First I had children, and now there’s weird crap in my handbag

There I stood, hovering in front of the Tesco trolleys in a corner I’m sure they’ve designed as a wind tunnel, rummaging through my handbag for a pound coin. Because I never have one, do I? My pound coins go on apple pies from McDonald’s and as many caramel Freddos as I can stuff in a fist. I had a faint hope that there might be one lurking at the bottom of my bag, so screwed up my courage and dug in, all careless about my fingers. I haven’t seen the bottom of my handbag for some time, and I’m a little afraid of it. I’d like to say that motherhood has changed me, but actually it just made me messy in a different way.

Here’s what’s in my handbag, right at the moment:

Purse (good)

Extra card wallet for my library of points cards, since I live in eternal hope of gathering together enough points for a free Freddo

A pen

A chewing gum packet with one piece left

Face powder, because I get shiny-stressed when I run out of hands (which is always)

Four different brands of red lipstick, none of which I’m wearing

A bottle of body butter, which is being used as heavy-duty hand cream (for my too-many-baths-and-washing-up leprosy hands)

Some hand sanitiser, because I had to confiscate it after Henry necked a good inch and a half from the top (no ill effects)

A dummy, which Teddy hasn’t wanted for several months

Some lip balm

A green crayon

A baby spoon, clean I think

An old Tesco receipt on which, apparently, I only bought custard (a bad day, obviously)

A shell from Brighton beach

Some headache tablets (ooh!)

A padlock for my gym locker, gathering dust

Two hair bobbles and a hair grip

A glue stick I have never seen before (?!)

1/10 of a rice cake, the same colour as a chilli-flavoured one (but it was salt and vinegar, so…)

A set of dangly earrings, from the last time I got tired of Teds using them for trapeze practice

A piece of discarded Freddo wrapper

Some headphones

A ticket from the Paris Metro (sob!) plus a piece of paper saying ‘you are fabulous’, from a friend (sobbier!)

The heart-shaped stone Tim’s dad brought for us the day Henry was born. Yes, Henry.

Did I mention I bought a tiny handbag on purpose, because I wanted to downsize? I did.

I did not, of course, find a pound coin.


Ok, confession time: what’s the weirdest thing in your handbag right now? No cheating! I feel like mine was the glue stick, though I’m open to suggestions.Β 

23 thoughts on “First I had children, and now there’s weird crap in my handbag

  1. The only weird thing I’ve got in there just now is a zipper sandwich bag. Empty, thank goodness. Left over from a trip when I put some meds in there I needed to take on the way. When I found it in there today, somehow I thought it would be a good idea to keep it there…perhaps anticipating running across something messy that I nonetheless want to put into my purse? Who knows? -Amy at

  2. A medical wee pot and a silver gel pen. This is where I confess that I haven’t used my handbag since before Tristan was born. In the bag I normally take out, the winner is a cardboard room thermometer made with heat-sensitive paper like a mood ring.

    • So often a handbag is just one thing too many to carry, isn’t it?! I love that you’re always prepared to measure the temperature of a room at a moment’s notice πŸ™‚

      Perhaps the internet is not the place to confess this, but I will anyway – at what turned out to be my last midwife appointment, my midwife forgot to empty my wee pot. Then Edward arrived suddenly, everything went haywire…and I found it three months later. At which point I threw it away, the envelope it was in, the bag holding the envelope…everything. Urgh.

      • Rach, I may love you just a little more for admitting that…even on the internet. πŸ™‚ At least it was in the envelope!

        And my cardboard room thermometer says it’s currently 21 degrees: “ideal” on our imprecise descriptive scale.

  3. You have prompted me to take an inventory of what is in my man-bag – a hefty rucksack that I lug around just about everywhere. Here goes:
    Left side-pocket:
    – A small bottle of Head-and-Shoulders
    – A Kiwi black shoe polish stick
    – A packet of mini-lingettes – citron vert
    – A breath spray
    – A tiny bottle of shaving oil
    Right side-pocket:
    – A rose-coloured spork from Itsu (wiped but not washed)
    – A black plastic spoon still in its plastic wrapper
    – A packet of hot chocolate powder swiped from a hotel room
    – A steel teaspoon – looks clean
    – A mini-tube of Oral-B
    – A reusable shopping bag (given to me by Yvonne to discourage me from using supermarket plastic bags)
    Front pocket:
    – A bicycle pump
    – A ScotRail men’s vanity pack
    – A red notebook (written in but not read)
    – A packet of Sainsbury tissues
    – 3 herb tea sachets
    – A pack of miscellaneous loyalty cards
    – A wireless mouse
    – 3 blank CDs
    – A strip of asprins (3 left)
    – 12 β€œI’m a Mormon” cards
    – A laptop mains cable
    – An iPhone mains cable
    – A set of ear plugs for iPhone
    – A red biro
    – An β€œI’ll Follow Him in Faith” pencil
    – Wallet containing passport and emergency cash
    – 2 spare AA batteries – probably used, but can’t be sure
    Main pocket:
    – Work papers
    – A half-empty (or is that half-full?) packet of toddler-wipes (for wiping my β€œtoddler”)
    – A single red socket waiting to be laundered (thought I had lost that – hurray!)
    – A Vaio laptop and its cloth bag
    – An external DVD writer/player and USB connector
    – 6 screen wipes in little sachets

  4. I have a beautiful little body shop bag which has tweezers, nail clippers, lippy (not red though) hair grips, ear plugs for sleeping, headache tablets, buscapan, then a toothbrush, toothpaste, matching word game, 5 pens, an empty glass case, two diaries (one for work, one for home) mini suduko book, train tickets, crayon and two samples of fabric, hello kitty purse, blue spotty purse and yet another ourse none of which have any money in and toddler moist toilet wipes. Only a small bag, and no pound coins lurking at the bottom . Time for a clear out I think.

  5. I love reading your blog, Rachel! Ruth and I often talk about it, in our house half a world away from home, where we read the blog posts of a friend we haven’t seen in so many years! πŸ™‚

    This post stuck a chord with me as my handbag is also often filled with the weird and wonderful, since working with children is what I spend the majority of my time doing these days! Current contents (aside from the usual wallet, phone, boring grown-up stuff) include:

    A recipe page for cupcakes that look like the aliens from Toy Story
    A felt tip pen with no lid
    A broken piece of a marble run set
    A broken plastic giant letter E
    A piece of ‘artwork’ a child made me as a gift
    A packable rain jacket
    Ten small pots of poster paint
    A (dirty) pair of child’s socks, left behind after we’d packed up at the end of Friday and I couldn’t be bothered going back in so put them in my handbag for ‘safe keeping’!
    An orange
    About a million pens
    A Freddo my boss gave me
    Paracetamol (of course!)

    So I guess motherhood and working with kids yield some pretty similar experiences… except I do still love the joy I feel when I get to give them back at the end of the day (sorry!)!

    Keep writing mate, and we will keep reading (all the way from New Zealand!). x

    • Oh, this comment made my day! (And sorry it’s taken so long to tell you so.) The internet is brilliant for this sort of thing, isn’t it? On the other side of the world and fifteen years later, and we can still catch up with each other’s lives πŸ™‚

      I am hugely impressed that your handbag is big enough for TEN pots of poster paint in addition to everything else. Respect, my friend.

      Love to both of you from way over here! X

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *