Inside: Find the perfect gift to help the overwhelmed mom relax, de-stress and regain her sanity through self-care for her body and mind.
***NOTE: In light of stay-at-home and social distance orders, each gift can be modified for home or redeemed at a later date.
I always knew being a mom would bring so much joy and love into my life…I never imagined it would leave me feeling overwhelmed and lacking an identity at times.
You see, motherhood isn’t always the picture-perfect fantasy we envision it to be before we actually have kids of our own. It’s a bittersweet reality, that’s rarely talked about.
Before we become parents we long for the days we can cradle an angelic sleepy newborn baby in our arms. We can’t fathom how exhausted and sleep-deprived that time period will actually be.
We look forward to the days of planning playdates with our mommy friends. We don’t think about the incessant screaming, hitting and biting that can wreak havoc during the terrible twos and threes stage, and keeps us away from other adults, immersed in a lonely village-less world.
We dream about the moment our whole family can take a vacation together. We cannot quite understand the reality of messing with routines and sleep schedules for traveling with little children in the car for hours.
The truth is, parenting is often much different than we think it will be.
And being a mother of young children is NOT always a walk in the park. More like an exhausted, frantic chase.
It is full of many challenges, from the newborn to the preschool years…and beyond.
Although it should be top of mind every day of the year, it’s even more important to provide some relief for the exhausted mom as Mother’s Day approaches. Sure flowers, jewelry and candy are always nice gift ideas, but putting a little more thought into what kinds of things mom really wants makes all the difference in her day to day.
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And many times, the best gifts for moms with small children often are those gifts that give her some much-needed relief from the exhaustion she’s been living. Gifts that allow her to rest her body, relax her mind and feel like she has support and friends to turn to when she’s given all her energy and mental capacity to her babies.
From those who’ve been in the trenches immersed in the early mother years, below are special gift ideas for moms who just need a little break from the kids…to be the best mom they need.
10 Stress-Reducing Gift Ideas for the Overwhelmed Mom
Let’s start with the most obvious thing an exhausted mother needs. SLEEP. Yes, while giving the gift of sleep isn’t exactly something most people think they can give, it is a gesture that can make the most difference in her life when she has small children. Babies don’t always sleep through the night immediately; for some 5-7 months is the magic time period. And even when baby does settle into a routine, there are sleep regressions or other sleep issues that toddlers and preschoolers may experience. When you’re thinking of gifts for a tired mom, consider anything and everything that will contribute to her feeling rested.
So how do you actually help a mom get more sleep?
- Babysit her kids
- Gift her some essential oils and a high quality diffuser
- Buy her some sleep accessories to help her get a more restful night.
Ain’t this the truth. After her number one wish to sleep, a stressed-out mom will ALWAYS appreciate an extra set of hands to handle the chaos of little kids running around and bickering. So whether you hire the neighborhood sitter or offer your own time dad, a babysitter makes one of the best gifts you can give. Let mom take a nap, go shopping or just run errands alone — she’ll definitely find good use for her extra time!
Give mom a break from washing dishes, scrubbing toilets, or dealing with that never-ending pile of laundry accumulating in every room and hire a cleaning service! Moms often wear numerous hats in the home (think: maid, chef, chauffeur). Helping her with that heavy burden can do wonders for her mood.
Find coupons for maids or cleaning crews in your mailbox or simply search Groupon.
And of course, (dads if your reading) you can always offer to do the cleaning yourself and let her relax for the day!
Never underestimate the power of scent. It has the ability to take you to a very special place when you can’t actually be there in person. Scents like lavender, vanilla and lemon to name a few, can provide the calm that mama needs.
A full body massage makes a relaxing gift idea for the stressed-out mom who needs to unwind. Whether she’s dealing with back pain and poor posture from breastfeeding, sore neck from sleeping with her toddler and preschooler or just exhausted from managing naughty behaviors that come with toddlers, a long warm back rub can help put her mind at ease and fight that mommy and pregnancy brain!
Like a massage, this gift idea is a no-brainer. Get her a gift card for a spa day to give the tired and overwhelmed mom a chance to really unwind. Let her get a manicure and pedicure. Let her get a facial or a customized massage tailored to exactly what she needs. If a spa gift out of your price range — anything that can bring her that spa day feeling at home works too.
Try a homemade body scrub she can use to de-stress without having to break the bank.
Moms’ Night Out
When you’re a mom to young children, especially special-needs children or multiple children, making time for YOURSELF to meet up with mom friends is often on the back-burner.
Those mommy and me groups she attended religiously with her first baby, are often impossible to keep up with two, three or four kids in the house. But unfortunately, the more we put off getting together with friends to nurture that relationship, the more likely that friendship is to dwindle.
Take the kids for the night and tell mama to reach out to a couple of friends in advance so she can enjoy a well-deserved girls’ night out to unwind and find her identity again. And if getting out just isn’t possible, let her spend time alone catching up on the phone or FaceTiming.
NOTE: Find your mom tribe here!
Coupon books just for mom are always a hit! And I’m not talking about coupon books to the grocery store here. Homemade is the key. Whether they’re from daddy, a close friend or the kids, DIY coupon books that mom can redeem for help with household chores, cooking or sleeping makes a super useful gift to help her alleviate stress on the days she needs it the most!
Adult Coloring Books
Did you know coloring books aren’t just a thing for kids? Oh yeah. There’s a reason why so many adult coloring books exist: STRESS RELIEF. Like other forms of art therapy, coloring is an easy (and affordable) way to calm your mind.
Here are some of my favorite resources and coloring books that make a fun stress-reducing gift for mom:
Self-Care & Motherhood Books
Sometimes all the overwhelmed mom needs is a little bit of time to curl up to read a short helpful parenting book. SHORT is the key phrase here. The exhausted mom clearly won’t have extra time to spend reading a novel — she most likely is just looking for an easy read to unwind and take her mind off the everyday stresses. Self-help or parenting books focusing on baby sleep issues, picky-eating tips or ideas for managing naughty behavior are all fair game. But sometimes self-care comes disguised as a raw inspiring book on knowing you’re not alone in this motherhood journey, finding happiness in motherhood or learning to tame motherly anger that can arise from a mom that doesn’t make self-care a priority is something she will really appreciate.
Here are my top picks and gift ideas for overwhelmed moms looking to improve their mental health and find their identity once again:
- The Brave Art of Motherhood: Fight Fear, Gain Confidence, and Find Yourself Again
- Motherhood Realized: An Inspiring Anthology for the Hardest Job You’ll Ever Love
- Self-Care for Moms: 150+ Real Ways to Care for Yourself While Caring for Everyone Else
Knowing that she is not alone and can make time for herself to manage her load and find herself again, is sometimes all mom really needs.
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Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported hundreds of thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a blogger and maternal health advocate at MommysBundle.com.