Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: A bag for myself

Welcome to Bigger Picture Moments, a place where we step back and take in life. There are moments where we're so caught up in it all, the hectic mind boggling pace of the day. We encourage you to take this opportunity to take a moment and view the Bigger Picture. Whatever that means to you. A moment where you recognized the role your faith plays in your every day life. A moment where you take note of motherhood and the importance of what you are doing. A moment that made you stop and breathe in the bigness of it all. The hugeness that is life and the small moments adding up to one Bigger Picture.

We hope you'll join us. Take a few moments. Think about your week, and pour however little or much onto a page. Then share. Tell us your moment. Link up below, grab our button, and share your Bigger Picture Moment. And while you're at it, share the love and check out at least one other participant's moment.

Next week, Corinne will be hosting Bigger Picture Moments. Keep an open mind and heart throughout the week and come back to participate again or for the first time! All are welcome!

Bigger Picture Moment

I'm running late {again}.

I can't find my car keys, my wallet or my phone charger {all necessary for leaving home}.

I've checked everywhere --the baker's rack, the table, the basket and every bag in our house -- and now I'm hot, sticky and flustered. It's not a winning combination for trying to make a smooth exit before the boys get all sniffly about mommy leaving them for a few hours with their {favorite} babysitter.

I smile through the frustration; internally, I'm cursing the fact that we have so many bags. The diaper bag, the camera bag, the toy bag, the Curves bag, 12 canvas grocery bags, laptop bags, a beach/pool bag; normally, I transfer my wallet, keys, phone and charger between all of these bags based on where we're going and what we're doing and what the boys absolutely need to be content and comfortable. It's all an effort to avoid public meltdowns.

Admittedly, it gets a little tiring day after day, switching my personal essentials from bag to bag, hoping to find each one before my heart starts racing as the clock ticks closer to our leave time. And packing something like chap stick? That's nearly unheard of. I never could keep track of something so small, so unessential but at the same time so relevant and comforting.

As I search, I wonder to myself how I can make this tiring song and dance of trying to leave the house feel less like a tango -- all fast-paced and with my heart beating out of my chest -- and more like a samba -- slower and graceful.

Maybe if I had my own bag, one to myself, without diapers or toy cars or snack trappers filled with Hearts and Os and hand wipes ...

I'd given up my own bag when G. was born nearly three years ago. I thought it useless, a frivolous accessory that would weigh us down, a silly extra bag to tote around and take up space. Essentially, I traded in my own hand bag for a diaper bag ... a space of my own for the shared space to house necessities of motherhood.

And then slowly, every bag I adopted thereafter became a bag filled with items for the boys, for work, for the family, for groceries for our family. I began transferring my most basic little necessities from someone's bag to someone else's bag. I tossed aside a few of my favorite but oh-so frivolous takealongs. So long lip gloss, hair tie and tiny tube of hand lotion, while I added more and more stuff to more and more bags for everyone, every one except for me.

And, of course, this hits a nerve. Because it's not really about bags. I could simply go upstairs, rip open the tape on a few boxes and search for some old purses I used to sport on my shoulder. But what it is about? Well, it's about the way I've been viewing myself ... my needs, simple and complex, not being as important as boys' {the big one and the small ones} needs. But they are.

They are important, too.

My husband sees it, my Creator sees it and even my boys see it.

So why don't I?

Tonight, I'm resurrecting my handbag from a cardboard box, dusting it off and tucking my wallet and keys and phone and charger inside its pockets.

And tomorrow, I'll carry my very own handbag. With some lip gloss slipped inside a pocket.


  1. Hyacynth, I am excited about the Bigger Picture Moments! Thanks to Sarah, I've already got mine posted. However, I can't get Mr. Linky to work. I'm hopeful it's just my computer (or perhaps the operator) but in case others have this struggle, I thought I'd alert you to it. Look forward to reading more.

  2. This is so awesome! so glad you guys are doing this! i am going to join the fun! it is my bed time soon so i will take my bigger picture moment hopefully in the morning! and am excited to read about others as well :) thank you for sharing your bigger picture moment :) I think it is going to be great to get re-acquainted with your very own handbag :)

  3. I was having the SAME dilemma this week too! Maybe I will revisit my purses too. I really like these 'Bigger Picture Moments'! I'm going to try to post something in the midst of the chaos of this move :)

  4. Look forward to reading about everyone else's moment. Posted mine yesterday and just linked. Off for the weekend now so anticipating lots to read when I come back on Sunday!

    I can identify with yours so easily, a bag for me, for so many years felt like just another thing to carry around. Even now they are older, my bag still ends up with their things in it!

  5. I will definitely participate soon. I understand your bag trauma and the need for "me". As my son gets older and needs a little bit less of my attention everyday, I'm finding myself again. I envy those Moms who had it figured out from the get-go...basically every Mom in Sweden.

  6. It is so very important! I'm glad you resurrected your purses :) A few months after Paige was born I was DONE with the diaper bags, and ended up with a big old carry all from Gap that was something more my style. It makes all the difference. Lovely BPM!

  7. Good for you--unpacking a handbag just for YOU. It's the little things (like having space for lip gloss) that make a huge difference!
    Thanks for hosting this week. I just love the BPB concept.

  8. Do you know, I SO get this. It comes from having boys too. Girl things just seem less. I can't find the time to paint my own toes, let alone get a pedicure. And sometimes a woman just needs to feel put together and womanly. Good for you for dusting off that purse, I hope it cheers you up and helps make the day a little better.

