I’m going to discuss a sort of sensitive subject with you, which is why I require a cup of coffee first. Pour yourself some before you read on.
Remember when your kids were in preschool and you would get ready for a new school year by packing a bag with “emergency supplies”? I do. I’m still packing that bag for my 4 year old. He has a change of clothes, a spare pair of underwear, shoes and wipes, as well as an emergency snack. This bag lives in his cubby and hopefully won’t be needed. But if it is, it’s there. Accidents happen, and moms (and teachers) deal. No shame.
That’s when your kids are little. But when accidents happen to your tween and teen girls there is a lot of shame. It’s sad because the emergency situation I am addressing here is an inevitable one. The period emergency. It doesn’t matter if your daughter is already menstruating or not. If she’s between the ages of 11 and 18 it’s bound to happen eventually and if she’s anything like me, my daughters (you?) and the rest of the unfortunately unprepared menstruating masses, it’s going to happen when she’s in math class, sitting next to some hot guy, on the very day that she decided to wear white shorts.
My feeling is that middle and high school are already a minefield with opportunities for embarrassment waiting around every corner. A little bit of preparation and planning can avert a potential disaster. So here’s what’s in our emergency bags, the non toddler edition:
- Menstrual Pads – A lot! You might need to rescue a friend.
- Panty Liners – these are insurance for days when you get that uh oh, what if… feeling
- Tampons – if you are cool with these, include, even if your daughter isn’t using them. She might suddenly decide she prefers them or a friend might need one.
- A package of Cottonelle flushable wipes
- A change of clothing and two pairs of underwear – thin comfy yoga pants & a tee pack up small.
- Ibuprophen – depending on your schools policy for otc meds, you might want to have these handy.
- Chocolate – if you are accessing the emergency bag, you might need chocolate. A few Dove squares are a nice touch.
I tried to keep the whole thing as small as possible so it would fit in a locker. We used a nondescript bag, so it wouldn’t call attention to itself. It’s just there. Just in case.
I’m that mom who always has tylenol and a band aid in her bag. I probably should have thought of this sooner. I only came up with this idea after a frantic phone call and a few cautionary tales. Fortunately we have avoided disaster and I hope you will too. I admit I was a little amused by the idea of packing up a preschool bag and a tween/teen rescue bag on the same day. Once a mom, always a mom.
Now what kind of bag should I pack for myself?