We’ve all seen the articles on the MUST HAVE items for baby. They are full of things like strollers, the best car seat, infant swings, even baby food. However, ask any mom what the must have items are for her and you’ll get different answers.
We are all different and our babies are all different, so it’s impossible to make a MUST HAVE registry list that is very useful.
However, there are certain gifts that a mom (first time or veteran moms alike) REALLY want, but she won’t ask for.
Why not? If she really wants these things, with all the registries available today, why does she not ask for them?
Because Miss Manners told her not to…
Okay, well it’s not really Miss Manners’ fault, but there are certain things that are easy to ask for – a new diaper bag, for example, but what she really wants, or even what she really needs, is not so easy…
Having just had my fourth baby, there is very, very little that I need for a baby. I’ve been asked by numerous people what I need, and the honest answer is.
However, I say that – we all say that – because what we really would like, we can’t ask for…
And, no, it’s not a good night’s sleep or even a shower, although God knows we could really use those things. Those things are great, and we want them, but most people don’t have the power to get them for us…
So, on behalf of all new or veteran mothers out there, let me just tell you what we would love.
Bring a Meal
It may be cliche to bring a family a meal at the birth of a new baby. It may seem too cheap or trite, but it isn’t. It is a wonderful gift!
However, if you ask a family to tell you when or if they want a meal, they never will. It just seems rude to a new mom to ask you to bring something on a certain date. Instead, offer to bring them a meal and then ask about a specific date, or two or three, that would be good. Be specific, otherwise the mom will just think you’re being polite, but don’t really intend to bring a meal.
I know many people are intimidated by bringing their own home cooked food to another’s house, so as much as they know it would be appreciated, it makes them uncomfortable. But although home cooked meals are wonderful, it is not necessary.
Order a pizza, pick up take out, or even a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. It is simple, but it really is appreciated.
And if distance is a problem, you can even look up a local place and have them deliver to the family even though you don’t live nearby.
If a mom doesn’t have a “food-train” lined up, offer to start one for her. Using a free website, like TakeThemAMeal.com, is simple, quick, and easy! Again, it isn’t proper for a new parent to set up their own food-train, so even though they would love one, they won’t do it themselves…
This is another gift that moms will likely never admit to wanting, but we all want it. Well, most of us – we all know that one mom who really does always have a perfect house! I don’t know how she does it!
I know it is a little awkward, especially since we all feel this need to pretend we are perfect – thank you, social media! However, when a friend not only offers to come over and help, but also sees through our not so honest claims that “it’s all good. It’s all under control…” and comes over anyway. And then proceeds to do the dishes, vacuum, or even clean the bathroom! That is a true friend!
Of course, if you can afford it, another way to give this gift is through the services of a professional house cleaner. Several hours of house cleaning by a professional is an amazing baby gift. Can I hear an “Amen” on that one?
My friend, Laura, gifted me several hours of house cleaning as a gift for our newest addition. She co-owns a professional housekeeping service, Dynamic Duo Housekeeping, and wanted to bless our family. Not only was my poor neglected house clean again, but I felt so loved and pampered by her generous gesture. (I highly recommend her service, so if you are looking for a housekeeper in the Yuba/Sutter Area, you can message me on my Facebook page for more details.)
Oooh, did I just ask for cash? That is so taboo…
I was taught never to ask for cash, it just isn’t done. However, if you really want to bless a mom, especially a mom who doesn’t really “need anything”, cash or check is the way to go.
Now, in a pinch, gift cards are great, too. A gift card to someplace like Target, Walmart, or Costco, are very helpful. However. they really do limit what a mom can buy.
For instance, say a mom really wants a certain stroller, but it is too pricey to ask for from any one person. And she got a bunch of gift cards, but they are for many different places, and those places don’t sell the stroller she really thinks would be best for their family. However, if she is given several checks, she can then buy the stroller, the item she really wanted and needed, at the best location and price. She could even buy it used if she wanted to – a really great way to get a deal!
Free babysitting – are there any sweeter words? The gift of babysitting, either by you or in the form of money to pay for a babysitter, is another amazing gift for any parent, especially if there is more than one child!
Babysitting is the chance for the parent(s) to recharge, do a little self care, or reconnect on date night.
This doesn’t have to be anything grand. I have friends who will take my bigger kids for a couple hours for a play date and allow me to get some alone time during nap time – what a blessing!
It could be a a chance for a date night or just a chance to wander around Target aimlessly for a couple hours. Or maybe it’s a chance for the shower or nap that there never is time for. Whatever the case, it is a gift that most of us aren’t comfortable asking for, but we so desperately need!
As moms, and dads, we have a tendency to burn the candle at both ends. We try to do it all – we try to do it alone – when we really should be asking for help.
As friends and family of someone with a new baby, it is our job to step into that place of uncertainty. It is our job to stand in the gap for our loved ones and be the help they need, but are too afraid to ask for.
They say no man is an island. They say that it takes a village to raise a child. However, if the village does not offer, it won’t happen. And if the offer is not specific, it won’t happen.
Let’s make it happen.
Is there anything that you would add to the list above?
I’d love to hear what you think,