What Your Handbag Says About You


Have you noticed how your bag size expands and contracts depending on the age of your child?

Like many moms, I relegated my cute handbags to the back of the closet when I gave birth because having a newborn required I lug around a plastic-lined, baby blue, diaper bag behemoth. Within its endless pockets and pouches, I stashed toys, bottles, diapers and nursing bra pad liners.There go my male readers again.


As the babies grew into toddlers, I traded in the beast of a bag for a trendy backpack from an Outlet store. The trim design held water bottles and bandaids without screaming ‘Huggies.’ It also conveniently freed my hands to pull out my hair as the kids tested my sanity by swan-diving off playground slides and hot dogging on their bikes until one landed on his face.

Once the boys attended elementary school and could be dropped off in the carpool lane, I retired the backpack and ascended to handbag heaven. In short, I no longer needed a purse at all. I doubt Jack Kerouac felt any freer writing On the Road than I did skipping out of the house sans purse. The essentials – cell phone, keys and lipstick  – slipped neatly into my jeans pocket.


Times have changed. This is the era of the Messenger Bag and I can’t blame my kids anymore. To begin with, I see my dermatologist more often than my bff and I’m getting tired of asking Mr. UnHollywood if there’s anything stuck in my teeth.

In my messenger bag you will find my new essentials:

Dental Floss

Cell Phone

Pen and paper

Day Planner

Lip gloss


bandaids + Neosporin


Am I missing anything?

Author Description

Cynthia Baseman

Cynthia Baseman is the author of 'Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope.' She writes about motherhood, the environment and education.

There are 11 comments. Add yours

  1. 9th April 2013 | Carpool Goddess says: Reply
    Don't forget your wallet! I love large tote bags. I carry everything but the kitchen sink.
    • 10th April 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Mr. UnHollywood loves it when I forget the wallet - less shopping:)
  2. 9th April 2013 | Jean says: Reply
    so who is your dermatologist?
    • 9th April 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Alan Rosenbach. He takes very good care of me and doesn't push treatments.
  3. 9th April 2013 | Roberta says: Reply
    Tylenol, Advill, vitamins (I forgot to take at home). Tea bags, chewy granola bars & the list goes on & on. Can't seem to trim it down.
    • 9th April 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Unrelated but I'm so on the fence on vitamins. Do they really make a difference? If you don't take them do you notice it?
  4. 9th April 2013 | Hayley Kaplan says: Reply
    It seems my essential list exceeds yours. I have all you have plus... - Toothpaste, toothbrush and teaspoon - important staples for over zealous Invisalign wearers like myself - Pill box with Tylenol, Advil and an emergency Benedryl. - Wallet - Leather envelope with coupons and gift certificates I forget to use 99% of the time. - Another leather envelope with raw sugar (must have with my iced tea) and some female necessity products - Hand cream - Tissues - Heavy bunch of keys I don't keep with my car keys - Small makeup purse with lipstick, lip liner and a compact mirror - Pack of gum - A couple of Green Teabags - Business cards in a business card holder - Purse holder (table attachment for restaurants) - Hand sanitizer Wow! My secrets are out and now I know why my purse is so heavy. Time to refine what is essential?
    • 9th April 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      What a refined person - green tea bags and raw sugar. Heavy or not, I like your style.
  5. 9th April 2013 | Mamacita says: Reply
    I have noticed with maturity that I not only need a large handbag, but a carrier for my I pad. I am ready to be part of the electronic era.
    • 9th April 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Welcome to the digital world. Now who is going to carry your bag?
  6. 9th April 2013 | Christina Simon says: Reply
    My handbags are all huge totes. Hmmm. At some point I keep thinking I'll downsize.

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