The Mom Purse
By Cheryl Bertou
I have officially turned into my mother and now carry a “mom purse.” I vowed it would never happen. I would never stop carrying the cute, efficient little purses of my pre-child years. But after moving past the real need for a diaper bag there are still plenty of things I can’t leave home without and inevitably have ended up with the “mom purse.”
Now, I’m not completely sure that I need the extra large bandages (but what if... ?) or even the complete variety of Band-aids, from Curious George to Batman to Star Wars but I know I can’t leave the house without baby wipes. And the plastic baggie of “emergency” cars are a waiting room necessity. Add the tissues, lotion, deodorant, sunglasses, wallet, cell phone, stain removing stick (for me and my son), the virtual drug store in a bottle (for my husband and everyone I work with), the brag book of photos and multitudes of other little things, and my purse now weighs as much as my toddler.
I used to laugh every time my mother cleaned out her purse. It took her about an hour and I could never understand how the endless gum wrappers made their way into the bottom of her purse and not the garbage. And all that loose change. As a kid I knew of many great uses for that. Guess what’s at the bottom of my purse now? Gum wrappers and loose change!
I guess I am still one step ahead of my mother though. I don’t have the huge wallet that is big enough to be a purse on its own, bursting at the seams with coupons, receipts, cash and other slips of paper. Or maybe I just haven’t made my way there yet?
I tried to go back to the cute, little purse. But I just can’t do it. I can’t fit a baby wipes container into one of those dinky little things. And they're not so cute when stuffed as full as a Thanksgiving turkey. Besides, I could only fit about five things in there. I can’t even remember a time when all I would need on any given trip out the house was five things.
I suppose the “mom purse” is just another one of those motherhood things. Just like the stretch marks, an untidy house, having plastic dishes and the crushed goldfish all over the backseat of the car. These were horrifying thoughts before kids, but are now just normal parts of life. Besides what damage are those goldfish really doing in the backseat? And even I can’t break plastic, so where’s the harm in that? What do I care if my purse is too big to fit in the overhead compartment on a plane? As a matter of fact, why did I ever care if I carried a “mom purse?” I guess motherhood just helps clarify what is really important.