Motherhood isn’t always as easy or idyllic as we envision it to be when we are without child. It’s one of those mysteries in life and unspoken truths.
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 playdate with our mommy friends. We don’t think about the incessant screaming, hitting and biting that can consume kids during those terrible twos and threes stage.
We dream about the moment our whole family can take a dream 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 thought it’d be.
Because parenting young children is NOT always a walk in the park.
It is full of many challenges, from the newborn to the preschool years…and beyond.
So it’s no surprise, that moms of babies and toddlers are often overwhelmed with this phase of motherhood.
As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s always refreshing to provide some relief for mom with thoughtful gifts to help her get through the tough times. Sure flowers, jewelry and candy are always nice, but putting a little more thought into what mom really needs makes all the difference in her day to day.
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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.
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, 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.
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 mom who is feeling a bit stressed-out. 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. A spa day gives 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.
Girls’ 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 friends in advance so she can enjoy a well-deserved girls night out to unwind and find her identity again.
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:
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 a simple 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.
That together with a little something sweet to munch on is always nice!
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