Tis the season for giving, and as if that weren’t enough, my sister-in-law’s baby shower is coming up this weekend. Even my dear husband, one of the most generous people I know, has started peppering me with “What do you want for Christmas?”
The answer is…I don’t know.
I adore my daughter, and I wanted to have a baby for so long. Right now life seems like a dream. I have my amazing little family, we even have a Christmas tree, and my deepest wish is for everyone’s health and happiness. Presents kind of seem unimportant next to that.
Plus, we’re now homeowners and grown-ups and all that. So my wish list has gotten incredibly mundane. I want a new car so I don’t have to cringe when we hit the brakes. I want to finish cleaning my dining room so I can set up and decorate. I want a new washer/dryer.
I think what happens to new moms is that in our role of mother, with its novelty and magnitude and being one of the most important things we’ve ever done and all, tends to subsume our existing identities. The dust of the first few weeks at home with baby dissipates, the visitors disappear, the partners go back to work, and here you are: a full-time mother trying to cobble together whatever else you were a few months ago.
So if there’s a mother in your life, give her this: give her a bit of herself for the holidays. Something for her, not for the baby. Make her feel like an individual. Give her peace of mind. She wants so badly to see it all come together, and she probably feels like she’s failing. And she has no idea what she wants, because no matter how new a parent she is, she’s already forgotten how to think of herself.
What would you love to get for Christmas, and what do you think the best gift you can give a new mom would be?