As my kids have got older, I decided it was time to ditch the nappy bag and move on to a regular handbag. I missed the size and shape of the average bag and felt done with all the waterproof lining my nappy bag came with. Plus it was getting a smell to it.
Little did I know that it doesn’t really matter how old your kids get, the handbag still draws disgusting things to it like moths to a flame. That is a mum’s job after all – to hold the things of other people, no matter how wet, soiled or unwanted.
Something tells me I should have hung on to that waterproof lining a little longer, because cleaning out my bag today yielded some pretty ugly stuff. But I can’t be the only one here. Come on, fess up: what’s in the bottom of your handbag right now?
I bet there’s at least half of the following stuff in there:
1. Old food
It could be a forgotten, crumpled up sandwich or a load of crumbs that used to be crackers but every mum has something that was once an edible item in the bottom of their bag. And for some reason, there’s always old sultanas in mine, even though none of my kids eat them. Go figure.
2. Used wipes
Every mum carries baby wipes, and if she isn’t she’ll wish she had them at some point in her day. And once you’ve used them – for wiping noses, hands or the tops of water bottle lids after they’ve been slung in the dirt, then chances are, you’ll be carrying the soiled ones somewhere in there too. I’m sure you’ll remember to dispose of them when you’re near a bin. Of course you will.
If you’re toilet training, you’re bound to have a spare set of underpants in your bag for any accidents, and it’s entirely possible that you’ll carry around a pair of soiled undies for days because you’ve forgotten about your kid’s recent hiccup at the park. And if you don’t have undies in there, you’ve definitely got a random sock.
4. Something half-eaten
Before it becomes like item #1 in this list, food in your bag starts off as ‘good to eat later’, which can include the aforementioned sandwich and banana bread that couldn’t be eaten in one sitting, but more often than not ends up forgotten and…inedible.
5. Matchbox car
With three boys in my family, I’ve been carrying random matchbox cars around for years. In fact, whether you have a little boy or not, these things will probably find their way into your bag at some point.
6. Something that has leaked
Whether it’s a drink with a loose lid, a tube of sun cream or a bottle of hand sanitiser, something is always wet in a mum’s handbag, which is the whole point of having the waterproof lining. And also why I’m kicking myself for the premature bag changeover.
7. Empty wrappers
Mum’s handbag conveniently operates as a rubbish bin as well as a carry-all for her stuff, so you can guarantee you’ll find the leftover packaging from Kinder Surprises, sultana boxes, empty baby pouches, and whatever else you’ve been plying your kids with to keep them quiet while you get the shopping done.
8. Broken “treasures”
Further to the above, mum’s handbag also provides safe storage for broken things that you will ‘fix later’ for your child, such as plastic jewellery and the cheap and nasty toy that lasted about two seconds after you bought it. Luckily your bag also acts as a Bermuda Triangle, which means your kid will never remember to ask you to fix the broken gadget and you will be off the hook.
9. An old nappy
Somewhere in there is an old nappy that may not have been used (and I totally wouldn’t judge you if it was) but it’s been there so long it probably no longer fits your kid. Whatever you do, don’t get rid of it. Some day you’ll leave the house without spare nappies and thank the heavens above for that rogue nappy in your bag, which somehow you’ll *make fit* your squirming baby.