One of the things that makes me giggle in Mary Poppins is her carpetbag. That bag that she opens up and somehow things just keep coming out of there and the kids are going how did that fit in there???
When I became a mom, I was like, “Now I know how Mary Poppins did it.” Our bags are just magical. Somehow, no matter what the size, we can fit our entire house into one bag. Seriously. Things get lost in there, that’s how much we can fit into our versions of a carpetbag (sometimes I wish I had a magic wand so I could just say “accio” and what I need would pop out at me).
Now, all moms carry the basics: diapers or extra pair of underwear, wipes, snacks, that kind of thing. Aside from that, depending on what kind of mom you are, it varies. I think it’s fun with all the different personalities to know, what are the must haves in your Mary Poppins bag you never leave without? So here’s a peak into my Mama Must-Haves and why I love it, basics aside.
Thieves Hand Purifier
Kids are disgusting. Seriously, why on God’s green earth do they feel the need to touch literally all the things? And then proceed to immediately stick their hands in their mouths right after? Blech. I have a thumb sucker, so make no mistake he is most definitely both giving and receiving in the germ department. So I am never without this little bottle. In fact, I always buy a 3-pack + get the giant bottle and refill my little bottles as needed. It’s fantastic.
Why I love it:
#1, I know exactly what is in there. Because I have a thumb sucker who touches all the things, I also know that immediately after I have him “wash his hands” with this, his thumb is going to go right back into his mouth. I want to know that he’s not going to be sucking and swallowing stuff that is harmful to him. There are zero toxins in there, I know it is safe because I know how it is made, it’s clearly labeled, and I trust the company.
#2, it smells like Fall because Thieves has clove and cinnamon bark in the blend and that’s just yummy. Those oils are known for being effective immune boosters, so there are so many health benefits.
#3, I love it because, praise the Lord, it does not dry out your hands; it’s actually quite nourishing!
Are you seeing a theme here? This is a perfect on-the-go companion, because public places aren’t always exactly clean. You know no one at the grocery store has ever cleaned a single cart. You also know those public bathrooms aren’t the most sanitary. I spray down grocery carts, toilets, restaurant tables…you see where I’m going with this. It also is a quick way to “wash” fruit on the go, and did I mention it smells like Fall? So it also makes it easy to spritz in the air and freshen up any environment (like my own car), without being overpowering, or without resorting to harmful chemicals. One spritz will get the job done.
Why I love it:
It’s convenient. What mom doesn’t like convenient? It’s a multi-tasker, meaning there’s so many different ways you can use it. For example, if I can’t find my Thieves Hand Purifier in my Mary Poppins bag (for whatever reason), I can grab this and spray our hands with it and rub them together (and my sensory sensitive child sometimes prefers this to the texture of the other). Kids can use it. Seriously, my 3 year old thinks it’s super fun to “help me” spray down stuff and again, I don’t have to worry about his exposure to the ingredients.
Oily Bag of Tricks
You guys remember after Mary Poppins took the kids on that Jolly Holiday and they ended up walking home in the cold rain? She gave them each a spoonful of “medicine.” It was each according to their liking (Mary’s was rum “punch” – she’s fooling no one and I love her), and a total preventative measure. “People who get their feet wet must learn to take their medicine,” she says. So I carry my own preventative measures, and they are called essential oils.
Now, here’s where this little bag changes sometimes depending on the season, sometimes depending on the day. But, inevitably, we always have Stress Away (aka: mama’s vacation in a bottle), Lavender (aka: for absolutely everything), Tranquil or another tree oil like Cedarwood in a roller bottle for Kai to help manage emotions and combat the effects of overstimulation, and a citrus vitality oil to liven up my water (typically Lime or Grapefruit).
Depending on the season I’ll also have some DIY things in there. In Summer, I keep a spray bottle with Lavender and Peppermint with me to cool down our bodies in the Texas heat, or in Winter, a chest rub made from coconut oil and RC essential oil blend, or a couple of Thieves Cough Drops.
