Katie is a mum who spends her days filled with the joys of toddlerhood. She calls Townsville home – a city chosen for her husband’s job but one that has also brought much in the form of friendship. We caught Katie between trips to the beach to chat toddlers and life with a partner who works away from home and, of course, find out how she’s managed life as a cloth mum.
Welcome, Katie @katiescoullar
Tell us a little about yourself, your family and where you live.
Hi! I’m Katie, I’m 24 years old and I have two little ones – Hudson who just turned 3 and Eloise who is 16 months old. We currently live in Townsville, North Queensland.
If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
I would love to live in the United Kingdom for a year or two and hopefully have a white Christmas!
Can you share a fun or quirky fact about yourself?
I still sleep talk at night sometimes!
Can you tell us a little about your motherhood journey? With what have you struggled the most when it comes to parenthood? And where is the joy for you in motherhood?
I have loved my motherhood journey. It’s been such a life-changing experience (in a good way). I have, and continue to struggle with, toddlerhood, I find I have to remind myself not to expect too much from Hudson and that he is still so young! There’s so much joy, but I think the little moments stand out the most like when they stop what they’re doing just to come and give me a cuddle it just melts my heart and reassures me that I am doing a good job!
I imagine you get asked a lot about how hard it is to be an Army family – how do you respond?
It is definitely hard, and we struggle a lot with it!
What have you found to be the best and most challenging part of being an Army family?
The best part has been that we moved to Townsville because of it. I have met some of the most amazing people moving here and I just love North QLD! The most challenging is that nothing is ever set in stone until it happens! I am a bit of a control freak so I find it really difficult to not have a set plan!
What strategies have you found help you as a mother while your partner is working away?
Setting a routine! It helps the days go smoother and I find it makes time go quicker and before you know it, he’s home again!
What would you say are the greatest lessons motherhood has taught you about yourself?
Motherhood has taught me to slow down and enjoy quiet days at home! Before kids, I struggled to spend a day at home, I was always out doing something! Now I look forward to being home all day long, haha!
How do you like to fill your days as a family?
We are early birds (we meaning the kids) so we love heading to the beach early on when it’s nice and quiet, strolling along the beach with a coffee in hand is just the best! We are always outside!
You say that shopping for your kids really makes your heart sing – what keeps jumping into your cart at the moment?
Ahh, too much stuff, haha! But we all need some new winter clothes so I’m trying to focus on that! I’m always a sucker for Jamie Kay items!
What kind of future do you hope is ahead for your children?
A happy one hopefully. Happiness is so important and I want them to know that!
What compelled you to become a cloth family?
When I learnt that disposable nappies never fully decompose, I immediately started looking into cloth!
Like many, you were totally overwhelmed before beginning with cloth nappies? What do you think contributed to the overwhelm and how did you overcome it?
So overwhelmed! I found Facebook groups so helpful in working out a good wash routine as well as how to properly fit the nappies!
What has been the hardest part about using cloth nappies?
I found using cloth with Hudson really hard, he was an extremely heavy wetter and the first brand I purchased just wasn’t the best suited for him and I almost gave up! Luckily I got some other brands to try and found nappies that worked for him!
What has been your favourite part about being a cloth family?
I love doing our part for the environment but also being able to save some money is a bonus! Although if I see a cute nappy I totally buy it even if we don’t need it, haha!
Is your partner in favour of using cloth nappies?
Yes, he is onboard with using cloth! He was weary to start with about washing them but once he realised it was quite simple, he was more than happy to use cloth!
What has the response to using cloth nappies been like from others in your friends and family circle?
Some family members didn’t and still don’t understand! I think they were thinking of how much work cloth was before the modernised versions came out! Once they realised they aren’t so bulky any more, they were more on board with it!
What style of nappy do you use and why do you like it?
We use a mix of nappies, my favourite type would be pocket nappies though! I like the idea of the stay-dry layer wicking some of the moisture away.
What advice do you have for finding a cloth nappy or brand that is going to be best for your needs?
Definitely try a range of brands, I made the mistake of buying a full-time pack from one brand and that brand just did not work for us! What works for one child might not work for the other!
What routine have you found to work for you when it comes to washing cloth nappies?
We do a pre-wash every morning, and then every four days we do our main wash after the pre-wash.
Finish this sentence … The thing people wrongly assume about cloth is …
It is complicated! It definitely sounds like it in the beginning, but once you work it out it becomes so easy!
If a new parent was to approach you today and ask whether they should use cloth nappies, what would your response to them be?
Give it a go for sure, but don’t force it if it doesn’t work! If you need to take a break from cloth, do it! Parenting is hard enough. If it helps to pause to lighten the load on you just do it!
Bearing in mind the overwhelming feeling many have when getting started with cloth, how would you encourage someone to make the switch to cloth?
Join some Facebook groups or read some blogs (you’re on the right track here 😉 ) and go from there! Also, some areas have local cloth meetups, those mums would have great advice!
What’s the one thing you wish you knew when you started out in cloth?
Don’t just buy one brand, haha!
If you had to start your cloth journey again, what would you do differently?
Definitely try different brands from the start and don’t put pressure on yourself trying to make it work.
Describe your journey with cloth in one word.
What do you think needs to happen to make cloth mainstream?
I think social media is really helping open people up to cloth nappies! Also now that more physical stores are stocking or have come out with cloth nappies it is exposing more people to the idea of them!
Some councils offer rebates on cloth nappy purchases, it would be great to see that offered all over as the upfront cost of cloth nappies can put people off!
Besides cloth, in what other ways do you support a healthier planet?
We try to be as minimal waste as possible! Little things like bringing reusable cups or cutlery with us if we plan on getting takeaway. I also make an effort to pick up litter when we go anywhere!
If you could click your fingers right now and change one thing about the world what would it be and why?
I would make everyone realise the impact they have on the world! Whether it be by influencing people or the impact they are having on the environment! I think some people turn a blind eye to the impact they have.