Why moms take an entire day to pack

There was a time in my life when a vacation meant packing a few clothes in a bag, a couple of books, camera, a brush, toothpaste, cream, comb and a few other essentials. It was usually done in about an hour the night before the said vacation, even if there was an early morning flight.

That was then. And there is now. I have spent the entire day packing and it isn’t even done yet. And the flight? It isn’t until Saturday.

Pic: Wikimedia commons

Yes I know. That sounds extremely scarily organised. But I’m no longer packing for one. I’m packing for two, no three, which means myself and the two brats.

I have made a list. Checked the weather at our destination. Laid out the appropriate gear. The trouble comes when I’m about to throw it all in. Isn’t that red t-shirt one size too small? Out it goes then. Now do I see a hole in that sock? Oh and have I only packed one jacket? One? Yes I know it is rather warm where we are going but I am carrying kids along. And as we all know their chief purpose in life is to prove Murphy’s Law right.

What if brat junior decides to throw up on the one jacket he has on the one day when it is windy and I’m stuck in a one jacket kind of situation?

Do I have enough diapers? Yes dear husband, I know they are available in every medical store around the country but what if they run out of the size he wears?

Children demand back up plans more often than not. You think they are old enough to go without the stroller and plan to do short walks followed by rest during a city tour during a vacation. That’s the day he decides to latch on to your shoulder.

You try to outgrow the diaper days and carry a regular bag with baby’s minimal stuff instead of the Gorilla size bag you usually tag along. That’s the day of multiple nappy changes, soiled pants and repeat biscuit requests, something you haven’t been able to fit in much in your mini bag.

Is it any wonder then that I take an entire day to pack? Packing for kids is equivalent to planning for an emergency landing in an uninhabited island where you are likely to be stuck for three whole years.

  • Paper pads and crayons. Yes
  • Books. Of course
  • Electronic device not otherwise given to child. Now what to do about it.
  • Favourite soft toy.
  • Favourite snack/biscuit
  • Favourite sipper.
  • Extra diapers (hand baggage only)

Toys that will survive airport security and save your sanity. (Ma’am could you please open the suitcase spilling out your haphazardly organised things and locating the toy that’s making this strange beeping sound because the brat switched it on behind your back while you were packing)?

There, I have said it. There was a time when I packed, grabbed a book and went on vacation. Now I’m a mom. I just drag myself behind a suitcase that contains half the household. Wish me luck.

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About Reshmi Chakraborty 62 Articles
Reshmi Chakraborty is a features writer and mother of a 6-year-old and a one year old. She lives near Bannerghatta Road.


  1. Dear Rashmi,
    I nice, entertaining piece, all true, that will have many good Moms wondering what happened to them. Maybe a review of your mindset will show you a way.
    When and why did you children become “brats” and your spouse “dear husband”? You were given control of your children from conception and I presume you had a say in the choice of your spouse! You have had some say in the formation of their characters and behaviour. So what was your contribution to your present situation, for which you are not entirely responsible.
    One difference is that when you agreed to marriage. You accepted that life in future was not just about “a few clothes in a bag, a couple of books, camera, a brush, toothpaste, cream, comb and a few other essentials”. It would now include another, who was more important, to what was adequate so far. Do you remember your feelings when you held that first brat, sorry baby, in your arms?
    Not all is lost forever! Once you realise that you can choose to include them in those “few essentials”, and you start the change by admitting it to yourself, they also will come around and soon the few things that they do for themselves will make you feel like a queen.
    FIRST STEP: change your mindset!
    PS I am a “dear husband” who made many mistakes before I learnt this lesson. My wife was always better at it. It seemed to come instinctively.

  2. Hardly does a guy expect things going to come after marriage. Normally people joke by warning a guy about marriage.. Hardly would the guy have guessed its not just about about wife but also kids.. He has to spend more time taking care of not just wife but also kids.. Things like movies, vacations which he used to enjoy becomes tougher with kids.. He has to do baby sitting during vacation, movies and vacation… Both wife/husband have lot more to manage with kids..

  3. I am sure its not the case with just mom but dad as well… Before marriage many jokes fly around warning about marriage.. But one would have never guessed the challenges are not just about the spouse but the kids as well.. Before kids the husband needs to carry one or two bags with stuff from wife, but after kids he has to carry bags of both wife and kids!! No more happy movie seeing or jolly vacations…

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