Four years later when my son was born, I got one of those looks-like-a-purse-but-it's-a-diaper-bag thing. Even empty, it was heavier than my son when he was born, and he was an eight pounder! Again I tried to organize the compartments and put bottles here, toys there, diapers here, changing pad there. Again I failed. But at least I had everything I needed *just in case*. And let me tell you, my babysitters LOVED this. If you're prepared like this, you never have to detour from the adventure. My husband disagrees; he says the detour is part of the adventure and always wondered why I needed to have everything on hand just in case? I wondered how, when he had solo outings with the kiddies, he could just leave the house with a diaper and a few wipes?
We live in New York City. There are snacks and waters and wipes and diapers on every corner. If there's a major poop accident and a change of clothing is desperately needed or something else that I haven't thought of happens and the place on the nearest corner can't help, we can just hop home.
I've got a third baby now who will be 18 months this weekend. I can't remember when I last used a diaper bag but I can admit this: when we leave the house, I bring everything just in case. But now it's shoved into a canvas bag. Spare pacifiers, extra diapers, wipes, books, toys, extra socks, you name it. And I've always given myself a little pat on the back for it until today. I was stopped in my tracks today after reading this article from Morgan over on The818.com. It's all about decluttering and getting rid of the crap you don't use (decluttering/purging and I have a love/hate relationship). She quotes Karen Kingston, author of “Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui” who wrote:
“Keeping things ‘just in case’ indicates a lack of trust in the future…It is often not your own future you are concerned about providing for. You may also sincerely want to be able to help others. So then you keep absolutely everything ‘just in case’ someone else needs it.”
Morgan writes "you’ve kind of got to get rid of all that crap and trust that you’ll be able to access/aquire the crap you need when you need it."
Ugh. I.AM.GUILTY! And frankly, the diaper bag is just one teensy example of this larger problem. I have a lack of trust in the future. And that's a bad example to set for my kids.
Must. Change. I want my kids to feel empowered that they can weather any situation, even if they aren't prepared for it. They shouldn't *need* everything packed just in case. So why should I?
Lots of food for thought here. I'm not even sure if I'm about to dive whole hog into embracing the uncertainties of the future and my ability to deal with them as they crop up or if I'm about to spend more time defensively justifying my own perspective. Stay tuned.