(I have been WAITING for Works for Me Wednesday for a while ... I saw a few people do this back in the summer, and never heard anything else about it. I'm glad to know it's been resurrected - at least on my radar - so that I can contribute.)
I am simple. I don't like frills (though I do like pink), I don't wear lipstick, and I try to pack only what I need (yet one more reason why I'm well suited to raise little boys). When Asher was my only child, I used a small diaper bag (picture a bag about the size of a purse), put my cell phone, pony tail holder, and check card in the side pocket, and I was ready to go. If it didn't fit in there, we didn't need it.
Then we had another baby.
Infants need stuff. Food, bottles, wipes, diapers, blankets, socks, etc., etc. Toddlers need considerably less, but still require a few essentials, like a diaper and Cheerios. So when I was pregnant, I would try to envision myself with an infant carrier and baby in one hand, a toddler holding another, and a diaper bag for two on my shoulder. Every vision turned into a moment wherein I would WHACK the infant in the face with a sliding diaper bag, and I saw myself looking like a scene in a Family Circus cartoon. Surely I could have two babies without looking like someone for whom you NEED to hold the door open.
And then I was struck with an idea - why not use a back pack? If Josh Lyman can throw one over his shoulder and still be regarded as a professional, surely I could hold my head high in the world of mommies, too. Plus, I wouldn't bean my newborn in the face in public. That's always a plus.
And so I ordered a back pack for myself - my first since I was a college freshman - and never looked back. It is PERFECT for two children. The biggest pocket holds infant things, the middle pocket holds toddler things, and the front pocket holds my things. Also, the weight is distributed evenly on my back, so it isn't too heavy or a distraction in public, which is more important than you realize. Also, it's just a light blue back pack, not silly or baby-ish at all, so it will live on long after a diaper bag would have been discarded (as an aside, why oh why do people choose diaper bags that look like babies? Diaper bags are for moms. Babies don't care what they look like, so long as they can have the paci inside). Convenient, safe, and multifunctional. Works for me.