the Mums at J’s school, and we weren’t disappointed.

The centre itself is free to enter, there is a great gift shop (I’m not one for browsing usually, but was actually really impressed) and a cafe that is really popular (you need to book for Sunday lunch). Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to sample the food as O had seen enough at this point and was in full meltdown mode, maybe next time!

29133024_UnknownWhat we had really come to see was the Woolly Mammoth, a full size replica of a mammoth skeleton found near Shrewsbury. J was really excited to see this massive skeleton, and I was taken aback by just how big these animals were. The exhibition includes an Iron Age display, J loved the spears and shield and was keen to try the outfits in the dressing up box.29133232_Unknown

It was great to see some of the amazing archeological finds from the area, and there was brass rubbing to keep the boys amused while we caught up with some of this areas rich history.

Behind the centre is the 30 acre Onny Meadows. We were given a map in the discovery centre and there is a network of paths around the site, through grassy meadows, pond and by the river. The paths are all hard surfaced so would be fine with a buggy in dryer weather, ours struggled a bit as it was quite muddy and the middle of winter. J liked leading the way and being in charge of the map, and we were looking out for early signs of spring.

In all it was a really nice morning and I’m looking forward to visiting again later on in the Spring and Summer and properly exploring the meadows, and hopefully getting the chance to have lunch in the cafe!

The mammoth exhibition costs £3.50 for adults and free for under 5’s. More info can be found here.

New Year, New Blog

I didn’t start 2017 thinking this was the year I would start a blog – there have been several factors guiding me on this path. Like most people, with the New Year, comes a reorganisation of what we want to try and achieve in the coming year. With a decent  twitter following, a growing Instagram account and a nice little Etsy shop selling handmade goatsmilk soap, is it really the right time to start a blog?

img_2541

Just before I became pregnant for the first time in 2013 I took over a small local herb growing business. The polytunnel was set up, the stock plants in the ground, plantfairs booked, business cards produced and a great website was in the making. With a horticultural background, this was my dream job.

img_2457

Then after many months of trying, and losing faith that pregnancy was going to happen naturally for us, we finally got that long awaited positive test result. It did, of course, change everything. I had no idea how hard pregnancy could be and was under the impression that MY baby would just seamlessly fit in to my daily routine of caring for the animals on our smallholding, tending our garden and developing my small herb growing business.

So, four years down the line and another pregnancy and baby under my belt, comes the reality of trying to run a small business with two small children. I love horticulture, and growing and selling my herbs, but need to put this to one side, as a hobby, as the financial rewards are minimal (i.e. it pays for itself) and the time input is massive. I will continue making soap and selling in my Etsy shop, but raising the boys, and tending the smallholding needs to be the priority.

img_0956

My other job is as a marketing assistant for a brand of cloth nappies that I am truly passionate about. Set up by a friend that I  made during my antinatal classes in my first pregnancy, we are working on building a brand and raising awareness of using cloth nappies in general. For me, this involves spending rather a lot of time on social media, reading blogs and corresponding with bloggers. In reality I’m a social media junkie. There, I’ve said it.

What I really want to try and achieve this year is a place that I can pull all these fragments together in one place. A place to focus, to meet like minded people, and to share our experiences. Welcome to The Mummy Homestead. IMG_2543.JPG