So, what does one give someone for Mother’s Day who has just become a mother?
Really there are two directions you can go in choosing a Mother’s Day gift for a new mom.
The more obvious-and certainly a legitimate-approach is to get her something that helps her with her newborn, either something practical that eases the burden of caring for an infant, or something that somehow celebrates motherhood and welcomes her into the sisterhood of mothers. A few possibilities:
* Is the new mom lacking any key “baby stuff” due to budgetary or other issues? Perhaps a stroller, bassinet, crib, etc.?
If you could chip in with something like that, that could be a godsend to a struggling mom.
* A diaper service can be a wonderful help to a new mom. (Not to mention cotton diapers are more eco-friendly than the disposable kind.)
A diaper service is a professional laundry from which you rent a certain number of cotton diapers. As you use them, you place them in the special hamper the service provides. Each week they pick up the hamper full of used diapers, and drop off a fresh batch of clean ones. The diapers are washed and dried at high temperatures using professional equipment to achieve a level of sanitation not achievable at home.
Signing up a new mom for a diaper service and paying for the first few months will be a much appreciated Mother’s Day gift.
* It’s great to get into the habit early of taking lots of photos and video of a new baby (and Mommy). A camera, photo albums, picture frames, a display case for baby foot and hand impressions and photos, a camcorder, etc. are all wonderful Mother’s Day gifts for a new mom.
Or here’s a related idea. Get out your camcorder and tripod, and shoot a 15 to 30 minute interview of the mother holding and talking about her new baby. Ask her all about the experience, the pros and cons, the surprises, how it’s changed her life, her expectations of the child’s future, etc. Do whatever editing you’re capable of, or turn it over to a professional, and place the interview on a DVD so she will forever have a record of her introduction to motherhood.
* If you’re the husband, you know that one of the most trying things about a newborn is their not consistently sleeping through the night. For Mother’s Day you could present your wife with a certain number of homemade coupons entitling her to stick you with an extra turn when someone has to get up and tend to the baby in the middle of the night.
But the second approach is very different. One of the most important things you can do for a new mother is to show that you recognize that being a new mother does not define all she is as a human being. Having a new baby is so all-encompassing, so dominating of one’s life, it’s important not to succumb to the tendency to allow all the other valuable elements of one’s self to be eclipsed.
At a point in her life when the diapers are piling up, and she’s getting increasingly flustered always trying to do ten baby-related things at once, ironically that might be precisely when a woman most needs to be reminded that she’s a desirable woman. Mother’s Day could be the ideal time to get her a sexy negligee as a gift. Or leave the baby with the grandparents so you can take her out for a romantic dinner and dancing and a room at a fancy hotel. Or give her a gift certificate for something feminine and pampering, like a spa day, or a manicure and pedicure.
Or let’s say you’re the grandparents, and you know that having to cut back to one income so Mom can stay home with her new baby is going to make it very hard for the couple to make ends meet, and especially hard to set aside any savings for awhile. In that case Mother’s Day would be a great time to announce that you’re starting a new bank account that you will contribute a certain amount to each year on their behalf, to be used for the purpose of facilitating the mother resuming schooling and pursuit of a career in the future when her child care responsibilities allow it. Right now that might be the farthest thing from her mind, with this awesome new responsibility to tend to, but in a few years, they could have a nice little nest egg to take her life forward in ways beyond (though certainly not more important than) her role as a parent.
There are endless possibilities of gifts for a new mom on Mother’s Day. As long as it’s from the heart and shows your love for her, that’s what’s really important.