Back in the day (aka pre children) the contents of my handbag were a) few and far between, b) super glamourous and c) never sticky!! Generally all I needed back then were lipstick, my phone, lip balm and purse.
Roll on 14 years and it’s a very different story. The contents of my handbag are mostly now a) sensible (tissues (a mix of new and used), wet-wipes, plasters, empty bottles of calpol, cheap bifocals), b) food-related (crumbly breadsticks, rotting fruit, forgotten sweets stuck to the inside of my bag) and c) school letters and parental slips (that have been signed and then forgotten about, now lying crumpled up and past their ‘must-send-in-by-date’, waiting for the next handbag clear out …).
I’ve come to realise that I am in fact a walking-vending-machine-come-cash-dispenser-come-clearer-upper-of-messy-things … I don’t actually mind this – I like to be a provider of things for my hungry, messy, sticky, (sometimes) bloody and sore and ever-money-hungry children.
This hand-bag transformation starts the minute you have your first baby in your arms – a sense of mild panic runs through you if you don’t AWLAYS at ALL TIMES have EVERYTHING with you that your little darling might need (you also suddenly realise that no ordinary handbag will cut it – your new best friend needs to be able to handle all sorts of emergencies and scenarios and carry EVERYTHING) – personally I was a fan of ‘the bigger the better’ (translates as ‘can fit more in’). If you’re currently on the look out for one of these bigger and better bad boys, Mumsnet do some great baby bag reviews for here and now …
I think this feeling of being a provider of easy-access comforts for your children never quite leaves you (it’s a major habit of mine), so even now, eldest child (aged 13 and 3/4) along with younger two, is still greeted at the end of the school day with a plethora of food (some healthy, some (shamefully) not so), wet-wipes (the child is incapable of eating anything without leaving the remnants around and on him and his surroundings), and … complete control of the in-car entertainment (Kiss FM anyone?).
But anyway, lurking somewhere in this sticky and crumbly collector of random old receipts and shiny coins there are in fact some things that never change – my handbag heroes – lipstick, my phone, lip balm and (less) money. They’re just a bit more battered and bashed up than they used to be!