  9. Solution: One GIANT bag for everything! Keys, wallet, phone, charger, iPod, diapers/wipes, water bottles, heavy DSLR, lip gloss, business cards, cheque book, mass of unnecessary receipts from the last month, random jewelry that you've removed after getting tired of the baby trying to chew it or rip it off... and your swipe cards to the chiropractor (our chiro is pretty technologically efficient and we all have swipe cards).

    A chiro is necessary when tote around a bag that big!

    (I jest. Good for you for taking back a little bit of space and giving yourself permission to make you a priority again. Even in as small a way as a handbag.)

  10. I too, miss me, I mean my purse. You forgot one thing, how valuable you are as a friend, to me! You got me writing again, you made me remember that I need sanity and writing helps me regain that. Thank you!

    Several months ago I bought a new purse, a big one! It's mine, it holds my things and it has just enough room for one toy per child (although it could hold more, I don't let it).

  11. What a great post with which to kick this off. I'm loving this series already and can't wait to chime in myself.

    As for your keys/wallet/car charger, I am the SAME WAY. I always misplace mine and finally, My Guy found me a spot in the house where I can leave them each time I come in from home. No exceptions. The moment I get in, I put my little things in there and now that it has become a habit, I know to go to it just before leaving the house. Getting it to be a habit was hard initially but now I'm glad he came up with this system or else I would never be able to find anything (he probably did it because he did most of the searching for me since I'm terrible at that too!)

  12. I have been there in that dilemma. Now that my youngest is almost out of pull ups, I have finally let myself get back to having a handbag of my own. So I splurged and got a nice one, never had a really good one. It is big enough to slip that single pull up into in case of emergencies... though I don't think I will ever give up the box of wipes, they are very handy. Of course I used to carry small purses with just the necessities in it... the new one is huge ... maybe I am still trying to carry all their junk ... subliminally.

  13. Hello!
    I love the concept of Bigger Picture Moments...and I love this story, which I can relate to all too well! When my youngest got to be about 3, I finally realized I could go back to my own purse, since he was finally potty-trained and I didn't need to haul around a diaper bag anymore.

    That's not to say my purse doesn't often have a baggie of Cheerios in it, or a bunch of stickers, or a McDonald's Happy Meal toy stuffed down deep...but at least it's MOSTLY my stuff! Lip gloss, too! :)

  14. I can relate to this situation. I have always loved to exercise but after my daughter’s birth, I felt guilty for taking an extra 30 minutes at the end of the day to workout. I felt (and was even accused by some) that I was being selfish. Thankfully, my amazing husband told me that I was being silly. He reminded me that if I am not taking care of myself then I can not properly care for my daughter.

    I am slowly learning that being a mother means a change in how identify myself but not a total loss of my identity.

  15. I'm so glad you're getting back some little piece of the world just for your own pleasure! Purses are fun :)

  16. AS you know, I too have also recovered my purse from the recess of before childhood. It's amazing what a small accessory can do to lift a spirit and a mood!

  17. This is SO good! It is so easy, especially when the kids are so little, to ALWAYS put their needs ahead of your own. Thank you for sharing this! I look forward to this link-up :)

  18. Hope this is what you were looking for. Since I am not a writer...

    Stay sweet. ♥tlb

  19. I can't wait to see you out with your very own handbag... You've inspired me to go purse shopping. Maybe next week we will both be carrying lip gloss and a bag that represents us, not our efficiency.

  20. Hy, I love this. You're so right. And it took until my third baby for me to realize how important, how necessary, it is to tend to my own needs, too.

    I'm so glad you're digging out a purse. Maybe even buy yourself a new one. :)

    xo elizabeth

  21. I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who has forgone her purse for a diaper bag. You are so right that we make our own needs smaller and smaller in order to meet everyone else's! I am now giving myself permission to go out and buy a cute purse (that may or may not be carried within the diaper bag - but it's a start!)

  22. Thank you for the reminder. We, moms & wives, we are important too.

    And HE recognizes us.

    Oh, thank you.

  23. Hyacynth, let me echo what so many have already said...that this is a lovely idea.

    I am glad that you are finding the tenderness of a bag of your own once again because, while something to soothe your lips is not essential, it is beyond important.

    I have taken to purchasing umpteen of my favorite lip soothers and placing one in every bag that I might carry.

    I carry as many bags as the people I care for and that is a goodly amount as you attest. But I find the words come out so much sweeter when my lips are soft.

    It seemed a ridiculous thing when I went into the store and bought so many lip soothers at one time, so EXTRAVAGANT. But the blessings I've bestowed on others because I am first kind to the mouth that sets the tone for everyone else... well, there is a reason we keep the well from running dry.

    I thank you for this reminder.

    You might like a goofy piece I wrote about bags.

  24. I've been hiding out (and cleaning) my house these days so missed this big event! But, thankfully, my post today goes right along with the "Bigger Picture Moment" theme.

    I am constantly losing so many things in the many bags I carry around. I, like you, finally pulled out my own handbag because I needed it.

  25. Love these bigger picture moments. Had one earlier today, on a plane, watching my teen son sleep beside me. Wonderful.


  26. A little late, but I made it! I love this idea, I will be joining you regularly I'm sure. The "bigger picture moments" are a big reason why I blog. I want to remember those types of moments amongst the craziness of motherhood. I want to look back and be proud of myself for the way I mothered my children. Thank you for bringing all of us like minded people together!

  27. Oh I love it! Beautiful post, and I love this concept. I'll join along someday :) When I've got my own metaphorical purse!

    Go you!

  28. I'm just starting to get this. It took nearly destroying myself for me to see that it wasn't bad to honor my own needs and even wants. From little to big things. Balance is so hard, of course, but choosing to feed myself is more important than I ever dreamed it could be. When I was forced to let go of the guilt over serving myself more often, it was a true gift to me. So go on with your handbag, guilt-free! :)


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