• Mon, Oct 29 2007

A gift that will be appreciated

A friend of mine just gave birth to her second child. As in she just gave birth today, about five hours ago. I’m so happy for her, as I am about all births.

I was thinking about when I had my own children. I got a lot of wonderful gifts from people. I had a nice shower for my first, and even with my second, people gave me some outfits and whatnot. We also got a ton of passed-along items, both clothing and toys and things like swings, bouncy seats, and whatnot. Since babies outgrow things so quickly, most hand-me-downs are in wonderful shape. We also got tons of diapers from various friends, and when you’re changing a diaper every two hours (or more frequently, even!), trust me diapers are appreciated!

However, one of my favorite gifts was something that was for the rest of us, and both times it was from my mother-in-law. It wasn’t so much a gift as a mission. Both times I came home from the hospital, my mother-in-law gave us enough prepared food to last us for about a week, minus breakfast (which was easy enough since we just made sure we bought plenty of bagels and frozen waffles, as well as fruit). She cooked up a massive amount of West Indian black-eyed peas and rice, cooked a ham, made chicken, and whipped up a batch of carrot soup, among other things that I’ve since forgotten. What I don’t forget it how amazing it was to just walk to the fridge, pull out a few things onto a plate, and nuke it in the microwave. If you’re dealing with nursing and broken sleep and especially if it’s your second child so you’re also working overtime to make sure the older sibling is not feeling neglected? Trust me when I say that pre-cooked food is a god-send.

Each time I intended to do some batch cooking and freeze it for post-pregnancy eating, but I just never found the time or energy. Having home cooked (delicious and healthy) food given to me by someone was a total blessing.

If you know someone who is going to be having a baby soon, and you’re wondering what to get them as a gift, let me suggest that you make a casserole or two. Even a plate of sandwiches for lunch is a good idea (food that can be eaten one-handed is great for nursing moms!), or some bagels and fruits for breakfast would be nice. Food is so important for keeping Mom and Dad’s strength up but cooking is bumped to the back burner, so you’ll be saving them from eating cold ravioli from the can if you give them the gift of food!

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  • http://www.treehuggingfamily.com Jennifer

    One, I agree. A clean house and nap time is appreciated as well. Two, I wish I had your MIL. Mine showed up three days after the birth saying how sad it was that “her son” was so worn out and how come I wasn’t doing his laundry. Three, this is a really good post so I’m going to have to link it. I have a pregnancy blog and sometimes forget the little things like this.

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  • http://www.thriftymommy.com Thrifty Karen

    You’re right. It is a great gift. The only person that cooked for me was my aunt, but I had to go to the store and buy all the stuff. lol That kind of defeated the purpose.

  • http://www.melissaomarkham.com Melissa

    You are right, this is an awesome gift. Having help around the house is another great gift to give a friend who has recently had a baby. Or an offer to babysit siblings.