I got some ideas from the Yummy Mummy Club who polled women and found (not surprisingly) that: Rest, fun, sleep, and adult time are the top of the list of what New Mommies/ Mommas Of Young Children REALLY want. The Yummy Mummy Club found that most moms of little ones are short on: energy, sleep, free time, fun, validation, feeling sexy, and stimulating adult conversation. As I am a momma of a little guy I have to say: BANG ON.
So I adapted and added to the list:
First Five are FREE Gifts
The key for these gifts is to really not give the mommy a choice. If you gently offer these things, she will decline not wanting to put you out. Say “I’m doing this for you, tell me when is a good time for you”.
1. Babysitting/Take the kid(s) out
- Offer to take the kid(s) off her hands for a day, afternoon or even an evening is a GREAT treat, it gives her time to get things done, read, take a bath or possibly even get out of the house for a night out with her partner or friends!
- Potential Bonus Add On: see #2 & #3
- Potential *not free* Bonus Add On: if she’s staying in, before you go draw her a bath with scented candles/bath bomb you picked out for her, make her bed, put a new book (I’d suggest something easy to read like chick-lit) beside the bed with her favorite treat (a cupcake or candy bar) and make her a tea or maybe even glass of wine and leave it there.
2. Help her out with chores
- Clean the house, do the laundry, fold and put away clothes, make the beds, do the dishes, ppick up the kid(s)’ toys, low the driveway, mow the lawn, rake the leaves, etc.
- Potential Bonus Add On: do ALL of the above
3. Run her errands
- Ask her how she’s doing and if anything has been stressing her out. Likely she’ll respond with a long list of To-Dos: groceries, picking up or dropping off dry cleaning, bringing books back to the library, bringing kids to their extra-curricular activities, picking up stuff at the drugstore, etc. Some you of course can’t do, but do what you can.
4. Cook a week’s worth of dinners
- One of the many things all moms have on our list “to-do” but for most of us it’s the least pressing, and least enjoyable chores. At the very least it’s often the most time-consuming. A week off from cooking without the added guilt of a week of unhealthy takeout? No mom would say no to that!
- Potential Bonus Add On: Do lunches too (sandwiches; wraps, chopped up fruit, veggies and cheese; and mini-quiches are all great options. If there’s a baby fresh then frozen cups of pureed fruits and veggies would be an awesome add on too.
5. Use your talent or special skill to make her life easier
- Can you service her car? Paint a room? Fix the dishwasher? Fix or set up her computer with the latest software? Take an amazing family or child portrait? Build the kids a bookcase or toy box? There is probably dozens of things she would love to have done but will be a while (if ever) they become a priority. If you have skills/know-how to do something different and out of the box for her then there is your perfect gift. Think about what your talents or special skills might be and talk to her about it, see if there is anything plaguing you can help out with.
The Next Five are the Fun and Fancy Gifts:
6. Registered Massage Therapy Treatment
- Booking on her behalf a massage by a reputable, certified practitioner is really wonderful and will really help break a new mom out of a rut, force her to focus on herself and recognize she needs to take care of her body. If you have the health benefits from work you might even be covered.
- Potential Bonus Add On: A Series of four to six massage treatments spread over weeks or months would significantly reduce body aches and pains, which is AMAZING.
- Potential Bonus Add On: A Facial
- If you choose a spa for the RMT treatment, they will likely have at least one esthetician that provides possibly several different types of facials. Some even provide arm, foot and scalp massages. When you call the service provider, make sure you ask if they do this, or what features are included with each facial so you can cater to her needs.
- Potential Super Add On: A Day at the Spa
- This is what I was given for my birthday post baby and it took me five months to finally get around to redeeming it but it was INCREDIBLE. We went to Le Nordik just over the bridge from Ottawa in Chelsea and even though it was really chilly it was EXACTLY what I needed. I thought I’d be bored going for a full day, but after a few hours I was ready to move there. It’s so beautiful I really took the time to fully relax, recoup and rejuvenate.
7. A Boudoir Photography Session
- As someone who has photographed literally HUNDREDS of boudoir portrait sessions, I’ll admit I’m biased. I have a background in psychology too, because I wanted to get into a field of helping women. After being in a position to counsel women and photograph them I must say nothing seems to totally boost a woman’s confidence in as little as one hour like a boudoir photography session. Women come in often unhappy with their looks, and uncomfortable in front of the camera and they all leave ready to book a follow up session with their friends (and that’s BEFORE they even get their photo package). Do your research- talk to a few photographers and don’t go with the cheapest photographer pick one with a good reputation, good testimonials and great work.
- Potential Bonus Add On: Gift certificate to her favorite lingerie shop for a new outfit to pose with
8. New Clothes
- A lot of New Mommies/ Mommas Of Young Children might be adjusting to their post-baby body, so a new dress or outfit that is going to make her feel beautiful and sexy would be amazing. Consider her style and body shape, you can google mommy style blogs, ask her friends for tips and likely even her pinterest if that’s an option. You don’t need to spend tonnes of money- if you see local sales at a department store ir Ricky’s and there’s Winners or Suzy Sheir which always has cute stuff. Even if you get it wrong, it gives her an excuse to leave the house on her own to exchange it.
- Potential Bonus Add On- Fun Event: If you’re in Ottawa luckily most bars and clubs have little to no cover, and all kinds of cultural events, concerts and theatre so you can take her out or watch the kids while she goes out with a friend.
- Potential Bonus Add On- Crank up the Sexiness: there’s also fun burlesque nights always going on in Ottawa, or possibly do an affordable sexy workshop at Wicked Wanda’s or Venus Envy followed by dinner/drinks.
9. A Night Away
- Stretching out in a King-size bed and sleeping in until whenever you feel like it seems like a distant dream for most New Mommies/ Mommas Of Young Children.
- First you can offer to take care of the kids, or arrange for childcare for the night.
- Then book a hotel or bed & breakfast preferably with a comfortable bathtub, hot tub or sauna. It can be in a nearby city (If you’re in Ottawa we’re lucky to have incredible vermont-esque places within 20 minutes of driving from the city) but seriously even WITHIN the city would be awesome.
- Potential Bonus Add On: any and all of the above.
10. House Cleaning Service
- If you have the cash and want to make sure her house gets a thorough professional clean there is likely several companies in your area that offer cleaning starting at $20/hour. (I personally am lucky enough to have: Concierge Home Services Ottawa paid for by my partner’s work and they do an amazing job)
- Potential Bonus Add On: Order a month or several month’s worth of cleanings…it seriously makes the job of taking care of little ones SO MUCH easier!