In COMMUNITY, GIFT GIVING, HOLIDAY SEASON, MARTYR MOM, MOM LIFE, MOTHERHOOD, SELF-CARE

It’s that time of year again. We’re heading directly into the eye of the holiday hurricane and in a last minute dash to find the most perfect gifts for all of your most important people.

Chances are, there’s a mom or 2 on your list.

There is one gift that every single mom I know needs.

Any guesses?

It’s not any of these mugs.

It’s time.

Since you probably don’t have a magic Time-Turner like Hermione used so that she could be in 2 places at once, you can’t actually give her time.

You can give her time for herself.

When you think of juicy self-care time for a mom in need, the first items on the list are a spa day or a massage or a pedicure or even the very generous offer to babysit her kids.

These are absolutely wonderful and thoughtful gifts, but the truth is that the gifted mom almost never uses them.

Why?

Well, they’re sort of vague and open ended. These gifts can be claimed anytime, but that leaves the door open for them to happen never. Sadly I know this from firsthand experience. My wonderful husband got me a big gift certificate to Spa World when I was 8 months pregnant with Milly. Nearly 4 years later, it is still unused and we’re moving out of the area.

Also, these thoughtful gifts don’t include the most important thing required for all of them to be successful, which is reliable and free childcare. At least for the moms with younger kids.

Want to give a more successful gift of self-care and time to the mom in your life?

Here’s how to do it:

Pick a gift and include a date, time, and childcare if needed.

This might require a little more planning and coordination. This might require more thought or more awareness of this mama’s schedule.  This might mean you have to be sneaky and ask her about her schedule and availability without arousing suspicion.

It will be worth it.

Here are a few ideas:

~Pick a day for her to go get a massage, schedule it, and provide childcare if needed If you’re not able to take her kids, find her a babysitter and pay.

~Buy her dinner. Bring it to her house or take her out.

~Give her the gift of a yoga workshop you know she’d love. Make sure the kids are taken care of, too.

~Get her a spa day, but before giving it to her invite 2 of her best friends. Coordinate with them and their schedules. Remind them when the date is getting close, especially if they are moms, too. Because a mom will do everything for everyone else before she does something for herself, even if it’s already planned.

~Sign her up for a class and make sure she goes, every single time. Moms need accountability and support.

~Buy her tickets to see her favorite band/musical/sporting event. Go with her or send her with a friend while you watch the kids.

~Give her a day off. Take the kids somewhere. If you want to give her an extra bonus on her day off, send her to my yoga & self-care retreat for moms!

~Can’t give her a whole day off? Give her a few hours. Pick the day and the time. Take the kids so she can read a book, take a bath, take a nap, or do whatever else she wants. Someone did this for me and although I didn’t use the time for self-care exclusively, I did use the time to get some work done and make a delicious lunch. Both would have been so much harder with a babe in arms or crawling around on the floor.

~Give her a regularly scheduled night off. Help her to go to bed early one night a week by doing all of the stuff she does every night. Make this a regular thing on the schedule that is 100% sacred. This is the gift that keeps on giving. Mamas need sleep so they don’t yell quite so much at their kids. I might or might not know this one from personal experience, too.

 

This is an incomplete list, but a good start.

What are your best ideas for giving time and self-care to the mom on your list?

Share in the comments!

*Note: I realize this list appears to serve only new moms or moms with small children, but here’s a (not so) secret about motherhood~ it never goes away or diminishes. Until her kids are grown and/or out of the house, most moms STILL have a tendency to put her needs last. So while a mom of teenagers might not need childcare, she still needs the reminder to take care of herself. She still might need you to set the date and time of her massage or she might forget to use her gift certificate. Make sure the mom in your life is actually taking care of herself by helping her make it happen, regardless of how old her kids are.

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