Listen. We’ve all been there. I have used my shirt as a Kleenex before. I have caught vomit in my hand before. I have done some weird mom stuff, because when you’re in a pinch, you’ll do all kinds of crazy things, just to keep the day running as smoothly as possible.
Sometimes it’s helpful to have anxiety, so that you can think ALL DAY LONG about all the terrible situations that could occur, and how to help solve them. I give you: Mom Car 101. Here’s my short list of the things I keep in my car all the time.
Mosquito Spray – It’s not Texas Spring and Summer until the helicopter mosquitos are buzzing about. I keep a bottle of kid-friendly mosquito spray in my car, and I also keep the you’re-gonna-die-of-deet-poisoning stuff in there too, for Mom and Dad, because Texas mosquitos laugh at anything less.
Sunscreen – The only thing worse than whiney babies at an event or outing is whiney babies who are burned. Lather ’em up and get going.
First Aid Kit – Complete with all the good stuff, like alcohol wipes, Bactine spray, and fancy Band-Aids (duh).
Hand Sanitizer – the biggest bottle you can find at H-E-B. Just kidding, kind of. If Mom cars could be shown in a special germ-showing light, we’d all be horrified. Kill the germssssss if you can.
Clorox Wipes – Keep these handy for accidental coffee spills, which happen NO JOKE on a daily basis for me. When am I going to learn to just get a taller mug?
Baby Wipes – Because sticky donut fingers don’t belong on the windows, guys. Wipe it off!
2 Reusable Grocery Totes – Not just so you can look and act like the environmentally-conscious person you’re supposed to be, but also because if you’re like our family, your car is like a Ross store, with shoes and clothes strewn about. When you’re in a hurry and need to pack up your kid for unexpected events, like SCHOOL EVERY SINGLE MORNING, there’s your bag. Boom.
Small Purse – This one is just for you, Moms. Keep a small purse handy so that when you eventually get to go out and have a little bit of fun by yourself (LOLOL) you don’t have to lug around a giant diaper bag purse. Just put your Burt’s Bees, ID, and debit card in there and you’re free as a bird!
Car Smellies – Because I have accidentally left a McDonald’s chocolate milk jug in my car over the weekend TWICE, and there’s just no getting that smell out quickly. Survive the drive with car smellies.
4 Grocery Bags – Maybe this is only for the Mom’s who have PTSD with catching vomit in your hands, but it’s always helpful to have some throw-away bags handy. Vomit, dirty diaper, trash – you name it, it goes.
Ziploc Bags – Do you know how many times I have cursed myself for not putting a stash of these in my car sooner? Many a Pop-Tart has been squished into a carseat, all because I wasn’t prepared. Pack those zipper bags and thank yourself later.
Extra Blankies – Keep two lightweight blankies (we like Aden & Anais) in the car, in case you leave a big event hoping for a quiet ride hope while the kiddos crash in the back. The minute I give my kids a blankie (even the four year old), they’re OUT like a light. Victory.
One Complete Outfit/Kid – You’ve gotta be prepared for pizza sauce stains and peepee/poopoo accidents, so pack up an extra outfit PER KID so that you can quickly change them from one birthday party to the next, and no one at the next party can talk about you being a hot mess.
Diapers & Undies – Ok, so this is an obvious one, but again, YOU NEVER KNOW with the accidents, and in my experience, the more prepared you are for this situation, the better it goes when you’re calm, cool, and collected during the undie-change. Like, “Hey, Mom’s got this. I do too.”
1 Pair of Pajamas/Kid – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We are old and boring and we hate fun. So, the minute we leave a late-night party or get-together, we change the kiddos into PJs so that they can go straight to bed when they get home. The less interrupting we have to do, the better.
All-Occasion Cards, Gift Bags, and Tissue Paper – There isn’t a birthday party we go to where the gift has been wrapped and card is written out before we get in the car. (Be prepared, have extra). This applies to “good to see you!” lunches with friends, or last minute holiday gatherings you attend. Be prepared to tell your host/friend “you’re the best!” They deserve it and you will feel AH-MAZING.
Notebook and Pen – Listen. I love digital lists as much as the next guy. But also, paper, always. I have literally kept a journal/notebook in my car since I was diagnosed with depression, because you never know when you need to write down some cray-cray feelings. Also, these are SUPER helpful for last minute grocery lists, or to do lists. Pro-Tip: If someone in a parking lot is driving too fast and almost runs over your kid, this notebook is also helpful for the “SLOW DOWN, BITCH” note you plan to leave on said car.
BONUS: Dog Treats – Why the hell is Lola carrying around dog treats in her car? Well, guys, it’s because I’m crazy. I have found/returned/helps stray on stray on stray dogs (when I don’t have the kiddos in the car), and these dog treats have been helpful in wrangling the friendly, wiggly, nervous doggos that just want to get back home. Treats = DOGGO’S BEST FREN. One time, I didn’t have treats with me, and I legit used a can of cake frosting to lure a little guy back to his mom’s house.
That’s all I have, y’all. What do YOU carry around in your Mom Car? Share with me! Happy (and safe) driving around in your Car of Preparedness. xo