Dear Diary,

Motherhood changed me. I now put a little person’s needs in front of my own.  I do things I don’t feel like doing. I muster an ounce of energy when I would rather fall asleep on the couch. I spend more time dressing my daughter in the morning and less time caring about what I wear to work. Motherhood makes me an unselfish person. But it hasn’t changed another area of my life. I don’t prepare for the worse.  That led to a 5 a.m. trip to the grocery store.

Recently, my daughter spent the week with her father, who forgot to send back her medicine. Because she’s teething, I planned ahead and bought an infant pain reliever and fever reducer for her aunt and grandmother to keep at their homes . I sent my bottle on a road trip,but it never made it back home.  When she woke up in the middle of the night, I was irate at her dad.  Then I realized I should be mad at myself.  Not that he shouldn’t send things back but because I should prepare for the worse.  As I sleep walked through the empty aisles, I thought about how to avoid this crack of dawn drive in the future.  Stocking up on the list below will prevent late night shopping trips, tantrums and teething troubles.

1.  Buy Two Bottles 

Even though you only need one bottle of medicine now, when it runs out you’ll need to buy another.   Stock your medicine cabinet, because typically you child will get sick at an inconvenient time.  A chest cold may strike at 3 a.m. during a snow storm.

2.  Pack Two Outfits

You probably pack an extra outfit in case your little one makes a mess and needs a wardrobe change. But what if your baby is ill and needs to be changed more than once? During my aunt’s birthday luncheon, a stomach virus struck my daughter and she changed clothes twice before we paid our bill.

3. Bring Two Blankies 

My daughter is in love with her pick elephant blankie.  Despite a torn ear, she snuggles with the soft “bee-ga,” as she calls it, when she’s sleepy.  Sometimes she drops the blanket or spills her milk on it, so I try to pack an extra one

4. Purchase Two of Everything

Stock up on items you know you’ll purchase again.  Pedialyte lasts for at least two years, so pick up an extra bottle in case diarrhea or dehydration hits.  When infants and toddlers are ill, they typically lose their appetites.  So stock up on easily digestible foods, like applesauce.

Hey DFTM members, what extra items are in your medicine cabinets and diaper bags? 

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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