Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
They say having a baby changes everything. But does it? Yes, a new mom is bound to be a sleepier, more forgetful, slightly crankier — and, if she’s a birth mother, a sore and waddling and possibly pee-sneezing — version of her former self. But does having a baby make her relinquish all her former opinions, habits, and interests? Will she suddenly become a vegan, or vote Republican (please, not this year, think of the children), or decide she is no longer extremely excited for the Gilmore Girls reunion series? Of course not. She is the same person she always was. She just has a new, cute/loud, important, very expensive new person in her life.
I decided not to have a baby shower, largely out of fear of getting mired in tons of baby crap I didn’t want or need. But, my 30th birthday party — which I had been planning since, oh, my 21st birthday party — happened to occur when I was about four months pregnant. I didn’t think much of this fact (apart from having to limit myself to, like, 1.3 glasses of Champagne) until all of my awesome, thoughtful, creative friends came to my birthday party bearing awesome, thoughtful, creative gifts — for my 16-week-old fetus.
I know, #firstworldproblems, and I hadn’t asked for any gifts at all, and I am so incredibly lucky to have friends who supported me and my not-necessarily-super-planned pregnancy, and so on and so on. But I have to say, when one friend showed up with the fanciest grown-up cookies I’d ever seen and no baby stuff, I was like, “A THING THAT I CAN EAT??” and nearly wept. Because this was a friend who knew: that I was and am and always will be a person, who now happens to have a baby. A whole, adult person who loves (dare I say deserves?) cookies on her 30th birthday.
So maybe you, too, have a new-mom friend who is going through some shit / an identity crisis / Baby Blues / four cases of mastitis / what have you. You, too, can be that genius-gifting friend. Because girl has gotten enough onesies already, and kiddo will wear each of them possibly once, possibly never, sorry. What she really needs is something that will make her new, crazier (but still very much the same!) life as a mom a little easier, nicer, or at least more fun. Ahead, gifts your new-mom friend will truly appreciate.