They say it's the thought that counts when it comes to giving gifts, but let's be honest: It helps if the person you're giving a gift to actually wants said gift. This is particularly true for new moms on Mother's Day — because even if she's spending all her time focusing on a certain (tiny) someone else right now, there are still things she needs for herself (and she's probably too tired to ask). So what some acceptable gifts for new moms?
Flowers are lovely, sure, and brunch is a classic, but flowers aren't going to make her feel any less exhausted or overwhelmed, and brunch with a baby can end up making her feel more exhausted and overwhelmed, honestly. And while dropping by for a visit might sound like a nice thing to do, having people show up to her (probably messy) house to hold her baby with their (probably germy) hands might be more stressful for a new mom than anything else.
Sometimes, the best present for a new mom isn't something you can wrap in a box. New moms need help a lot more than they need birthstone jewelry (not that a little bling is a bad thing). There are so many ways to show your love and support this Mother's Day, and some don't even cost a dime!
It can be tough to know exactly what a new mom needs. Maybe what she wants more than anything in the world is a nap. Maybe she's dying to just go sit in a Starbucks by herself with her own thoughts for once. Maybe she's a working mom who just wants some one-on-one time with her baby where she doesn't have to worry about anything else. That's why sometimes the best gift is just the offer of a few hours to do whatever she wants (while you pick up the slack).
2. A Spa/Salon Gift Certificate
Whether it's a haircut or a massage or a pedicure, sometimes a little pampering goes a long way when it comes to making a new mom feel like a human being again. A gift card to her favorite salon or spa for whatever service is the most appealing could be as magical as a visit from her fairy godmother.
3. An Afternoon Of Errand Running
As every mom knows, all the average errands that need to be run on a regular basis get a lot more complicated with a newborn in tow. Save her the stress by offering up an afternoon to take care of whatever tasks she needs to knock off her to-do list: go to the post office, do the grocery shopping, pick up the dry cleaning.
4. A Session With A Cleaning Service
Unless she's one of those people who finds cleaning therapeutic, it's probably safe to say that the last thing the typical new mom wants to do is clean the house. (Not to mention the fact that it's practically impossible with a baby who needs to nurse every 30 seconds or so.) With a gift card to a service like Merry Maids, scrubbing the toilet will be one less thing she has to worry about.
5. A Meal Kit Delivery Service Gift Card
Again, it's all about making her life easier — and meal kits delivery services like Blue Apron are meant to do just that. Sure, somebody still has to cook the food, but there's no shopping, chopping, or measuring required (and you don't even have to think of something to make). Take the reins and handle the cooking on this one.
6. Something Super Comfy To Wear Around The House
Comfort is so incredibly important for new moms. Their bodies have just survived a major ordeal, their breasts are sore and leaking, and nothing seems to fit quite right. A classic set of soft pajamas ($68, J.Crew) from the likes of J. Crew could make all the difference (bonus points if they can pass for "real" clothes in case of a quick diaper run).
7. A Yoga Class
If she's not quite ready to go back to the gym but still wants to get moving, a gift card for a local yoga class (or even a series of classes) could be just the inspiration she needs — and yoga can help with all those new mom aches and pains, too.
8. A Big Sibling Sleepover
For moms with new babies who already have a little one (or little ones) at home, taking the older kids for a night — or just a few hours — can be the best gift ever. Not only will it give mom a break and some uninterrupted time to bond with the baby, it'll make the big kids feel special during a time when they might need a little extra attention.
9. An Audiobook Subscription
Frequent feedings mean new moms spend a lot of time with their hands full and their minds unoccupied. Even if she can't hold a book, though, she can still listen to one on headphones (which can be a nice break from zoning out to Netflix). A gift membership to Audible, for example, will give her three to 12 months of free, unlimited reading/listening (from $45 to $150).
10. A 'Get Out Of Jail Free' Card
Sometimes moms just need to know that if they really need to escape for a little bit, they can. Let her know that if she's having a really bad day, there's somebody she can call who'll have her back — whether that means showing up at a moment's notice to give the baby a bottle so she can take a shower or even grab a quick dinner out with whomever she chooses. She might not cash in on it for a while, but just knowing it's there can help!
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.