Giveaway: Lily Jade diaper bag of your choice
I have never been a backpack person. Well, not since high school. And even then, it was one strap thrown over one shoulder; not exactly the way backpacks were intended to be worn. Before high school, I used one of those rubber straps that clicked around your books so you could hold them all together as one massive unit, like only the COOLEST elementary kids did. Now, I believe kids take their books to school in rolling bags of luggage. Whoever thought the ability to carry your books without wheels would date a person? But here we are.
I tend to think of backpacks as something kindergarteners carry, so I was a little surprised when Lily Jade, a company I love for their fashion forward diaper bags, suggested I try one.
Lily Jade diaper bags come in leather and solid colors, appealing to a grown woman’s aesthetic as opposed to a five-month-old. That means no large quilted floral patterns or lamb motifs, thank you very much. But the best part is the ‘baby bag organizer insert‘ which comes in every bag. The insert has pockets for every baby need imaginable and is completely removable. This means, you can use your diaper bag on the weekends when you are running around with the kids and then remove the insert when you go to work, creating just a regular bag.
The bag they were attempting to sell me on is their convertible Madeline bag. Which converts from a shoulder strap to a cross body to a backpack.
“I don’t use backpacks, ” I told them. In fact, I have a long standing argument/joke with my husband who I think looks like a total idiot when he walks to work with his Jansport knapsack.
“What are you? FIVE???”
“What’s wrong my knapsack?”
“You are wearing a suit, for one. Get a messenger bag or something. GEEZ.”
I also used to make fun of my old work partner who was stylish in every other way imaginable except when she put her coat and backpack on at the end of the day.
“What is with that thing? It does not go with your five inch heels.”
She said she had back issues and it was her only option. “You should really wear one too, you know. After awhile your shoulders are going to make you pay for what you’ve done to them.”
Yes, I’ve rolled my shoulders and cracked my neck a few times from lugging around a laptop in a tote exclusively on my right shoulder for the past few years, but I try my best to ignore any permanent damage.
Recently, I have noticed backpacks seem to be making a comeback and started to think maybe I’m the old fuddy duddy in all of this. So, I agreed to give the Madeline a try. I figured, since it’s a convertible, if I didn’t like it, I could always convert it back into the regular shoulder bag and still get some good use out of it.
I chose to test out the backpack on our hardest kid shuttling day— which is Wednesday. That’s the day Harlow and Mazzy’s schedules converge in such a way that one person CAN take care of all pick-ups and drop-offs, but ONLY if things run EXACTLY as planned. There is no room for mistakes.
Here’s the rundown.
Harlow must be dropped off at school on the East Side at 2:30pm, leaving her stroller there. Then I have to walk a few blocks to the bus and cross over to the West Side to pick Mazzy up from school between 3-3:15pm. Then we have to catch the 3:30pm crosstown bus back over to the East Side, in order to make it to Mazzy’s 4:15pm ballet class on time. I change Mazzy into her ballet clothes and leave when class starts. Then I have to walk back up to Harlow’s school for pick-up at 4:30pm, put her in the stroller and walk back to Mazzy’s dance class which ends at 5pm. Then I take them both home.
It’s a monster of an afternoon, with no break in transport whatsoever but I’d be lying if I said I do it every Wednesday. Usually, our nanny Ruth does it while I’m at work or we split the kids up between us. On some occasions, when Ruth is sick or off for the day, I handle the whole thing alone. Like this past Wednesday, when Ruth had an afternoon doctor’s appointment.
I came home from work, put on my Madeline backpack and took off for that afternoon’s escapades in my most comfortable shoes at about 2:15pm, walking Harlow to school in her stroller.
Drop-off went smoothly, and I have to say, once I lost the stroller, the backpack made me feel all sorts of FREE. I am so used to having a huge heavy tote bag over one arm and the backpack made me feel like I could run a marathon if necessary. Or flee a mugger. Or whatever. I have never felt so “on-the-go” in my life.
I walked to the bus stop, took the bus to Mazzy’s school, picked up Mazzy (who refused to put on her coat), caught the bus going back in the other direction, got off and started the walk to dance class.
On the walk from the bus to ballet, the backpack became a little bit of a problem because Mazzy kept asking me for different snacks, taking a bite and then rejecting them, with just enough time for me to put both backpack straps back on and then have to take the whole thing off again.
This is me trying to sell her on airplane pretzels, after she had already rejected goldfish, a kid’s Clif Bar and a bag of almonds.
Backpacks, I discovered, are not ideal for walking with small children who are constantly demanding things from your bag.
Luckily, the Madeline also has a shoulder handle which I could easily convert back and forth to in these instances.
Changing Mazzy for dance is probably my least favorite part since she acts like a two-year-old and totally forgets how to put on her own clothes.
Meanwhile, I’m in a rush because I know I have to pick up Harlow before she’s left there by herself with a bunch of preschool teachers that feel bad for her after all the other kids have filed out. I walked extra fast and got there exactly at the right time and no one was the wiser.
This is Harlow holding onto her new obsession for dear life— an empty tin of mints.
Then Harlow and I walked to pick up Mazzy from dance and we all headed home together.
The big difference I see between a backpack and a shoulder bag, is it’s really not much effort to carry a backpack, whereas a shoulder bag (while definitely more convenient to get stuff in and out) is always a constant weight and annoyance.
All in all, I would totally carry the backpack again and really liked the sportiness of it. But maybe I would convert the extra strap to a cross body during walks with Hangry Indecisive Mazzy.
Hangry Indecisive Mazzy is the worst Mazzy, by the way.
If you would like to win a Lily Jade Madeline shoulder bag/cross body/backpack for yourself or any other Lily Jade bag of your choice, I’m giving one away in the comment section below!
1) Visit Lily Jade on Facebook (feel free to “follow” while you’re there!) and leave a comment below talking about your busiest child shuttling day.
2) For a second entry, follow Lily Jade on Instagram and leave a second comment saying you did so.
3) For a third entry, follow Lily Jade on Twitter, tweet the following and leave a third comment saying you did so.
I just entered to win a @lilyjadeco diaper bag from @mommyshorts! http://bit.ly/1MKI0EE
All Lily Jade bags are currently on sale and you can use the code MOMSHORTS for free leather care + free shipping on every purchase (make sure you add leather care to your cart before checkout)! Shop for a bag here.
One winner will be announced on April 17th.
And the winner is… Cindy B. whose busiest day consists of school, bringing her little one to see Nana, errands, the school pickup, a trip to the library, a return to the house for a snack, and then baseball practice… Phew!
Congrats! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize.