10 Must-Have Items In Every Mom's Purse

by Rita Templeton
Originally Published: 
diet coke mom's purse motherhood

If I could leave the house without lugging 10 pounds of purse with me, that’d be great. But I have kids, and there’s some unwritten law specifying that when you become someone’s mother, you are now responsible for carrying not only the things they need, but the things they might need.

I learned this the hard way, when—longing to run an errand untethered by a huge diaper bag—I took my first baby out with no supplies except his pacifier. It was a short trip to the grocery store, and I was positive he wouldn’t need anything in the half-hour or so we’d be gone…until 10 minutes in, when he had an epically gag-worthy diaper blowout and required a fresh outfit, which I didn’t have.

My kids are bigger now, but as all moms know, there’s no end to the diaper bag as long as you’re a mother; it’s just called a purse once you’re out of infants. It’s still home to the variety of essentials that sustain our daily lives (and a whole bunch of stuff that isn’t even ours—like the handful of petrified fruit snacks I unearthed while digging for loose change).

1. Wipes. Even when your kids are older, there is always a use for wipes, even if they’re just those little Wet-Nap packets swiped from a restaurant. You never know when you’re going to spot a smudge or toothpaste crust that even your extra-strength Mom Spit can’t remedy.

2. Tissues. There’s nothing better for catching a runny nose, mopping up a small spill, or serving as a receptacle for all the used gum and “yucky” food your kid spits out. It’s either that or your sleeve.

3. Hand Sanitizer. Kids touch everything. And everything in public is gross. Enter your trusty purse-sized bottle of hand sanitizer, because ain’t nobody got time for a stomach flu epidemic.

4. Lotion. All that sanitizer can wreak havoc on beautifully manicured hands (let’s pretend we have beautifully manicured hands, shall we?) so lotion is a must. What’s more, it can be used to tame flyaway hairs, soothe chapped noses or cheeks, and get rid of static. You can also use it on your lips if your lip balm goes MIA—just don’t lick them unless you like the taste of flowers.

5. Snacks. Some moms call them snacks, some call them bribes—but whatever you carry in your purse, be it a stash of suckers or a baggie of almonds, snacks are a must for when the kids are getting whiny and you know “hangry” is just around the corner.

6. Caffeine for Mom. Motherhood is exhausting and we need all the help we can get. Hands off, kids, the Diet Coke is all mom’s.

7. Toys and/or Crayons. There’s a reason that small cars, crayons, and mini-figures are so popular: They’re conveniently purse-sized, perfect for whipping out at the first sign of a long, boring wait.

8. Smartphone. For many of us, it’s the “backup brain”: the device that stores the appointments, the shopping lists, the important numbers and—okay, who are we kidding?—the apps that keep our kids busy when we’re trying to do something we don’t need “help” with.

9. Sunglasses. For those exceptionally bright days when the sun’s glare hinders our ability to drive safely, or for (mostly) covering up dark under-eye circles and bags the size of Texas, and disguising the fact that we maaaay have skipped out on the mascara today.

10. Bandages. Kids are klutzy, and you never know when you’re going to need to remedy a cut or scrape. They also think they require a Band-Aid for everything, so it’s good to keep them on hand just to avoid having to argue. Plus if you stash them somewhere in the house, the kids will find them and use them for playing “emergency room” and as a substitute for tape.

Like it or not, purses are to moms what pouches are to kangaroos: necessary for the well-being of their offspring. Although I’m pretty sure a kangaroo mom would never find chewed-up gum…


Diet Coke understands that moms need something of their own. Their new IT’S MINE bottles are beautiful and unique and come in millions of designs, and most importantly not made for kids. Because we share enough with those punks. These? Are just ours. Cheers!

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