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As someone who actively seeks out and writes about parenting hacks every day, I’m always looking for shortcuts and tricks to make your lives (and my own) a tiny bit easier. But not all hacks are created equal, and a hack that works brilliantly for one parent might be a complete waste of time for another. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.

Sometimes a hack simply doesn’t work; sometimes it’s more trouble than its worth; and sometimes they completely backfire—as Paula Kuka illustrates on Instagram:

While writing this post and trying to decide on a good “well that didn’t work, now did it?” example from my own life (there are so many), I texted my husband to weigh in. “What is a parenting hack we tried that really backfired on us,” I asked him. His response came almost immediately: “Cloth diapers.”

Oh right, that one backfired on us so spectacularly that I’d blocked it out. We were going to be such wonderful environmentally conscious parents, you see. And we were going to save So Much Money by not buying disposable diapers for years on end. I did all the research during my pregnancy and bought what I was sure was the exact right type of cloth diaper in a variety of adorably bright colors. Hundreds of dollars worth (an investment!) of cloth diapers.

We used them for three—maybe fourdays before I admitted my true feelings. “I hate these,” I told my husband. “I really, truly hate them.” They didn’t fit quite right. They were messy. And they added even more laundry to the mountain of laundry that already piled up each day.

“Good, me too,” he said. “We’re selling them.”

We did not save money; we lost money. We did not save the environment; we wrecked it a little more. Meanwhile, I had friends who happily clothed-diapered multiple children with zero issues. My mileage varied big time on that one.

We’ve all tried something that sounded good at the time and then blew up in our faces. Tell us: What parenting hacks have backfired on you?


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