I learned a trick, you guys, and I’m here today to share it with you. It’s about how to make it look like you’ve got your mess together – 24/7. And don’t worry – it doesn’t actually entail having your mess together. We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief.
It’s this little thing my daughter has named, “The Mom Bag.” It’s a small bag that goes inside my purse which carries many things that moms regularly need, but often don’t have on hand when they’re not at home. It’s a real game-changer.
Below is a detailed diagram of what is presently in my Mom Bag. It varies depending on use, and the last time I visited Target. It will likely vary based on the age of your kids, and how old you’re feeling during a given week. Some weeks I need more Pepcid than others, that’s all I’m saying.
- Bandaids. Always with the Bandaids. Kids are never not going to need Bandaids. And how awesome do you look when another mama’s kid scrapes their knee and they need the magical healing powers that only the Bandaid can provide? You’re going to swoop in like freakin’ SuperMom and knock her socks off with a variety of options. NBD.
- Neosporin. You’re going to legit blow the aforementioned scraped-knee-kid’s mom’s mind when you whip out this dainty little spray in addition to a Bandaid.
- Sunscreen. This one comes in endlessly handy when I inevitably forget to bring sunscreen to the park/pool/picnic. Who me? No, I definitely didn’t forget sunscreen (’cause I always have some in my bag, suckas)!
- One Emergency Snack. Because we all know, all too well – if somebody’s hangry, ain’t nobody happy. Avoid hanger at all costs with one emergency snack in your Mom Bag.
- Adult Painkiller of Choice (mine is Aleve). On the day after I accidentally had 1.5 glasses of Rose at Book Club, I thank myself profusely for the foresight to have this little bottle on hand. Others I happen to be with when their sore backs/hangovers hit hard thank me, too. I usually just refill this dainty little bottle from my larger home-bottle rather than re-buy the little guys. What can I say, I’m thrifty.
- Lotion. I mean, it goes without saying, doesn’t it? We live in Colorado, which is extraordinarily dry. For us and our little ones, and those around us, it’s our duty to have lotion on hand. Gold Bond, preferably.
- Tums. I recommend having Tums for Kids, actually, but I didn’t have any on hand for the photo, so let’s go with it. It’s helpful to have them either way – but especially if they’re kid safe too – for when a tummy ache hits.
- Children’s Ibuprofen (chewable). I don’t know about yours, but if my child utters the words, “my ___ hurts” while we’re out and about, it’s game over until that kid feels better. Oh, you planned on enjoying this dinner out/baby shower/movie matinee? Sorry, but if little precious is in pain, that’s a no-can-do ma’am. So I whip out 1-2 of these little babies like a modern day Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and we’re back on track.
- Benadryl. As a parent of a child with a food allergy, this is a no-brainer. I refuse to be caught off guard at a kid’s party because we didn’t realize that some flavors of Pop Rocks contain dairy (which is a real thing that happened, and Pop Rocks, WHY!?)
- Pepcid. This is for me, in my old age. If a glass of red wine or a sniff of red sauce crosses my face, I’m gonna need one. So, I keep them on hand.
- Dramamine. My kid has a knack for car-vomiting, so this is a good one to keep on hand for pre-road trips and flights.
- Nail Clippers. Ya’ll, not even the strongest among us can handle the special hell that a hangnail makes out of our lives when it appears suddenly and without warning.
- Shout Wipes. This is good for soothing a type-A mom or a type-A child when a stain occurs in the wild. FEAR NOT, TYPE-A’s! I’VE GOT SHOUT WIPES! *Cue cheers & applause*
- Altoids. It’s important to have fresh breath. These little guys go a long way.
- Mascara. Another one for me. A few little tears turns me from professional and put together SuperMom to a nearly drowned trash panda. Having this on hand can put me back in the former category before anyone’s the wiser.
- Tissues. This item isn’t pictured, and that’s on me. I used them all.
- I buy most of these items in the travel/small items section of Target. Really, wherever you regularly shop works. Walgreens, King Soopers, etc.
- Personally, I put all my items in a small bag that I got as a bridesmaid gift a while back. You want the bag itself to be fairly unobtrusive so it will fit in someone’s every day purse relatively easily. They often have pretty cute little bags that fit the bill in the health/beauty section of Target.
- For any medications out of their original bottle – often times, I keep them in smaller containers for practical purposes (my purse isn’t that big). If that is the case, I usually make myself a reminder in my calendar for the expiration so as not to let them lapse.
- I give this often as a gift to new moms. I’ll grab one of the aforementioned bags and toss in the majority of the listed items and throw the whole kit in with the cute baby things with a short explanation of what it’s for. I think it’s nice to get a mom off on the right foot, you know? And by that I mean impressing other moms immediately by how together her mess is.
Enjoy your brand new life as the talk of the playground with these helpful, everyday items on hand. You too can have it together (or at least look like you do)!