Your bestie is pregnant and you want to give her a gift that will say, “Hey. I’m with you in this, friend. Swollen ankles and all.” What can you get her?
You could gift her with a witty onesie that will give your bestie’s newborn just the right hipster appeal for its one-month photo shoot. Or you may find yourself drawn to a cuddly and fuzzy stuffed-animal (preferably a narwhal or unicorn) as you envision your gift to be her baby’s favorite toy that it will sleep with well into their college years. Perhaps you will want to marinate your preggo friend in essential oils to keep her calm, energized and ready to push this baby out. She will surely need another vial of rosemary oil….
But I say, “No”. I say “nope” to the all of the above options. Your friend deserves better. So, here are 5 gifts that I believe will make YOU your pregnant bestie’s new favorite person. Ever.
- A CLEAN HOUSE. Organize four or five mutual friends to chip in and get your beautiful, childbearing friend, a 2-month cleaning service. Trust me. When she is staring at dust balls that are standing 2 feet tall as she holds her screaming infant, she will weep as she remembers your gift or genius. Nobody has time to keep the house clean with a newborn.
- SOME PEACE AND QUIET. If your pregnant bestie has other children, offer to take her older kiddos out for a fun day at the park, zoo, movie, or anywhere else that makes little people happy. Not only are you providing special bonding time for your friend with her new baby but you also are lavishing some much needed attention on older siblings who may feel like they have gone down on the food chain. Be sure to pick up the tab and bring her children home well fed and ready for an early bed. She will be forever grateful.
- THE DATE NIGHT IN. It’s important for your bestie to stay connected to her spouse BUT that’s hard to do when there is a tiny, little person always demanding her attention. A date night out is nearly impossible. So, provide your bestie with a date night in! Give her a box with a loaded Visa gift card, several take-out menus from local restaurants, a box of gourmet chocolates, candles to create some ambiance, and if you are really bold…a forgiving négligée that will remind her that she is not just a mama… she’s a hot mama.
- ADULT CONVERSATION. After her baby is born, offer to come to her place once a week for four weeks at a time most convenient for her. Tell her that you will provide the coffee, the snacks AND that you will stay long enough to watch her baby so she can shower. Be her listening ear as she navigates through motherhood and resist the urge of offering too much advice. Be sure she knows that she should not, under any circumstance, tidy her home before you arrive. While you are there, do the dishes.
- WORDS THAT WILL AFFIRM. Listen, motherhood brings on a whole new level of worry that no one is ever prepared for. Chances are, at some point, your precious pregnant friend will doubt her competence as a mother, fear for her child’s future, and generally feel unequipped to successfully walk through this new season in her life. Write her a letter (or several) that will affirm her as the strong and capable person she is. When she is feeling low, she can whip out her notes from you to regain her confidence once again. Knowing that you believe in her and are cheering her on just might be the lifeline that she will need one day. Don’t underestimate the power of your words. Validation is rare in the land of Mamahood but you can be the voice that reminds her that she is seen and is appreciated.
If you really want to get that witty onesie for your pregnant bestie, go ahead. Just remember, that whatever you give your friend, be sure that she has your consistent encouragement and time. Motherhood gets lonely. We forget that. Your pregnant bestie needs her friends to remind her that it takes a village to raise a child…and her village is behind her.
Noelle is a researcher, speaker, and podcaster. She is the podcast producer/host for Friending Podcast and is a regular co-host for the podcast, Slices of Life. She lives in North Jersey with her hot husband and two wild children. She is a big fan of Constant Comment Tea, the Oscars, and Lesley Knope.
Noelle is passionate about helping women empower women through the art of friendship.