Second in my series of Christmas Gift guides is my list of gifts for mamas. Read my first, a gift guide for an 18 month old, here.
I’m utterly hopeless at coming up with ideas of things I would like when people ask me for a wish list. I’m far too practical, and can only ever think of things that will be useful. In fact, I’m not really one for frivolous gifts at all. I want something I’m going to use. So most of my wish lists end up being really boring and rather short.
I don’t actually need many things. And that really makes me sound like my Dad. Every year, since I can remember, his Christmas wish list has consisted of; a book, a pair of socks, port and shaving foam. And every year my family scramble over who can buy him these things first.
So this year, I have tried really hard to make a list of mama gifts that are practical, but hopefully not too boring…
I have lusted after these since Baby Bee was born. I’ve always restrained myself though. As an IVF mama , I know all to well the pain of seeing pregnant women everywhere you look. I’ve struggled with the in your face statement of this jumper because I don’t want to upset anyone struggling to conceive a child and longing to be a mama.
But I’ve come to the conclusion, after a lot of reflection, that the jumper is not a boast or a members-only club uniform. It’s recognition of how proud, lucky and honoured I feel, everyday, to be a mama to my beautiful Bee.
Selfish Mother also donate £10 of each sale to help women and children around the world.
I treated myself to a breastmilk mama bead when Bee and I reached our 1 year breastfeeding milestone. The little resin bead contains some of my breastmilk and a lock of Bees hair.
Whilst I plan to breastfeed until Bee weans naturally, I know that we will not have this special relationship forever. And not only did I want to mark our achievement, I also wanted something to always remember it by. Breastmilk is so amazing and breastfeeding can be challenging. So if you know a breastfeeding mama, go on and treat her.
Since having a baby, I’ve found cooking an evening meal a real challenge. Babies and children seem to enter a witching hour (or five) at 4pm. They simply need to be in your arms and around your feet. When Bee was small I managed this by carrying her in the sling, dancing her to sleep while I cooked. But now Bee is bigger, I’d rather not she had a nap at teatime.
So my lifesaver is the slow cooker. I can prepare the ingredients in the morning, when Bee is happier playing independently, switch the cooker on and forget all about it. Then come teatime, its just a case of throwing it onto a plate and dinner is on the table. Leaving me to spend more time with Bee when she needs me most.
Up until now, I’ve pretty much made up the things I cook, but I think it’s time to step it up a gear and get a proper recipe book.
We mamas all need reminding to take care of ourselves a little better, and these beautifully created boxes of boho goodies do just that. Available as a monthly subscription or as one-off gifts, they come packed with little treats to nourish our souls and awaken our senses. Each box is a reminder amongst the chaos of parenting, to make space for our own wellbeing.
The singularly most useful gift for a mama. The sheer number of brews I have to reheat in the microwave each day is ridiculous. My record is one cup of tea that got reheated five times. It also means I could take a hot drink to the park with us. What’s not to love?
Hollie McNish went viral earlier this year with her poem Embarrassed. Ever since, I have had her book on my wish list. Her poetry and prose lay bare the realities of life as a mama, and captures the shared experiences of many mothers.
I swear by these socks for keeping my feet warm. My best friend thinks I’m a right Grandma buying thermals from M&S, but laugh as she might, these socks do the job. Whether you’re taispsing through the slush trying to get the baby to sleep, or chasing your toddler through piles of soggy leaves, thermal socks are guaranteed to keep your toes toasty.
The charity shop/second hand gift
My Mum pretty much buys all the presents from her and Dad. Dad has no idea what she has bought on his behalf, so he’s genuinely surprised on Christmas Day at the gifts he’s giving as well as receiving.
However, my Dad started another tradition in our house (aside from his rather utilitarian wish lists). He does buy a couple of gifts himself, and as an avid charity shop hunter, ephemera collector and first edition book aficionado, they’re usually second hand.
Inevitably it has a lovely vintage, collectible or made-like-they-used-to-be quality. And, it’s a really lovely thing to receive a gift that already carries so much love.
Why don’t you try it this year?