What do you give a new mom?
It's a normal question when thinking about gift ideas for first-time moms. When someone you love is beginning the journey of motherhood, what is an appropriate gift to give them? A cute little outfit? A fun new toy? A baby swing or beautifully made blanket?
All of those items are appreciated and wonderful in their own way, of course—but there is a gift that all moms can use, and deserve. And that gift is your grace.
During any stage of motherhood, there are moments where we moms throw our hands up in the air and wonder how in the world we'll do it. How will we keep everyone happy, healthy and at the same time keep our jobs and our sanity and do it with a smile?
But the truth is, that idyllic situation isn't always attainable. And even when deep down we know that, we may doubt ourselves and wonder if those around us will be able to cut us the slack we really need.
When we get invited to a girl's night out and can't swing it because our baby is teething and fussy and needs us home, we know sometimes it seems like we aren't trying hard enough to get there. Please know that it's sometimes harder than it looks to make it out the door. Please gift us your grace.
When we have to bail again on our plans, even when we've had them on the calendar for weeks, because someone is sick or tired or just can't get there for one reason or another, please know that we so wish we could be there (trust us—we could really use the night out!). Please gift us your grace.
When we've been MIA for too long and the phone calls and texts and emails seem to be disappearing, please know we miss you and think of you often. and it won't be like this forever. Please gift us your grace.
We know our friendship is not all on you. We have just as much ownership of our relationship and everything that makes up the bond we have as you do. We know the lines of communication run both ways.
It's just that during certain stages of motherhood, it's harder to focus on everyone and everything and time is always so limited. The line between selfishness and self-care is a fine one that we're all learning to navigate. We'll get there, but we'll get there a little easier with help from those who love us and help lead us—like you.
Thanks for being there for me, even when it doesn't always feel like I am there.
So when you're thinking of your new mom friend and wondering how you can really help them, remember some of the best "things" you can give, aren't the tangible ones.
Maybe it's a quick text during the day to ask them how they are doing or a card in the mail to let them know you're thinking about them. Maybe it's a hug or a kind word the next time you see them, telling them how proud you are of their strength. Maybe it's just reminding them that although they're exhausted and having a rough day—when they're feeling low and unsure, that they're brave and they're doing a great job.
Maybe it's letting them know that whether you do or don't fully understand, that you admire them and love them—No. Matter. What.
Just as we are grateful for your friendship and guidance, we are immensely grateful for your patience. Grace is a gift more valuable than anything you can buy at the store and it's something you can give others time and time again. So please—don't hold it back. Give it often and with love.
We will always remember it at this fragile stage of our lives, and we will remember to give it right back whenever you need it, too.