What a new mother really wants

I am going to help every person out there know what to do for gifts for mothers of newborns (whether it is the first or any). The best part about it is that these gifts do not cost any money or are very cheap. Most mothers have wonderful baby showers where we are given a bunch of stuff that while it is convenient is really not necessary to help keeping the child alive.  (Hmmmm, you mean the wipes warmer hasn’t been around since the dawn of time?)

Oh how cute... Except when he is screaming every two hours
Oh how cute… Except when he is screaming every two hours

As a new mother to a newborn you are basically turned into a zombie who is at the beck and call of a little tiny human who demands your attention 24/7. So things like personal hygiene, cooking and cleaning get pushed aside. As much as you try it is difficult to get the motivation to clean the dishes when you haven’t slept more than 2 hour clips for two weeks straight. At that point you are just trying to stay sane so you can continue to keep said baby alive.

This is how you feel inside
This is how you feel inside

So before you come visiting this new mother with basically a bunch more crap she needs to clean I will share with you what we really want but will never ask for.

1. Please come with some easy to heat food and if it is healthy that is even better. We have not been able to cook and with the lack of sleep we should not be allowed near any open flames. So something that can be heated up quickly and easily is amazing. Even better you can feed it to us while it is still hot. We have been living off of cold food for the past month.

2. Offer to do a load of laundry for us. While you are visiting clean clothes are always helpful. We will of course tell you not to worry and we have it under control but this is the typical response of women. We never ask for help. Do not listen to us and go throw a load in.

3. Offer to watch said newborn while we take shower. We have not showered in days and you probably can smell us. Again ladies we will not accept at first but if you insist we have no will power.

4. If the baby is a little older you can even offer to watch the baby while we go get a pedicure/free time. This will never be asked. One of the best gifts was a family member who came over with a gift card to get a pedicure, called my girlfriend and came over to watch my son for two hours. It felt sooo weird to be pampered after being stuck in the house with a newborn for a month. It made me feel human again. If you can push this I would.

5. Basically think about the everyday things you have to survive and assume we can’t get to them. If you can do more than just come over and cuddle the baby it will be helpful.

There is a common theme throughout this post. Mothers have a problem with asking for help and will always turn you down for this at first. YOU must not be fooled. They need help and when you push it down their throat they will thank you. Their resolve is not high due to lack of sleep so it should not take too much to change their mind.

We will never ask but we are screaming for help inside
We will never ask but we are screaming for help inside

So to all the people out there who are wondering what they should get for a new baby and her mother. Screw the new outfit the baby will probably vomit or shit in. Give your domestic help or babysitting skills. Every mother needs it, but none will ever ask.

14 thoughts on “What a new mother really wants

  1. The only thing I would add to this list is “Offer to watch the baby while I take a nap!” OMG I would have traded all the stuff in the world for a nap during those first 2 months.

  2. so true! Before my son was born, a group of friends told me they want to bring meals, so yesterday I emailed the group and said we’re now ready for visitors and food is very welcome, but I felt so odd writing that email and had a hard time clicking send! But otherwise it’s pbj and clementines all week, since I still have to choose between showering and eating. I feel very lucky my husband works from home and handles the laundry and dishes.

  3. This is so true! New moms dont need another onesie or useless stuffed animal for baby. Just a tiny bit of help, support, and a warm meal!

  4. We had family members go grocery shopping for us, cook us dinner in our own house, take the baby and I to our first doctor appointments since I couldn’t drive, and clean the bathroom. While I was super grateful for all that, there were times when all I really wanted was adult company. My husband was working two jobs at the time and I went stir crazy alone in the house with a newborn.

  5. One of my friends came over shortly after boy #3 was born and CLEANED MY BATHROOM for me and THEN VACUUMED! I have never, ever, ever forgot that. My other friends organized a “food train” for me so that I had a fresh hot meal every couple of days. And many of them also took my older 2 kids for playdates so I could quiet time with the baby. Yes, THIS is the kind of support we need. Great post, Sister.

  6. OMG, #3 is KEY!!!! I personally wasn’t into people coming into my house and doing housework (that could be because those “people” were my mom (’nuff said??) and my mother in law (who made it a point to tell my husband that she didn’t like my underwear…)), but when they offered to PLAY with the babies while I showered… I gratefully accepted. I’m pretty sure it was the only time I got a shower in the first few months of my kids’ lives…

  7. AMEN Katie! i used to feel guilty when my mom and mother-in-law would come over to do little things around the house like sweep, fold laundry, or do our dishes. But in the end, these little non monitary treats helped my sanity SO MUCH!!!! And i will never say NO to a big pot of home made Pasta Fagioli from my mom, too!! 🙂 🙂

  8. Agree Katie! A hot meal and a shower- there is really nothing better than that when you have a newborn, except maybe a full night’s sleep 😉 I knew a mom who received a “date night” as her child’s first birthday gift, already planned with a gift card to boot. I thought that was awesome- what does a one year old really need anyway besides love, and happy parents?

  9. Great, honest advice. I have watched people ooh and ahh over FIFTEEN blankets at their baby shower. If only they could cash them in for some real nurturing after the baby has arrived.
    And you are 100% right about moms saying no — we all think we should be able to handle this little tsunami that has taken over our lives, along with all the other aspects of our lives we did before s/he arrived. It’s a sign of failure to admit we can’t DO IT ALL. I agree with your advice to wrestle new moms to the ground and MAKE them accept help.

  10. I always tell people, if you’re coming to visit a new mom – bring food – a meal, a treat, or something fresh like fruit. And don’t stay longer than ONE HOUR TOPS! And if the baby is sleeping – MAKE THE MOM GO SLEEP.

  11. So funny and so true! I totally agree! Offering your help with everyday things, letting a mama take a shower, those are the best gifts!

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