The other day I had my very own MacGyver mum moment.
For those who may not know who MacGyver is (shame on you), he was the mullet sporting 1980s and 1990s legend who could literally do ANYTHING with a roll of duct tape and an Army Knife.
Of course, us mothers have our own choice implement that can solve almost any problem; the mum bag. To ensure maximum MacGyver-esque capabilities, every mum worth her salt needs to keep these five things stashed in her mum-bag.
1. Emergency snacks
Whether you’ve got a seven month old or seven year old, chances are they’ll be hungry ALL THE TIME. Even if they’ve just eaten. Especially if they’ve just eaten it seems. And always when in the car.
Any mum bag worth the material it’s made out of, will have an emergency snack stashed within. Make sure your snacks are impervious to heat and cold and able to withstand being carried around for days/weeks/months on end. Favourites include crackers (use a Tupperware container to avoid them becoming cracker dust), sultanas, dried fruit and muesli bars.
2. Baby Wipes
I personally don’t think it’s going too far to say that the creator of the baby wipe deserves recognition at a Nobel prize level. There are few things I haven’t cleaned with baby wipes since I became a parent.
Useful for so much more than a dirty bottom. Bird poo on the windscreen? Baby wipe it. Spilt your latte all over your shirt? Baby wipe for the win. Older child managed to adhere a strange, sticky substance to their (formerly) clean school uniform? You’d better believe a baby wipe will handle that s**t. Stash a packet everywhere but always, ALWAYS in your bag. Even when your kids aren’t babies any more.
3. A change of clothes
This one is age dependent as you kind of hope that by the time your kids are in primary school, they’ve got the toilet thing sorted. Younger than five though and a spare set of knickers and clean clothes is always a wise idea. And ALWAYS pack one more nappy than you think you’ll need.
Whether it’s a poosplosion, an accident on the way to the loo or a desire to ‘swim’ in the fountain at the local shopping centre while mum orders a coffee and takes her eyes off the game for 10 seconds, there is always scope for imminent disaster. Trust me, you don’t want to be the mum madly rushing through Kmart, baby under one arm, half naked two year old under the other, trying to find tights and a t-shirt to replace the ones that probably should be burnt. Not that I would know how that feels.
4. Distraction devices
Mums, as a general rule, are organised creatures. Not only because we have #allthejobsallthetime but because we have ownership of small people who do not do well with unfilled time. Particularly unfilled time spent in a confined space. If you’ve ever realised that your licence has expired, requiring an emergency trip to the RTA with three children in tow, you’ll know what I mean. Carnage, thy name is a long queue at a government service centre.
To that end, carrying around a couple of tools of distraction is key. When my son was younger, it was a couple of Matchbox cars. Now days, it’s something Pokemon related. My daughter loves Shopkins so a few pieces of random plastic crap in the shape of grocery store items covers her off. The four-month-old isn’t really into anything other than boobs but will accept a teething ring. I make sure to have the above on my person at all times to avoid a second RTA situation. A mini notepad and some crayons is brilliant too. Or be prepared to hand over your iPhone.
5. Sunscreen and Bandaids
No-one should need to tell you just how lethal Australian sun can be or just how accident prone kids are. Stashing a stick or roller of sunscreen in your bag along with a box of Bandaids means that you’ll be covered for pretty much every eventuality.
Most mums I know can splint a broken bone with Bandaids while using the excess to entertain the younger sibling of the accident victim. Plus, they can double as stickers if you really get into dire straits.
Master of the mum-bag? Check out these 7 nifty hacks to make the rest of #mumlife easier.