Before I had kids, my mom friends would eye my small purse saying, “when you have kids, you’ll buy a huge purse.” I just smiled and wondered if they were right.
When I was a kid, my mom had a purse the size of a small child. She’d put it in the front seat of our car, and it took up the entire seat…of a Volvo! I don’t even want to guess what was in there, except that whenever we needed something, she had it. We are grown and she still does. My kids aren’t so lucky.
I am a creature of habit, so I mostly buy small, black bags. They are great because they match everything and if you buy a nice brand, they last forever. We have Coach and Cole Haan outlets nearby, which sell last season’s bags for $100 or more off the retail price. I can easily slip them into my work bag with my laptop and not have to switch purses for work vs. social occasions. When I had kids, I realized I could use the same strategy with a diaper bag. Now I drop my purse into the diaper bag when I’m with the kids, or into my work bag when I’m heading to work. On the rare occasions I’m going out alone, I just carry my small purse.
I’ve seen the feature in magazines that reveals the contents of women’s purses. Single celebrities have La Mer cream, YSL lipgloss, iPhones and a few small items. Moms are different: they tote around food, toys, extra clothes, etc. But four years into motherhood, I haven’t swayed beyond my single girl contents. I have my wallet, sunglasses, keys, Aquaphor Lip Repair, Chanel Glossimer lip gloss, hand sanitizer, a hair tie, a pen, my phone and Trident White gum. Granted, in my diaper bag, I have diapers and wipes, sunscreen, Children’s Tylenol, Band-Aids and a few snacks. But I don’t need to carry those things everywhere I go!
I’ve thought about why I’m so resistant to larger purses. I am a minimalist and hate clutter, so even if I bought a big bag, it would be half-empty. It would take more time to dig through it to find things. Small purses are cheaper and work for me. My kids will have memories of my purse sitting on the center console, rather than taking up its own seat. They’ll learn to go to their grandma when they actually need something. She’ll definitely have it.