Since the birth of my first child, our diaper bag has evolved more than anything from the Jurassic period. It was an over-the-shoulder, then it was a backpack. It’s held every sized diaper under the rainbow. It held one sippy cup, then two sippy cups, and now: a communal water bottle. There was a frequently-used nursing cover, then a never-used nursing cover. There was one extra outfit. Then two. Then THREE. Oh, my lucky stars! Our diaper bag (read: recycled backpack) has been trusty – going with the flow with our frequent mind changes and additions to the family. It’s valiantly held the things we don’t dare do without.
But the truly crucial items? They go in my purse. At the ready. Just air and seconds between need and fulfill. Things that I pull out 73 times a day. Ain’t nobody got time for accessing the diaper bag that many times.
I’ve learned, mostly from rough experience after rough experience, what those crucial items are and what goes in the purse. No matter what.
(1) Hand Sanitizer (this is an obvious one, but oh so necessary)
Stuck at the beach without a sink? Rushing off somewhere with questionable hands? Hand sanitizer to the rescue! It may not be your #1 choice, but it sure is easy. This is my pick, and it lasts FOREVER. YES.
(2) A Washcloth
This one I learned in Japan. Everyone, mom or not, carries small washcloths in their purses! This is mostly because the public restrooms aren’t equipped with paper towels (before you bug-eye me, there’s also ZERO litter!). I started this habit pre-kid and oh, it has served me in motherhood. A washcloth is GREAT for a quick hand drying in the bathroom, especially for little ones who fear the hand dryer! It’s excellent for unexpected messes, like the water dribble down the pew at church we experienced the other day. It’s wonderful for wiping faces. And you know, it’s a GREAT barrier for my canister of iced coffee, which is a necessary addition to life but sweats all over the place. The saving graces are endless, and I’m sure I’ll find more.
(3) A Box of Raisins
Snacks. Oh, snacks! How you save us in trying times! I can never repay thee. You are sustenance and you are entertainment. You preoccupy an otherwise grumpy 18-month-old. You maintain blood sugar. AND you come in a fun box. Oh, how I love thee, box of raisins. Thank you for all you do.
(4) A Sandwich Bag
I’m beginning to believe my children produce garbage. Sure, there’s garbage from the granola bar I handed them. But suddenly, they find a broken rubber band in their pocket and an old sucker under the van seat. All that nonsense needs to go away and go away fast. It’s super helpful when I can just throw it in a sandwich bag and throw THAT away when we get home. One and done – goodbye, trash!
Anything I’m missing? What are the small necessities you keep in your purse, mama?