Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm a Serial Underpacker

I see a lot of blog posts from fellow moms about their tendency to over pack their diaper bags.  Although I agree that it's better safe than sorry, should I be alarmed that I usually under pack?  Is there something I'm not getting?

A trip 3 hour away from home is something else, THAT you gotta prepare for. But what about a short stroll around the mall?  I quick visit to your shrink?  Is it worth lugging all that weight around?

Am I in the wrong for bringing a bag this small:

with nothing in it but my keys, phone, cards and this:

when all we're doing is dropping by my sister's house in Pasadena, a good 40 minutes away  from Woodland Hills?

Fine, I should've considered bringing at least 1 diaper.  But then, I just changed and fed her, and since it was a quick visit,  I'd much rather change her in the comforts of our own home instead of busting her butt elsewhere.  Perhaps it was also the fact that once we get to my sister's house, I just know she'll have her own stash of diapers and wipes in different sizes and textures, even though there's no one in there who wears diapers.  Unless her husband's regressing.. but that's another story.   As to why she does this, I have no idea.  However, I do know, that she has a slight tendency to be a hoarder.  So there's that.

But really, it drives Shi crazy when I do this.  The inner mother in him insists on bringing at least 2 of everything (blankets, clothes, burp cloths, etc.), 5 diapers, 3 toys (big and small) and a shit load of formula.

So now, I'm stripping it down to what I think I really need for a short trip (maximum of 4 hours) out of the house on a nice summer day:

1.  A very light blanket that could double as a burp cloth.

2.  2 bottle, preferably the ones with the disposable liners.  One premixed prior to leaving the house and another one filled with water and a little container where you place the pre-measured formula.

3.  2 diapers (I'm being very generous here), a little case for your wipes, and 1 disposable changing pad.

4. A little toy like Jacques the Peacock or Sophie the Giraffe.

5.  A fresh onesie and a teeny weeny bottle of hand sanitizer

 So far, this list has worked for me since Yuna's birth because I figured, if there's something I really needed right then and there,  there's always Target.  I can just swing by and get it if it's really an emergency.  I never really had to do this,  except for the time I needed to literally gallop out of the mall when Yuna decided she wanted a gallon of formula instead of her usual 7oz serving.  So there I was, pissing in my pants trying to start the car, with my daughter in the back blatantly saying that she would like a word with me when we get home. Good thing we made it home in less than 5 minutes because the mall is just two blocks away.   I did get a bit of a scolding from her as soon as I placed her in her crib, but the bottom line: She was fed, she was happy.  We're all good. Then again, reading those blog posts made me feel  inadequate all of a sudden.  Does this make me less of a good mom?  Should I be bothered that I stress out more thinking about where to park than knowing I didn't pack enough for my kid?


But don't crucify me just yet. Like any new mom, I'm still feeling my way through what works and what doesn't.  If it turns out that I need to pack my entire house after all, I will make sure to document the tragic experience on how I finally learned my lesson for all of you to feast on ;-)


Ashley said...

I'm the same way, I usually have approximately 1/2 of the items I end up needing. Diaper or wipes, spoon or food, never both. :) BTW do you live in WH? Me too!

Tina F. said...

Hi Ashley!
Yes I live in Woodland Hills! I can't believe we're neighbors!

It feels good knowing there's another mom nearby I can leave my daughter with for a couple of days in case we wanna take a short trip to Vegas.

Okay let's not get ahead of ourselves, I was just kidding. I don't mean to scare you off like that. I'm just overly excited. Which part of WH are you from?

Supahmum said...

Haha! So this is what you posted. The exact opposite of mine..I'm an over-packer and you're an under-packer :) High five!

Anonymous said...

I'm a serial underpacker myself. and by underpacker I mean non-packer. I need to get better at this. I was lugging around a big ole diaper bag the first couple months everywhere we went and I never ever opened it. Then I got in the habit of just leaving it at home. I need to find the happy medium. It's really not a good thing getting caught in the middle of target with a baby in a leaky diaper and no solutions. (you know, other than buying a new outfit and new diapers...grrr)

Kitten said...

Wow, I have to learn to tone down my diaper bag. I am just not as brave as you are just yet. I overpack... all the time... for all the WHAT-IFs and JUST-IN-CASEs! I have my first aid kit, change of clothes, blanket, toys, sunblock, food grade binkie and toy wipes, etc. etc. etc. So now, I always end up providing things to other moms that they "forgot" to bring or when their LOs have accidents. Must be the little girl scout in me.

Shilpa Vir speaks! said...

I once tried going out with less than usual fanfare and it did not end well. Read it at and let me know your thoughts.

Tina F. said...

Bianca: Put it there pal!:)

ConflictedMeanGirl: I hear ya. That's why i came up with the compromise and stripped it down to the very bare necessities under the premise that I won't be going anywhere that's more than 7.8 miles away from the comforts of my home. I've found it more convenient to throw in 1 diaper and 1 bottle in my own bag for short trips out. If I've used up any of those within the trip, that's my cue to start heading home.

Kitten: Gone are the days when living on the edge means partying it up and making out with a random stranger. Being a mom gives new definition to living on the edge.. it's when you under pack your nappy bag. That being said, I love moms like you. It's like having a designated driver back in the day. Lol.

Shilpa: Bless your soul for trying. Sometimes, we just have to take the jump even if it ends up in a tragedy. That's the only way to learn, right?

Greta from Transparencies of Motherhood said...

Hehe...I am TOTALLY an under packer. Luckily it hasn't gotten me in too much trouble.

JLK said...

Are you seriously telling me that Yuna has never blown up a diaper while out of the house???

I am definitely an overpacker, BUT......

In addition to my "real" diaper bag that I try to keep well-stocked, I also have a "mini" bag that just has 2-3 diapers, changing pad, small case of wipes, and an extra onesie. I keep it in my car at all times so I can just grab it and go anytime we're just going out for a little bit. The big diaper bag stays behind in the car in case of emergencies such as diaper blowouts.

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