There comes a time in every parent’s journey where she (or he) realises the carrying around of ten tonnes of crap has to stop.
You may love your baby changing bag. You may be sick to death of it. Either way, when your child reaches the stage you are mostly running after them, arms and legs flying, abandoning all other belongings, it does us all good to be travelling a little lighter. The novelty of that suitcase you once swooned over may well have worn right off, and become a weight around your neck. Literally.
After all, the muslins, multiple outfit changes, bottles, formula, nappy cream, etc etc should now be surplus to requirements. Shock horror, your little sprog(s) may even survive with a shop bought drink and snack, leaving the possibilities of leaving the house with just a purse, keys and a spare nappy & wipes in the car endless. If you are brave enough…
Then, if you, like me, have reached the stage you have two children wanting to ride scooters and smart trikes, the over-the-shoulder tote style bag you lovingly selected may be causing havoc with your back and ability to get from A to B. The chance of that spare outfit being the correct age bracket the one day you actually need it will be cursed by the law of sod; And the one time you need a pair of warm tights you’ll only have a summer vest, or vice versa.
I’m not even sure it really worked once we switched from travel system to stroller anyway – as the weight of the bag was easily 10 times the weight of our tiny 2nd percentile child. Hooking said bag onto the buggy handles caused all sorts of issues and parenting fail moments. Thank God for harnesses and a kid that is an adrenaline junkie – hanging upside down is no problem.
A friend of mine gave me a top tip – to bag up your spare clothes selection and leave them in the car. That made me, a total organised freak, feel a little easier about letting go of the preparedness for every eventuality.
So, this summer I made one giant leap for Mum-kind. I popped that well loved baby changing bag up in the top of a wardrobe (pending the fate of all our baby items being determined) and I put a rucksack on my birthday wishlist. In fact, I didn’t just put any old rucksack on any old list…I forwarded my husband a link to the actual one I had my heart set on.
Gandys London – it’s one of my favourite brands (regular readers of my blog will know this). The Gandy brothers Rob & Paul inspired me so much when I heard their story (and read their book Tsunami Kids, in one afternoon). I’ve always been a huge advocate of their mission, and their flip flops.
Now, the brand have taken a step into a new product range…round towels, sunglasses, and bags. I have been lusting after one or two for quite some time.
Okay the target demographic is probably the eighteen to twenty something, carefree, on a once in a lifetime adventure. I may not be eighteen, or even twenty something. I definitely can’t squeeze into the carefree category (what are we going to have for tea tonight?), BUT I am a Mother. This is my greatest adventure yet. Plus, who cares! I really like the bag!
The idea of carrying two miniature Peppa Pig rucksacks awkwardly over each shoulder, as well as a handbag just wasn’t for me either. No, I’m like a cowgirl, with a drink in each side pocket like a couple of holsters; armed with nothing more than some suncream and some raisins, and we are good to go. The front pocket also makes a super fast access point for an emergency dummy & bunny situation too (yes, I know, that also needs to go. Soon, I promise).
I have at times been tempted by a classy tote bag style, but at 35 years of age, I have learnt I am a woman more about substance than style. Well, a classy kind of style anyway. As a girl who is happy drinking a pint in a grotty pub with a sticky floor, a coral designer tote bag probably isn’t really me anyway. I also hate having one of my precious hands tied to holding a bag, when it could be holding a coffee / kiddo / cocktail (not necessarily in situ). So it’s all about the rucksack. Occasionally, having caught a glimpse of my reflection I have pondered if I look like a foreign exchange student, and wondering if it’s still uncool to go two-straps as it was when I was fifteen. But who cares, I feel like I’m winning.
I’m travelling light, and I’m on my adventure.
Disclosure: This post is not sponsored. I genuinely adore the Gandys London products and their work for an amazing cause; Orphans for Orphans. I am doing my bit to spread the word about Gandys, they also make great flip flops.