Flowers. Brunch. Handprint art.
These are the kinds of gifts a mom might expect to receive on Mother's Day. And they're lovely.
But most moms — especially new or first-time moms — might have secret dreams of offerings that take a little more planning, or fantasies that seem almost too lofty to say out loud. Well, we're here to say them for her.
Here are eight Mother's Day ideas that new moms secretly pine for:
1. Mother's Day brunch (that isn't in public and no one has to cook)
Mother's Day is synonymous with brunch. But if you have a baby, that either means going to a restaurant with said baby (who, let's face it, is either going to cry, throw things, or demand to be boob fed just as mom's food arrives) ... or attempting to cook it yourself, which will mean mom is in charge of childcare while you spend an hour in the kitchen getting the perfect grill marks on her french toast.
Neither option is exactly relaxing for the woman who is supposed to be getting a break.
Save yourselves all some trouble and just order in a delightful and special brunch from somewhere like SkipTheDishes, Uber Eats, or go for a more catered affair from Whole Foods Market. Set a lovely table (outside if it's a nice day), and let mom enjoy her actually-hot eggs in the comfort of her pyjamas and in a judgment-free zone.
2. A family photoshoot
Of all the things a new mom fantasizes about (naps? A shower? Mary Poppins to blow through a window, take command of the children, and shoo her out the door?), a nice family photo that she's actually in, and isn't a selfie, is probably toward the top of the list. So why not book a professional photoshoot as a truly stellar Mother's Day gift?
To be clear, we're talking about giving her a gift certificate for a good local photographer, not actually surprising her with a photoshoot that occurs on Mother's Day UNLESS you happened to also buy her an outfit that isn't milk-stained and flatters her likely slightly-altered mom bod, booked her to get her hair done, coordinated the shoot around nap and feeding times, picked the perfect outfits for your children, scouted out the ideal location with flattering lighting ... yeah ... just give her the gift certificate.
Unless you did all that. Then bravo! Who are you??
3. House cleaning
No, she probably won't take it as a slight against her own cleaning skills. Most new moms know they live in squalor. But she'll also cry real tears of joy at the prospect of floors without last night's puree smeared across them.
If you've never tried to mop with a baby strapped to your torso, or finally gotten a toddler to sleep only to wake them back up after tripping over a pile of unfolded laundry on your way out the door, or sat down after a long day of work and night-night routine and watched an actual tumbleweed roll across your carpet, then we don't expect you to understand how desperately new moms WANT to have a clean house, but don't want to do it themselves every. damn. day.
Get mom a gift certificate for Merry Maids or something equivalent, tell her she's doing an amazing job but deserves a break, and maybe remember to put your dishes in the dishwasher, mmmmkay?
4. A night in a hotel. Alone.
You know all those sleepless nights moms spend feeding, nursing, rocking, and soothing their babies? You know all those long days spent chasing lightning-speed crawlers, mashing bananas, and pushing strollers on maybe four hours of interrupted sleep? You know what those moms are all obsessively thinking about during this?
Leaving their baby with a trusted love one, checking into a hotel alone, crawling into clean sheets, sleeping like a corpse, and emerging only to occasionally order room service and bathe.
That. Is. The. Ultimate. Dream.
If you really want to go above and beyond this Mother's Day, give a new mom the gift of sleep. Actual, uninterrupted, glorious sleep. Book her a hotel room (somewhere nice. Come on!), promise to feed, love, and care for her baby for 24 hours, and set her freeeeee.
Note: If a mom is breastfeeding, make sure to give her lots of notice so she can pump in advance.
5. A spa that comes to her
Kudos to you for thinking of a spa day in the first place. But if a mom has a very young baby, she might feel anxious about leaving them to go get pampered for a day. And the logistics of breastfeeding/pumping for a very little one aren't exactly relaxing (neither is lactating all over a massage table three hours later).
But the universe heard our plight, and gifted us all with the invention of mobile spas.
6. Screw it. A spa she can go to.
You know what? Maybe mom wants, nay, NEEDS, some time away from the baby after all.
And there's no rule that you have to spend all of Mother's Day together as a family. Have breakfast together, then send mom to a beautiful day spa for the pampering and escape she so badly needs. Book her a back massage (those babies don't carry themselves, you know) and a facial (you'd be amazed how quickly sleep deprivation can make you feel like a withered hag) and make sure the facilities include food and drink (mama needs a cheese plate and a rosé, stat).
7. Time with her family, but without having to plan or do a THING
Have you ever heard of the mental load? It's a perfect term for the load moms bear in terms of planning and organizing, oh, everything involved in the managing of a household and raising children.
It's emotionally exhausting, and it's never-ending. So please, please, give mom a break on Mother's Day, of all days, and don't make her plan a THING. Not one. This means being organized and having plans ahead of time, assuring her that plans are in place (don't make her ask!), AND making sure you've covered all bases.
Planning a family picnic? Lovely! Make sure you've thought of age-appropriate food options, cut everything into small pieces, stocked the diaper bag, looked into sun safety for your little one, packed plenty of water, thought of toys and activities to keep baby busy, scouted out parking options, come up with a rainy-day alternative, and made sure to factor in nap times.
Seem like a lot of work? It is. But it's what moms do every time they leave the house, yo.
8. To feel loved, cherished and valued
Listen, most new moms won't expect (or want) a parade in their honour on Mother's Day. And you don't have to shower her with gifts, either.
But whatever you decide to do, make sure mom knows she is loved, cherished and valued. Whether it's with a homemade card, a bouquet of flowers, or something more extravagant, all a new mom really wants is to know her hard work matters. So take the time to make her feel special, however you think might be best.
(But a snack and a nap never hurt anyone, either).
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