16 handbag essentials for the working mum of a toddler

Handbag essentials tend to change when you have a toddler in tow.

What you need … and what you don’t

It’s fair to say that life since I became a new mum over 40 has changed and so have the contents of my bag. Gone are the days when I could walk out of the house in heels clutching a dainty patent leather bag (Not that I ever did wear heels much).

Now I have a good old-fashioned rucksack to cart around everything I need for the day ahead and my flats now help me scurry to nursery.

This change got me questioning whether that meant I was less organised – or perhaps a little bit more organised than I was before. I like to think I’m the latter, but to decide once and for all, I carried out a little study of the contents of my rucksack over a working week.

Day 1. Monday

1. Pens

You can never have enough pens when you’re a creative soul as you never know when one (or more) will come in useful.

2. Snacks

Being a busy mum on the go, with little C’s bag to pack, H’s shirt to iron and drop-offs at nursery to plan for, I don’t have time to prepare lunch and so I buy sandwiches and snacks at whichever store doesn’t have a queue in a morning en route to work.

3. Water bottle

Bottled water just doesn’t fit into a petite handbag, hence the rucksack, because I need to stay hydrated.

4. Mini first-aid kit

Kalms – to cope with little C’s cranky moments. A band aid – in case I trap my finger in the pushchair en route to nursery (it has happened) and Lemsip – because bugs are rife at this time of year and as any busy working mum knows – there’s just no time to be ill.

5. Mummy stuff

I guess the Chanel perfume and lipstick are just comfort accessories these days to remind myself that I am not just a mum, I’m a supermum. It’s often a tough choice though on what to wear. Do I opt for the Vaseline or the lippy? More often than not, it’s the lippy for a nice smile to try and detract from my tired eyes.

6. Purse and keys

I group these or lose these. Absolute essentials.

Day 2. Tuesday

7. Baby wipes

Baby wipes are a working mum’s handbag essential. Whether that be cleaning Cyrus, mopping up the contents of a carton of milk or wiping down clothing on the way out of the door – I always have a pack to hand.

8. Snacks

An apple a day keeps the doctor away was the first nutritional advice I was ever given and with all the bugs going around, it’s my weapon of choice. I’ve found it’s also a great way of soothing a hungry baby.

9. Book

After enduring the stampede at nursery in a morning, I need a spot of inspiration as a busy new mum over 40 and The Tantrum Survival Guide is a brilliant page-turner on the bus to work.

10. Post-It notes and a pen

I always try to carry Post-It notes and a pen to jot down any light-bulb moments because you never know when they may strike.

11. Medicine kit

Painkillers for those ‘just in case’ moments.

Day 3. Wednesday

Middle of the week and not much has changed…apart from a random roll of Cellotape

12. Cellotape 

Now when you have family members living abroad and send parcels, it’s always good to have a roll of Cellotape handy.

Day 4. Thursday

13. Pacifier

There are times when I have help packing my bag in a morning. Little Cyrus loves nothing more than taking everything out and putting everything back in his own bag. Sometimes he is mistaken which is which though and I bring some interesting items into the workplace.

14. Wheatgrass powder

After almost a week of sugary treats, the guilt-trip hits me and I feel the need to balance my PH level with some wheatgrass juice.

Day 5. Friday – I made it!

15. Hand sanitiser

This always comes in handy when you have to change a baby on the hop. Some changing facilities are not what they are cracked up to be.

16. Tasty treats

It’s Friday and that can only mean one thing – tasty treats from Greggs!


The lines are definitely blurred by Friday on whose bag is whose, but it’s clear by this point that a five-day working week is quite enough for any busy new mum over 40.


Leave a Reply

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