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Mommy Bag Evolution: From Hand Bags to Diaper Bags and Back.

Springtime is almost here and this year I have decided to clean out some stuff in the cellar. And in one box, I found some old lady’s bags, bags that somehow evolved parallel to the development of my twin boys.

Pre-Mom Bags

Several bags from pre-mommy days were still there. Cute hand bags just big enough to hold a purse and a hair brush and can be tucked snugly under the arm. There is this teeny Mandarina Duck handbag you can flip fully open with just a pull on the zip and no unsightly pockets whatsoever. I might still be able to use it again except that (true to its age), it doesn’t have a little pocket compartment for a cell phone. Not in those days.

Baby Diaper Bags

It’s not in the box anymore but I remember my first and only diaper bag. It was an Avent black rucksack and at first I found it bulky and hideous. But that little bag soon became my best friend with its diaper changing mat, special compartments for wipes and creams, zillions of pockets that helped me separate the soiled clothes from the baby spoons and baby bottles. Best of all were two lined side pockets that kept the bottles warm for a long time. That rucksack was my constant companion as I went around with my twin babies, including a trip from Europe to Asia and back. Alas, towards the beginning of my boys’ second year, the trusty rucksack gave in to constant wear and tear and was banished into the rubbish bin.

Rucksacks For Moms With Toddlers

After my Avent experience, I realized that rucksacks were the only way to go. I could stuff as much as I could in a pack and still be able to carry it without dislocating my shoulders. Besides, I always had two arms free to grab running toddlers or push a double-buggy stroller. I upgraded to a much larger rucksack, the normal type, not mommy-type ones. Normal diaper bags would have been too small anyway to accommodate double the amount of diapers, change of clothes, baby bottles plus solid food bottles. Over the years, I went through a series of rucksacks, the more pockets and compartments, the better. The two which survived the 2-to-5 year olds were still in the box, with food stains and scribbles on them. Out with them and into the rubbish.

Shoulder Bags for Mom With Preschoolers

I can’t remember when I decided to abandon rucksacks and opted for shoulder bags. Maybe it was right after my two were potty trained or maybe later when I didn’t have to bring two sets of change of clothes all the time. Anyway, there was rather this rather enormous Esprit imitation leather bucket bag which was a present from an aunt. Today it looked so ugly to me but a couple of years back it was the greatest, because of its size and its long sturdy shoulder straps. Preschoolers would pull on mommy’s hand, not to mention handbag, and a long strap is handy to put over the head so the strap goes diagonally from the left shoulder across the chest all the way down to the right hip. It’s not exactly the most elegant way of carrying a bag but it still leaves my hands free and no one can snatch the bag away while I get distracted by active 5-year olds.

My Current Mommy Bag

Last Christmas, I finally treated myself to a real lady-like handbag. It was a DKNY from an outlet shop and I was really so proud of it. It was small and compact and light and fits snugly under my arm. My husband raised his eyebrows when he saw it. Well, since my kids now walk to school and back all by themselves, I can now go out of the house without touting all the kiddie paraphernalia, except perhaps the Kleenex. I don’t need a mommy-sized bag anymore. Unfortunately, I realized I don’t know how to carry a handbag anymore. The bag kept slipping down my arm. So I exchanged the little beauty for a one of similar size but with long straps. So I can put it over my shoulders. I need my hands free – just in case.

From small hand bags to diaper bags to mommy rucksacks, and now I am back to little bags again. It feels like going full circle (well, sort of). It goes to show that time doesn’t stand still, that things do get better as the kids grow. But once a mom, always a mom. Just look at how I carry my shoulder bag.


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