Mom, Human Pack Animal

As Matron Of Honor at my sister-in-law's wedding, I ended up needing to haul a lot of "stuff" to and from and around the wedding and related festivities. Add to that my two small children still in diapers, and the fact that we were going to be gone from home for a whole week - and you can imagine the loads of stuff that followed me everywhere I went this weekend. In baby gear alone, I could have made a tidy sum on the resale market.

In fact, I brought so much stuff that no one could fit me and my kids and all of our stuff in their car to go back to Iowa. My husband had to leave the reception early for a work trip, and none of us really planned for that very well. Which meant, of course, my kids and I had to stay behind while Stephen took the car back home. Of course, this meant that my mother-in-law had to make a special trip into Chicago and back out to their country home so I could have a vehicle that fit everything and everyone.

My infant daughter has a sit-me-up-seat, a floor play gym, a Rock and Play sleeper, a ring sling, and diapers and wipes. Of course, she also had her wedding outfit and several spare changes for the week. Shep, being a bit bigger and having Pack and Plays smartly storede at family homes, only needed his potty and his high chair. I grabbed an umbrella stroller and a second backpack filled with wipes and diapers, just in case.

To my credit, I ended up needing two diaper bags as my kids didn't always end up in the same place together. Being the matron of honor in a wedding while also nursing a 6 month old that refuses formula was....a challenge. Basically we played hot potato with my kids all weekend - up to and including having friends hold on to my son for me during the ceremony. But today, as I packed up everything from my sister's house, I realized just how much stuff I had brought with me. All the makeup and skin care I owned, hair products for myself and Shep, a portable steamer, a travel iron. Yes, all of those things got used. It's a good thing I did, since I ended up doing makeup for everyone in the bridal party - including the bride herself! I brought more stuff than you bring to the hospital in your emergency bag.

Just tell me to stop justifying my pack-mule style way of traveling. Remind me that as kids get older, they require less "stuff" to go places. That while I definitely need to buy a solid used van somewhere, I will be able to run into the store with a kid without bringing everything and the kitchen sink with me. It shocks me how many of my belongings are actually my kids' stuff. Yes, there are two of them. But there's only one of me! And I'm the one who has to end up hauling all their stuff around. At least afterward I can skip arm day? Silver linings and all that.


I know I'm not the only mom who has overfilled their van. How do you stop overpacking? Is it a matter of pre-storing items at family homes? Or do you just bring one toy each and hope for the best? Tell me you ways on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3. 

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