Photo courtesy of Ambrosia Brody

This Is What Happened When I Ditched The Diaper Bag

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There's a conversation in Boondock Saints that goes something like, "Name one thing you gonna need a rope for." "You don't f*ckin' know what you're gonna need it for. They just always need it." I could say the same thing about my diaper bag. I stopped carrying a purse after I had my first daughter, who is now 5-and-a-half years old, convinced I needed a utility diaper bag filled with all the essentials of life on me at all times. With two young girls who still need baby wipes, snacks, and a change of clothes in case of emergencies, carrying a diaper bags or backpacks just seems so much easier than carrying a big purse.

But I miss the old days. I miss my old Coach purse. I miss a life when I didn't lug a partial wardrobe, miniature snack-food kiosk, and potty-accident preparedness kit with me all the time, on the off-chance that I would need it. Now my kids are older, I decided to see what it would be like to ditch the safety blanket and go backup-undies free.

This is what happened when I stopped lugging around a diaper bag for one week.

I’m Free!

Anyone remember the excitement that came when you stopped wearing nursing bras and maternity tops, making the switch to comfy pushup bras (for me at least) and pull-over tops? That’s what I felt when I packed my new $26 Steve Madden purse for my day out with the kids. A simple trip to the movies to watch Hotel Translyvania 3: Summer Vacation meant packing my purse with the bare minimum: M&Ms, juice boxes, a water bottle for me, baby wipes, and jackets. My purse was much lighter by the end of the movie since the kids ate EVERYTHING I packed. Plus they were wearing their jackets.

Not having to switch everything from a diaper bag into a purse that I use at work the next day was a nice time saver as well since I typically spend a few minutes every Sunday getting ready for work. This means switching everything to my purse.

Being able to carry a purse on errands instead of a huge diaper bag was such a nice feeling. No more having to carry an overstuffed diaper bag in Target or Costco!

Ambrosia Brody photo

How Much Can I Stuff In Here?

I actually attempted going without my Storksac when my eldest daughter was potty trained but quickly realized what a mistake that was when she had an accident while in the library. I vowed never to make that mistake again, which means I would overpack the diaper bag to ensure I never had to make my daughter sit in her car seat in her wet undies as I rushed back to the house.

By the time we made it to the park, my shoulder was killing me due to my overloaded purse.

This time around I vowed to always be prepared, which is why I loaded every single compartment with extra undies, Lysol spray, juice boxes, lollipops (in case of a meltdown), sunscreen, and water bottles when we went to a concert in the park.

By the time we made it to the park, my shoulder was killing me due to my overloaded purse. I also had to carry an extra bag filled with jackets and a new packet of baby wipes since my purse was at its max limit. I must have been complaining because my husband asked why didn’t I just pack a backpack.

Ambrosia Brody photo

Impractical But I look Good, Right?

When we took the girls to Golf N’Stuff for miniature golf I knew that a backpack would be best. An afternoon in the hot sun required plenty of water bottles, sunscreen, snacks and a change of clothes for both my girls because they might be interested in riding the bumper boats. But I was going to use my purse, damnit!

I started off strong with my purse comfortably on my shoulder, cross-body style, as I golfed the first few holes. However, the strong summer sun and my daughters' request for water every few minutes meant really sweaty shoulders and constant pulling things out of my purse. By the eighth hole my beloved purse was left on the green as I attempted to hit my ball in the hole. I dragged it from hole to hole and cursed it when I threw it in the car. I was done.

Ambrosia Brody photo

Backpacks Aren’t So Bad

When I started to pack for a day out at the Laguna Beach Sawdust festival I took a beat to decide whether to pack my purse with the bare minimum for another warm day out, or just give in and turn to my comfortable backpack. Although I typically carry the backpack, my husband will take it when I need a break. That does not happen with a purse.

I seriously underestimated the reliability of my JanSport. Yes it is bulky, does not match my outfit, and shouts “I’m a mom of toddlers,” but seriously, who cares. I rather be comfortable and over prepared with plenty of snacks to quell any oncoming fits of hangryness. Of course my back was sweaty and I overpacked as usual, but at least my shoulder wasn’t killing me.

Ambrosia Brody photo

The Takeaway

Carrying a purse that actually gets complimented and I actually take on a girls' night out and on date night makes me feel more put together and stylish. But it’s not always practical. There are times when a backpack makes the most sense for me since I still carry so much stuff for my kids. I still use my backpack on the majority of our family outings since I carry stuff for all of us. Maybe I can say goodbye to my backpack/diaper bag in a couple years when my kids need less stuff — and I learn how to pack efficiently.