Moms, get ready to be on the go. While we wish we could tell you that your travel would include visits to vacation destinations, the fact is that your travel is going to be of the local variety. Get ready to learn the ins and outs of your community.
With that said, there is nothing more frustrating than being on the campaign trail and not having what you need to feel confident and ready. Maybe you are a super-prepared-always-have-what-you-need kind of mom. If you're already that mom, that's awesome and we are pretty jealous of your organization skills (pro tip: put that on your resume).
At Moms Running, we believe in being prepared for whatever comes our way, whether it's a tough policy question or a coffee stain on our shirt. For help with the first issue, sign up for our courses or a one-on-one session here. For the second, make sure you always have a stocked "go bag" in your purse or diaper bag.
How do you create a go bag? Grab your favorite small zipper bag (we've got a few ideas below) and fill it up with your emergency items (some of the travel size items we like are even further down below).
Clear Nali Polish
Hand sanitizer (think about all those hands you're shaking)
Mints (No gum - chewing gum while talking to people is not a good look)
Bandaids (preferably not kid-themed)
Mini deodorant (Native is a favorite)
Portable phone charger
Protein bar or trail mix
So that covers you. But if you're traveling with kids? It's a whole different story. Obviously, what you keep in the car and in your bag will depend on the age of your children. We suggest having a variety of distraction options available so you limit interruptions and the ever-present "I'm bored" statements made by potentially whining children while you're talking to voters, giving speeches and working hard on your campaign. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Color Wonder from Crayola. Also zero mess but a bit more to carry.
Regular coloring books and washable crayons or pencils (even for the big kids).
Electronics: We know that not everyone subscribes to the use of electronics with littles. Zero judgment from us in either direction. That said, if you want to use electronics, here are some great options:
Amazon Fire Tablet(with headphones because really how much Vampirina can we listen to in one day?)
Finally, there are a few things that everyone traveling with you will need. You should always have a change of clothes for you you and for your kids, wipes, diapers if you need them, and wet bags stashed away in your car. Some people report keeping portable potties for the young ones while knocking on doors. Others report that the bushes worked just fine. We won't disclose who is who around here!
What do we do with all this stuff? Well, some of it lives in the car at least until you need it, or the campaign is done and you win. Here are some great storage options in your car. A regular plastic container does the trick too.
Of course, some of these things will obviously have to be carried around with you depending on what you're doing, the age of your kids, and who is with you at the time. If you have littles and plan to take them door knocking, we highly encourage you to invest in the best stroller you can or even borrow one from a friend for the duration. The great thing about a stroller is that it will store all your stuff too! If you have big kids with you then a lightweight backpack should suffice. We've included a few day pack options here that are also great for diaper bags:
One final note to consider: always have a water bottle handy and if you're so inclined, store extra water in your car. You are going to be doing a lot of talking and it's imperative that you stay hydrated!