You’ve heard the advice about keeping an emergency preparedness kit in your car for situations like getting stuck on the side of the road during winter, right? Those usually include things like a blanket, flashlight, orange cone or flares, etc. But I propose all mothers out there keep a different kind of emergency kit in their car that is just as important (maybe even more so): The Mom Survival Kit.
Here is what I’ve included in mine that has saved us on more than one occasion:
Extra pair of shoes for each kid: I’m talking a super cheap pair of shoes here. Think dollar store flip-flops for the warm weather and your kids’ almost-too-small sneakers from last school year for winter. Or hand-me-downs or thrift store finds. Seriously, these shoes don’t need to be fancy at all—only functional. This pair is great for those inevitable situations where you are rushing to an appointment and someone didn’t listen when you said, “Get your shoes on and then get in the car!”
A bra: Listen, my hatred for bras and their discomfort runs deep so when I know I’m having a less hectic day spent mostly at home, I won’t bother wearing one. If I have to leave my house to run one errand where I stay in the car and go through a drive through or pick up a kid from school, I’ll usually do it without a bra. But just in case something were to happen on our short trip, I keep an old sports bra in my car survival kit because “what ifs” are a thing. What if someone rear ends me and now I have to get out of the car and interact with other human beings? The fact that I was braless would become obvious quite quickly. So just in case, I stow one away in my car.
A jacket or hoodie also work in case you have to cover the obvious lack of bra emergency.
Brush and a few hair ties: Not going to lie, styling my daughter’s hair is not as fun as I used to dream it would be. And I’m not fully functional in the mornings due to my usual lack of sleep, so we tend to forget about her hair until we are pulling up to preschool. Having a little brush and a few hair clips in my car survival bag have been a lifesaver. And by “lifesaver,” I mean they’ve saved me from looking like I don’t care enough about my kid’s appearance to even brush out one knot every day.
A book or two: This one is obvious when it comes to entertaining your kids in the car but that’s not why I’m suggesting it be part of your survival kit. You know how the sun will sometimes be shining just right where it’ll hit your kid in the face and they start screaming it’s too bright? And you know how you can’t do much about it while you’re trying to drive? Try handing them a book and teaching them to use it to provide shade for their eyeballs. Sanity saver, right there.
A portable potty seat and grocery bags: You may have seen this trick already, with some parents opting to use a Pull-Up diaper instead of a plain old plastic bag. But if you have a child who is potty training (or maybe your kid just has an unreliable bladder), keeping a little potty chair in your trunk with a plastic bag in the hole can be a lifesaver. When they yell, “I have to go poop!” and you’re not able to make it to a toilet in time, pull over and make them go in this and tie up the bag for easy disposal. We have liked our Lilla brand potty from IKEA for this purpose.
Bottle of water and snacks: I honestly don’t know a single parent that doesn’t carry some kind of snacks in their car but just in case, I threw this one in. Whether your drive will take five minutes or five hours, your kid(s) will start whining about being hungry and/or thirsty so to save your own sanity, store some non-sticky snacks in your kit and replace the bottle of water every so often.
What other items would you include in your mom-specific Survival Car Kit?