What weird stuff do you have in your bag?
Though she’s a talented big-time Hollywood actor, Jennifer Garner has always seemed somewhat relatable. Now, the mum of three (Violet is 12, Seraphina, 9, and Samuel, 6) has stepped things up a notch and shared a hilarious video of herself on Instagram, going through the contents of her backpack. In her backpack she finds coloured pens, heart stickers, her date book, more heart stickers, index cards, the package for a set of pens, more pens and a geode (“Why though?” she laughs to herself in the video, “I don’t know”), among other stuff. As she pulls each item out of her backpack she looks baffled and amused – like, seriously, how did these things end up in here? And why do I have so many heart stickers? Oh Jen, I can so relate. I can’t say I was ever the tidy type before having kids, especially when it came to my handbag. I was way more of a just-in-case type gal, which meant I liked to carry way more than I ever needed, just in case. My just-in-case-ness (and yes, we’re going to call that a real word for now), ramped up, oh, a thousand or so degrees once I had kids. Nappies, wipes, butt cream, more wipes, teething toys. If it was vaguely baby related, in it went. Then, my babies turned to toddlers and started seeing my handbag as the perfect place to pop anything they were remotely interested in ever playing with again. So in went little plastic cars, and shiny pink necklaces, and erasers, and little soft toys. My bag became a veritable feast of random stuff. My son used to toddle around carrying an empty Nurofen bottle that he called his ‘rattle’. He was obsessed with that thing, so naturally it was in my bag at all times (except when he was carrying it). My daughter, on the other hand, used to love our pasta strainer. Yes, our pasta strainer. So there were times I left the house with my wallet, keys, phone, other random things – and a pasta strainer – in my bag. Nowadays, as my kids are older, my bag is still kind of a lucky dip. I’m never without snacks. Plus, there’s the usual assortment of things that mothers seem to universally tote (like tissues and pens). I wish I was more organised, and once in a while I’ll do a thorough clean-out of my bag and swear that, when I pack it again, it will be far more organized and less cluttered. But before you can say ‘Bob’s your uncle,’ my bag is heaving yet again. So seeing this video made me smile. Because there are women of the world who follow the Kondo method (made famous by uber-organised cleaning queen, Marie Kondo) and whose bags are squeaky clean and ultra organised. And my hat goes off to such people, it really does. But then there are women that drag around so many heart stickers, they could literally swim in them. I’m nothing like those Kondo gals, but it turns out, I am on team Jennifer Garner. And the way she giggles her way through this video – which she admits she filmed after downing some wine – reminds me of my own attitude towards my own overly-packed, totally disorganised bags. Because as parents, we do weird things for our kids, like carrying around their rocks, or empty medicine bottles, or pasta strainers. And at the end of the day, you can lament all that extra lugging and go mad trying to keep everything in its place, or you can simply channel your inner Jennifer Garner, throw back some wine, sort through your own bag of mysteries, and laugh. What weird child-related things do you carry around in your bag? Words: Evelyn Lewin