Why I love it:
This is just our life. I didn’t expect it to be when I first started using and incorporating oils into our family 4 years ago, but now it’s just something we do. It’s normal. And it helps us tremendously, because sometimes whether it’s traveling for an event or just a normal run to Target or Costco, things happen. Stressful situations occur and I want to make sure I’m prepared, both for myself and my son who has sensory processing issues and gets overwhelmed easily. As you can see, most of those are for our emotions, and I cannot tell you how much they take the edge off. Plus, it’s super connecting for us, because if we are “having a moment,” I can pull the cart to the side, grab my oil, and we can get our minds off of what’s currently going on, connect with each other for a minute, calm down with some aromatherapy, and continue on our way.
I know. You’re thinking okay, weirdo or how on earth does she have time to journal on-the-go? First of all, I have like 3-4 journals at a time for different things. I am an introvert and clearly love to write; it’s how I process. I don’t always use this every time I’m out, but being a momtrepeneur, ideas just come to me through my experiences and if I don’t write it down, I’ll forget. Also, sometimes I need to chase the why. If there is a behavior that’s been going on that is a concern, I want to get to the bottom of why it is happening. So, I need to journal when it does happen. “Chasing the why” is a concept from the book The Whole Brain Child. Writing it all down, I can see just over the course of a few days if there are any triggers or patterns for either one of us that I can change and be preventative about. You can see this example from our Facebook post.
Why I love it:
It’s just good to write things down. To see things “in action.” And there’s lots of science behind writing things down that actually pushes you to act. It’s like you’re giving life or validating what’s happening in your brain, and that’s just good for the soul. Plus, pretty journals are just fun and make you feel all fancy and official.
A Protein Snack
Hangry is real. Both for my kid and for me. Protein is brain food. One of the things we learned in our adoption training (yes, they go over nutrition because it is that important), is getting protein into our kids every 2-3 hours. And let me tell you, it is a HUGE need for my active boy. Sometimes when a meltdown occurs, I know that I don’t actually need to address the behavior at all, I need to get protein in him fast and all will be well. That protein snack changes depending on the phase of toddlerhood pickiness we are in for that week, but don’t forget that plants contain protein. A good homemade bar that contains healthy nuts and dried fruits without added sugar is usually a go-to, or if I need something store-bought Bearded Brother Bars are our favorite. Sometimes when I am being irritable or short-tempered, I have to stop and go “Did I eat this morning?” Sometimes the solution is for me, because he’s just reacting to my hangry. Moms we have to take better care of ourselves. We’ll be better moms for it, and I know I’m preaching to myself here. It’s such a struggle.
Why I love it:
It just proves how important nutrition is, and when I talked about this to parents pre-motherhood, I got a lot of flack for it. So when I read this in books and trainings before bringing our son home, it was like all the praise hands. Another thing you can do with that journal is track what your kid is eating and you might find they are sensitive to certain things. Moms who are parenting kids with trauma: this is especially important for you. Because of changes in brain chemistry and a high amount of stress flooding our kids’ bodies, children from hard places are especially sensitive to sugar, food dyes, preservatives, even pesticides and weed killers that can end up in our food supply (see pg. 201 in The Connected Child).
Oh. My. Word. Best. Wipes. Ever. I know it’s a basic and I said basics aside, but I couldn’t not mention these. My kid has been potty-trained for a year and these wipes are just amazing. Whether you’re wiping a messy face, need to freshen up the underarms, just spilled coffee all over your shirt, or you have mascara running down your face, grab these. Just trust me. You will never go back. I wish I had these when Kai was a baby, like, for real.
Why I love it:
Gentle. Free of fragrance and all other toxins. Smell AMAZING. Like you will want to dive into the package. So nourishing and refreshing to the skin. I just love them, ok? Get them. Fall in love. Never look at a wipe the same again.
So, those are my mama must-haves. Life-changing, I’m telling you. If you need the must-haves from Young Living, please click here and get it straight from the source (don’t try to skimp and go to Amazon…there’s no telling what that seller has done to that bottle). Grab a starter kit to become a member and I’ll walk you through the rest. All of my cute journals typically come from Target.
I’d love to know, what are some of your Mama Must-Haves?