For years, I carried a diaper bag instead of a purse. I cloth diapered two babies consecutively and simultaneously for three years straight. Just this year I looked back and realized: both my children have been potty trained for an entire year now!
As you can imagine, the contents of my purse have changed from what they were pre-kids. But most importantly: I do have a purse now! Not a diaper bag, but a REAL PURSE. A giant purse full of things for my kids, but still…
What, exactly, am I filling this giant bag with, if not diapers and bottles and sippys? (spoiler: the sippys still come with us, but usually in the car). Here are the things I typically carry, as numbered in the photo above.
1. Coupons – Nothing exciting, but a tiny little sign that I’m able to spend time grocery shopping alone now that the kids are lower maintenance and can spend afternoons with Daddy without needing feeding and diaper changes. So I can (theoretically) take a little more time finding deals.
2. My mom stuff + their versions – I’ve always carried lipgloss with me, but now I’ve got kid-safe gum (made with Xylitol, which is healthy for teeth) because they can chew gum now, and a tube of chapstick that they are able to apply themselves.
3. Health and safety – Boo-boos now call for special band-aids, so I take them everywhere! I use lemon essential oil (it is not acidic like the actual lemon) instead of antibiotic cream on cuts, so I carry a sample pack. Also, essential oil based hand sanitizer and even some of the conventional kind, just in case.
4. Potty supplies – Now that we don’t have diapers, we have to visit a LOT of public restrooms. When it comes to pooping, flushable wipes are a must. They’re also pretty handy to have in the bag for messy snacks. The other two containers are fragments of soap and soap leaves, because preschoolers are not above touching the floor of a bathroom, and not all public bathrooms are adequately equipped with soap.
5. Electronics overload – I know that Lindsey just wrote about unplugging our kids from electronic devices, and here I am carrying around two separate iPhones in addition to my own. These are not usually in my purse, but we had to take the kids dishwasher shopping with us the day I took this picture. Neither of the phones are hooked up to WiFi or activated, they are purely for games and music. And I promise we don’t use them except in emergencies! The earbuds are mine for talking on the phone hands-free, very important if I’m brave enough to attempt a phone conversation while the children are awake. Of course we have all the various charging cords, as well as a flash charger in case there aren’t any outlets.
6. Toys – Gone are the days where I could hand them snacks to keep them busy. Now we need toys with which they can use their imaginations. In fact, not pictured are all the books we are typically carrying around in the car or in our arms. I do try to use toys first before pulling out the electronics.
7. Wallet – Considering the purse is supposed to be for carrying money, it is shocking how often I leave my wallet at home while carting this huge purse full of stuff around! I actually had to put all my purchases at The Children’s Place back last week because when I went to pay I realized that, despite carting my huge purse to the mall, I had left my wallet in my yoga bag. The same thing has happened at Target.
8. Snacks – Much smaller than the huge bottles, snack traps, and other baby snacks — I can get away with fruit strips or crackers now. Since my son is gluten-free and dairy-free, I always carry a special snack for him since he can’t have the goldfish or graham crackers typically served at childcare at church or preschool. The organic lollipops are totally for bribery.
9. Practical stuff – Now I have room for (and remember to bring!) practical things like pens and paper. And a purse hanger for those suspicious public bathrooms.