I am expecting my second child, as many of you know already. I am not due for like 6 months, but people are already asking me if a) anyone is having a baby shower for me and b) what do I need and or want.
I feel bad asking the people I love to spend money on me. And I am a realist. Sure, who doesn't like to receive gifts? But I love gifts from the heart the most. (Now, if you really want to buy me like a crib or a infant car seat or diapers or wipes I would love that too, but you know what I mean!)
So, in honor of the Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Guide, I have a few ideas of things that would mean a lot to any mom to be that can be given really inexpensively if not for free.
When I had Rolf several of my neighbors took the time to prepare meals for my new family. This touched my heart in a way I could never describe in words. I still get teary eyed when I think about how surprised and grateful we were to have a home cooked meal delivered to our house when we were exhausted and trying to cope with our new family.
This time around I am not afraid to tell my friends and neighbors that while gifts are appreciated and would mean a lot to us, if they really wanted to do something for us, they could do something as simple as help me take my dogs outside after my c-section or bring me my mail. A gift of time will be remembered for years to come. When I had Rolf, a friend came over and mowed our grass out of the blue. I was shocked to arrive home and see someone mowing our grass, and touched to see it was a dear friend who simply waved and said "Go enjoy that baby you two!"
I would love to have someone give me the gift of a hug. Hormones and emotions will take over for a while, and just having someone wrap their arms around me for a minute can make all the difference in the world.
I would love to receive letters or emails from friends, to keep me connected to the outside world. A new baby is time consuming and phone calls are wonderful but sometimes hard to manage. Having the ability to read at my leisure would make me happy and keep me feeling normal and remind me of how important friendship is in life.
I have asked a few dearies to loan me a favorite book, I love to read, and when I had Rolf I found that reading to him helped me talk to him and fill the time of recovery with something that kept my mind busy with things other than worrying about being a mom.
When I had Rolf, everyone had advice. Advice is nice, and while people mean well, it is not always helpful. The gift of reassurance would be one of the best gifts I could imagine receiving this time around. To hear someone say "You are doing fine," or "Trust your intuition," would go a lot further than hearing what I am doing 'wrong'.
Finally, something as simple as stopping by to visit and maybe paint my toenails, or keep an eye on the kid(s) while I grab a shower would be like a million dollars to me, or most new moms.
I hope this post helps you give a gift from the heart to a new mother in your life.