When my daughter was a baby, I wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without her change bag. It was a floral oilcloth number and was rammed to the hilt with everything I might possibly need, no matter WHAT the day might throw at us.
Muslins, nappies, spare dummy, dummy clip, change mat, nappy bags, wipes, more wipes, anti-bacterial gel, Organix biscuits, small tub of raisins, carton of formula, change of vest, spare leggings, sleep suit in case I’m desperate for another change of clothes, teething gel, Sophie la Giraffe, cloth book.
And while I don’t carry any of those things around with me, these days (well, considering I have a five-year-old, it would be a bit unusual if I did….) I do have other things that I rarely leave home without. If I’m heading into London for a day out with the little one, for example, I’ll always sling a canvas bag over my shoulder and inside it will be a refillable water bottle, snacks of some kind – fruit if we have anything that doesn’t bruise easily, or some bread sticks – and a colouring book with some pens. Hungry, thirsty and bored are the three main issues that might crop up while we’re out and about, so it’s essential to have something to tackle each one.
It’s a bit like my mum ‘Bag of Tricks’. Ready to pull something out, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. “Ta daahhh… I predicted this moment! And for my next trick, I’ll convince you to eat your vegetables at lunch!”
Likewise, when I’m at home, I have essential items at hand, for every eventuality. As part of their brilliant #MaverickMum campaign, Not On The High Street have asked me to share the things that are in my Bag Of Tricks…
First up, a notebook to get me properly organised. As I talked about a couple of weeks ago, I’m totally winging it, when it comes to being a mum. Our home life is more chaotic than calm, and I reckon that having a proper family planner and a to-do list notebook is going to be a game-changer for me. Personalised notebook, Pickle Pie Gifts, £12.99
I told you my five-year-old loves colouring, didn’t I? Well, she also LOVES Taylor Swift. She makes us listen to either Red or 1989 on a loop, while we’re in the car. She’ll sit in the back seat, barking track numbers at us. “13! 8! 11!” (pleasant, as I’m sure you can imagine.) So this Unofficial Taylor Swift Colouring Book is the perfect thing to keep the five-year-old occupied for half an hour, allowing me to cook dinner, reply to emails or meet a deadline. I might even have a sneaky colour-in session myself. Colour Me Swiftly, Berylune, £9.95
As a recent convert to the wonders of gin and tonic (I know, what took me so long?) I think this ‘gin’ teacup and ‘tonic’ jug are surely the most civilised way to enjoy a wee 5pm snifter. Oh don’t look at me like that. I can’t be the only one to have a pre-dinner drink on those days that have been rather challenging. Gin and Tonic Tea Set, Yvonne Ellen, £56
I’m a self-confessed motivational message fan. I can’t get enough of those Pinterest-friendly graphics that tell us we’re doing a good job and prints for the wall that act as a vital affirmation of my very existence. Yes, I know they’re cheesy. But THEY MAKE ME FEEL SO GOOD. Alphabet Bags have this amazing canvas pouch with ‘You got this’ written on it – it’s the kind of bag I’d have put nappies and wipes in, when my daughter was tiny, and every time I did a nappy change in a public loo with her screaming, sweat on my brow and poo under my finger nails, I’d feel just a little bit calmer. Actually, upon reflection, a white canvas bag might not be ideal if I have poo under my fingernails.
Inside this canvas pouch is a whole array of motivational postcards, two notebooks, an eraser and some stickers. The actual stationery lover’s dream. You Got This Goody Pouch, Alphabet Bags, £28
I’m also loving this ‘Like a boss’ print from Rory & The Bean. They have loads of amazing prints (do check them all out) but this one is my favourite. I think you should strive to do everything like a boss. Parent like a boss, work like a boss, drink wine like a boss. This serves as a good reminder. Like A Boss print, Rory & The Bean, £15.95
Which things help you get through the day, with your sanity in tact?
JOIN THE #MAVERICKMUM MOVEMENT
It’s Mother’s Day this week! And to celebrate the women who are doing motherhood our own way, NotOnTheHighStreet.com is asking everyone to post their “Maverick Mum” photos and stories on Instagram. Whether it’s about your own experience of motherhood, or a reflection on your own mum, I would LOVE to see your #MaverickMum posts. Use the #MaverickMum hashtag and Not On The High Street will be choosing their three favourite stories or images and the winners will each receive a £500 NotOnTheHighStreet.com voucher!
This post has been commissioned by NotOnTheHighStreet.com – for information on how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page.