What do a clean diaper, hand sanitizer and cheese strings have in common? Ask a mom. She’ll tell you that, together, those three items have the power to turn a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day into the best day ever – or at least less of a disaster. Because when you’ve got kids, you’ve got to be ready for anything and everything.
We talked to 100 supermoms to find out what other essentials they’ve always got on hand. Here’s what they told us:
We asked 100 moms: What’s the one thing you can’t leave home without?
26 per cent always carry a smartphoneIt makes calls and surfs the Internet, but in the hands of a mom, it’s so much more: It’s the device that lets her pick up a friend’s child at the last minute, buy the kids treats with her coffee app and snap pictures of their milk moustaches. (And let’s be honest, it’s also a convenient toy!)Sean Dreilinger via Flickr Creative Commons
Eight per cent always carry lip balmAh, lip balm – or as we like to call it, "mom makeup." Not only does it prevent and relieve chapped lips, but it also removes errant mascara streaks, soothes raw nostrils and entertains young children with the "snap the cap back challenge." But if you’re a mom, you already knew that.Lionel & Heidi via Flickr Creative Commons
Seven per cent always carry waterIt’s practically a law of miniature-human nature that if you leave the house without water, your child will become thirsty within five minutes. And a thirsty child is a cranky child, and a cranky child is everyone’s problem. austinvegas via Flickr Creative Commons
Five per cent always carry a snackCheese strings can be the difference between familial breakdown and precious sanity. One of the moms we spoke with has kept them on hand ever since she and her kids were stuck on a jammed highway for hours, and the few she’d happened to toss in her purse kept the whole family’s hanger at bay.Eric Peacock via Flickr Creative Commons
Five per cent always carry hand sanitizerTo most, hand sanitizer is great for, well, hand-sanitizing. But give a mom a bottle, and she’ll clean almost anything – a toy, a phone, a public toilet seat. It also removes sticker goo and is a killer stain-buster. We're pretty sure it’s why moms of toddlers can get away with white shirts.Andrew Braithwaite via Flickr Creative Commons
Five per cent always carry hand lotionSee: hand sanitizer and its first cousin, hand-washing. Moms are big on both.Chiot's Run via Flickr Creative Commons
Three per cent always carry a childIt’s hard to find a mom who doesn’t think of her kids several times a day, but a few of the moms we talked to won’t even leave the house without them. For real! We can’t decide if they’re angels or crazy people but, mostly, we just admire them for never forgetting where they put their kids.Gary Simmons via Flickr Creative Commons
Two per cent always carry a clean diaperClean diapers are not only the perfect replacements for dirty ones, they also make stellar bottle wraps, so savvy mamas can keep baby’s food warm, feed baby, then change baby in one seamless chain of momtasticness.yodelodelay via Flickr Creative Commons