The Diaper Bag For The Mom Of Teenage Boys

Back in the ’90s, Janet Jackson warned us all about the nastiness of boys, but even she couldn’t prepare me for the sheer grossness of being the mother of teenage boys.


When the youngest baby was potty trained (and before we knew we were expecting surprise baby #8) I thought I was done with diaper bags. They were all more or less able to take care of themselves, I thought.

I was wrong.

I’m back to carrying a big purse, and enough toiletries to clean a small country, or two teenage boys.

Moms of small boys, I’m warning you, your day is coming, and here’s what you’ll need in order to be willing to claim them in public.

dry shampoo

My sons used to understand the concept of shampoo and water, and be able to use them reasonably well. Then they turned 13, and suddenly it became impossible to get their entire head clean at the same time. I don’t know how this happens, and I’m not sure that I care. I keep threatening to make them put on swimsuits while I come in and watch them wash their hair to see where they’re going wrong. Until I actually work up the nerve to carry through on that threat, I’ll be washing their heads in the kitchen sink if I catch the greasiness before we leave the house. For those days that I don’t, that’s why God invented dry shampoo.



They may have switched from words to grunting when they hit puberty, but that doesn’t explain why they think no one sees their teeth.

Both of my teen boys have braces, and the gunk that accumulates between meals could rival a petri dish. If we’re in a hurry, they will skip brushing their teeth in an effort to save time. I don’t have to worry about them with girls, because no self-respecting teenage girl would let that anywhere near her. On the other hand, I do want grandchildren someday, and they might need teeth to flash a heart-stopping smile. Thank goodness for wisps! Toothbrush, toothpaste, and toothpick all in one with no need to rinse and spit. Tooth gunk and dragon breath are banished with one clever invention.


I buy them by the case, and have found that they also help eliminate the gross metallic taste of pregnancy.

travel sized deodorant

Do you really need an explanation for this? Have you ever smelled the funk of a teenage boy who’s forgotten to swipe some on? Do you ever want to again? Bring extra deodorant.



Let’s get real, those two scraggly hairs on their chin don’t really need a razor. If they forget to shave, pluck that sh*t and get on with your day.


Tide pen

Little boys attract dirt. Big boys attract everything else. Unless you want them wearing ketchup when you visit your mother-in-law, toss a Tide pen in your bag and thank me later.



Picking sweaty boys up from sports practice? They’re going to be in your car. You’re going to have to smell that. You can thank me later.


a waterproof purse

I invested in a bag with a waterproof lining, never dreaming it would be for the half eaten food my boys would hand me for “just a minute, Mom.” Save your purse and your sanity and get one that’s waterproof. I’m carrying this beauty right here.


I know it’s pricey, but mine was a Mother’s Day gift 10 years ago, and it still looks new. If you don’t want to spend a small fortune, look around and see if you can find something cheaper.

single serve bottle of wine

Did I mention that I had teenage boys? This should be a given.


What about you? What are you packing in order to be willing to be seen with your children in public?

photo credits: all images (except purse) are from You can buy everything but the bag there. You can probably find them cheaper elsewhere, but do you really want to have to get back into the car?

The purse is from the King Ranch Saddle Shop. I included the link. Happy shopping!

About Rebecca Frech

Rebecca Frech is a Catholic author, speaker, CrossFit coach, and the Managing Editor of The Catholic Conspiracy website. She is the author of the best-selling books Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us and Can We Be Friends? She is a co-host of the popular podcast The Visitation Project, and is a columnist for The National Catholic Register. She and her husband live just outside Dallas with their eight children, a German Shepherd named Dave, and an ever-multiplying family of dust-bunnies.
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2 Responses to The Diaper Bag For The Mom Of Teenage Boys

  1. Kelly M. says:

    WHY AM I NOT ALREADY CARRYING TRAVEL SIZE DEODORANT??!?!?! I feel like I shouldn’t need this post, but clearly I do. Thank you.

  2. mbmom7 says:

    I never leave without Kleenex. Even big boys have runny noses, and they will need to mop up little spills – like the soda or ice cream in the car on the way home from practice/game. Water bottle -they’re always thirsty. And a comb or brush – even some of the dirtiest boys like their hair to look good (or the mom can frantically swipe at their heads in a vain hope of order).

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