Is it just me or did the holidays really sneak up on us this year?
I swore I’d get started on holiday shopping early this year, but it looks like I’ll be hitting crowded malls and placing last minute Amazon Prime orders like all the procrastinating moms out there. Oh well!
I started my third trimester yesterday (woot woot!) and have been asked way too many times in the last week or two what I want for Christmas. Really, I want to tell them: it’s simple.
I’d love to enjoy a nice bottle of wine – but unfortunately that one will have to wait. Sleep in until 10 a.m. – oh, the college days. And have *me* time, for once. No, car rides to and from the supermarket do not count.
What can I say? A girl can dream.
I thought I’d put together a list of gifts for new moms that simply cannot go wrong, a post very similar to last year’s “5 Gifts Mom Won’t Return After the Holidays.” For this post, however, the emphasis is on the frazzled, tired, overwhelmed mom who is either due around the holidays or has her hands full with a new baby. She deserves to be spoiled, and by that I do not mean an edible arrangement or flowers. Although, don’t get me wrong, those would be nice, too.
Let’s start with the no-fail basics:
There is nothing better for a stay at home mom (or mom on maternity leave) than getting dolled up for family photos. When you go from your husband’s old sweatpants and three-day-old messy bun to actual makeup and curled hair, your mom confidence skyrockets. Besides, family photos are a great souvenir, and often postponed until kids are older.
If you’re an amateur photographer, offer to devote a half day to take these photos yourself! How thoughtful is that?
Okay, I lied. Even more important than getting dolled up for photos is spending quality time with your significant other. We all know that, with kids, this happens way too rarely. Not only are babysitting costs tough to justify on top of date night expenses, but parents often forget to take care of themselves first and foremost. Offer your babysitting services so that your mom friend can enjoy a day or night to reconnect with her partner, without the kids.
If you’re too busy to offer a night or two of your own babysitting services, reach out to the family’s favorite babysitter and put together a “babysitting gift card.” Praise guaranteed!
This one just had to make the list, because no mom can ever be too pampered. Whether you go for a massage, facial, blowout package, haircut/blow dry, spa day, mani/pedi, or other wonderful “mom escape,” you can’t go wrong. You just can’t. If you’re on a tight budget, check out Groupon – you’ll find tons of local deals at half the price, or less.
Moms are always thankful for a clean home. If you are close to the family, offer to clean their home. That’s as generous as it gets! If cleaning is not your thing (I get it, you have your own home to clean, too), settle on a gift card. If the family uses a specific cleaning service, go through them directly. If not, reach out to a service like Molly Maid.
I’m a big fan of meal memberships because it just makes dinnertime so much easier. It also saves a whole lot of money because you don’t need to do extreme grocery shopping for all of your meal ideas for the week. A meal subscription to Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Green Chef, Purple Carrot, or Home Chef are great, but my favorite, as a vegan mom, is Chip & Kale. They actually do all the chopping and portioning so you don’t have to, taking it a step further than their competitors.
Even better, if you love cooking, make a few batches of spaghetti, chili, or any of your specialty foods for the family. They’ll be eternally grateful for your help!
And here are a few of my personal favorites:
I’ll just leave this one right here.
Think of all the possibilities!
Pilates is the most gentle postpartum (and pregnancy!) exercise for moms. It can help correct diastasis recti, bad posture, and tone up your entire body while stretching you out at the same time. It’s also super fun to use the reformer machines. I love pilates!
For those much needed relaxation nights, nothing beats calming lavender essential oil. Using a diffuser, watching my favorite show on Netflix, and indulging in some hot tea and dark chocolate is one of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day chasing my toddler around.
No stay at home mom has enough pajamas. We tend to live in them, some days! Pick the soft, cozy ones, and get a nice pair of knit socks to go with them. You’re welcome.