Imagine the scenario: You’re buying a gift for someone who hasn’t slept in a week, can’t leave the house and there’s a small person that screams at them every half hour, but won’t say why. What do you buy them? Besides a ticket out of there…
I can tell you some things they probably don’t want: A picture of a baby dressed as a rabbit, a onesie that will be too small in a week, or a multicoloured plastic thing that sings Old MacDonald and inevitably gets lost but mysteriously starts singing somewhere every time you close the fridge.
So, we’ve compiled a list of things to get new mums that will make them feel fabulous and stylish, even if they’re accessorising with eye bags and leaky boobs, but won’t drive them around the bend with animal noises.
I know people who want these bags and they don’t even have kids. These changing bags are great because they just look like really cool bags that you’d love to have anyway, but look inside and you’ll find all sorts of clever nooks and crannies. Wipe clean lining, elasticated bottle holders, padded change mat and removable wet clutch. Just because you’ve got to carry a bunch of nappies and other crap around, doesn’t mean you have to leave your fashion mojo behind.
At some point in the first month of parenthood every mum thinks to herself “what the f*** happened to my life?”, and that’s when you need this book at the ready. Written by inspirational mama and clever business lady Jenny Scott from Mothers Meeting, this book has all the inspiration you need to a) give yourself a bit of a kick up the bum to get off the couch, or b) let you know that it’s ok if you just can’t because you’re not alone.
There are honest features on getting back to work, how to beat post-natal depression and simple exercises you can do in front of Jeremy Kyle. It’s also designed to be read a few pages at a time in any order because anything longer than that is kind of impossible to manage.
These glorious sweats and tees are from the Selfish Mother online boutique – (check out the site if you haven’t already, it features great, honest stories from fabulous women, who mostly happen to be mums too). The profits go to Women for Women International a charity that helps women in 8 war-torn areas around the world. Plus, after having a baby it’s nice to have something (comfortable) to wear like a badge of honour.
Steph Douglas started Don’t Buy Her Flowers after having her own kids and realising that sometimes mums just need a little something for themselves, nothing flash, just a few essential items to make you feel human again like dry shampoo and chocolates…and gin. Flowers say “I’m thinking of you”. A gift package from Don’t Buy Her Flowers says “I’m thinking of you, if you’re finding it hard it’s OK and I hope this makes you feel a bit better”.
They’ve also teamed up with COOK (who do the really nice but pretty swish ready meals) so their vouchers can be added to any of the packages, giving parents delicious, fast food delivered to their door. The vouchers start from £35 which buys 4-5 meals for two. Their care packages start from £25, so the perfect office whip present for a colleague who’s just popped one out.
Just like the Selfish Mother sweatshirt, this is a little badge of honour for any mum, not just the new ones. It’s a simple bit of bling to make a mum feel loved. They also come in silver and rose gold and you can get personalised ones if you like, so you could potentially have a far less subtle one that says “I made a human! How effing awesome am I?”.
SMOKE AND MIRRORS
Not creams and potions to lift subtle eyebags, none of that shit is going to work on someone who sleeps in two hour shifts and showers with baby wipes. This is the stuff of distraction. A red lip and a sharp brow will distract from a tired eye. Plus, it’s easy to let these things slip.
When my daughter was about three months old one of my friends took me by the arm and said kindly, “Let’s see if we can find you under those eyebrows” as she led me into the brow bar (Thanks Jules! I needed that!).
Ladyland beauty editor Bella loves Shavata at House of Fraser, Victoria. (Insider tip, if you go mid morning or on a Sunday, it’s usually v quiet so there’s no need to book, oh and ask for Roshni). She also recommends Charlotte Tilbury’s dreamy matte lipstick if you want someone to feel a bit special.