Pack Mule Mom

By: Jessica Aldred

“I’m out of hands!” This has become a common statement at our house. So common, that my four-year-old often uses it himself to get out of doing as asked. With the addition of a third child to an already busy brood, this pack mule mom simply can’t do it all anymore.

While I’m generally still prepared for anything, the expectation of assistance from my elder sons increases with each passing day. Between all the loot a baby requires on any given day, the few things the older children require, and my personal stuff, getting out the door is often a challenge. There have been days when I literally can’t fit through the door because I’ve got so many bags thrown over my aching shoulders and a baby in a car seat adding fire to my tennis elbow. While at times help is available, most of the time I just have to power through and get to our destination with three children in tow.

I often refer to myself as a pack mule mom. Sometimes I even carry the baby and use his stroller just to carry all our stuff. A diaper bag, pocket book, bag chocked full of towels and pool stuff, cooler, juice cups, iPad and random assortment of toys – that we can’t bear to leave the house without – are often in tow. It may seem like overkill, but any mom to little ones will back me up when I say that it’s all very necessary. There have been few times in the past six years – since my first son was born – that I didn’t have exactly what we needed, or was able to make something to work.

Here’s a quick list of the random necessities you’ll find in my possession at any given time:

  1. first aid kitDental floss
  2. Medical kit
  3. Batteries
  4. Lollipops
  5. Nail clippers
  6. Ponchos
  7. Mouth guard
  8. Ear plugs
  9. Pain Relievers
  10. Juice boxes
  11. Wipes, lots of wipes.

While it stresses me out at times, and my body certainly pays the price for carting around all this stuff, I secretly love being prepared. I’m a planner, and in that moment when I whip some random essential out of my bag and save the day, I feel like a complete success. As I’m tossing juice boxes to the third row of my van while traveling to the next scheduled activity, my inner planner is elated that I had exactly what we need, in exactly the right spot, at exactly the right time. My husband thinks I’m nuts, but the first thing I do when I get home from a busy day out is repack for the next day. At any given time I could run out the door with a fully stocked diaper bag. I just need to know that I’m ready for anything. There are certainly days when I fail at this task and feel utterly incompetent, but on the whole I’m prepared. I’m ready for anything and I feel a certain calm as a result.

What random items are a necessity for your busy brood?


One thought on “Pack Mule Mom

  1. I love the “ear plugs” as an addition. We’ve been at an event at least once or twice where I needed those for the kiddos and didn’t have them. We’d either have to move to a seat higher up or buy some.

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