From the moment you are a new mom, everything is terrifying. Absolutely everything. Even something as simple as the color of your little one’s poop (black to green to yellow back to green again–what kind of alien being did you give birth to?!?) can force you to put your pediatrician’s number on speed dial. But once you gain some confidence and venture out of your bubble with your bundle of joy, there is a new fear that will inevitably set in: baby comparison. Yes, that’s right. Everywhere you go, you will look at other babies and compare EVERYTHING between them: number of teeth, ability to sleep through the night, crawl, clap, etc. But what you really need is a good night’s rest and a Mommy friend who will confide in you that she has no idea what the hell she is doing either. And you will bond over Starbucks lattes and play dates, thrilled to have another person to update every time your little one makes a new discovery or development. But here’s the thing: It is INSANELY difficult to find your Mommy Match. Seriously. I would even liken it to dating all over again, keeping an eye out for someone who looks nice and normal every time you go to the library, grocery store, etc. It is such a struggle that there are even websites set up to help you find this miraculous woman.
Once you do find her, however, you have to make sure that you treat your Mommy Match well and appreciate the key role she plays in your life that your husband, family, and non-mommy friends simply just can’t fill. Just like when you were “courting” your spouse, right? But since the dynamics are different, you show her your appreciation by dropping off a cup of coffee or bottle of wine after a particularly rough day with the littles, watch her kids so that she can get to an appointment, and treat her tykes to special gifts for special occasions.
This leads me to Christmas gifts. As an “auntie” like figure to your Mommy Match’s kids, you will undoubtedly get them something in honor of the holiday. And since you are probably so busy with all of the Christmas “to-do’s,” let me remind you of a few things that will ensure that your Mommy Match doesn’t ditch you for your poor judgement and leave you in fear that you will never again find a Mommy Match:
- Actually ask the PARENT, not just the child, what he or she would like as a gift. I know that my three year old has been telling everyone who asks that he wants Octonaut toys for Christmas and Hannukah. Well, let me tell you, Fischer Price doesn’t produce enough toys to keep up with my little threenager. I prefer when people ask me for suggestions so I can keep the toys and books varied so that interests can grow.
- Stick to a budget. Most likely your gift will be one of many that your Mommy Match’s children receive, so it doesn’t need to be extravagant. I would save your money for splurging on a girls only spa day.
- Don’t give annoying toys. Does the toy you are planning to give make noise? Have a lot of parts? If so, give these to your nice but not best friend neighbor or even better, donate it to a child in need. Because let me tell you, I ALWAYS remember who gifted us the most annoying toys…revenge is sweet and very loud.
- Gift cards are lame. Gift subscriptions are cool. I mean, wouldn’t you like having a new special something arrive every month or so? Next week I will be creating a list of awesome gift subscriptions for the whole family, but I will tell you that Kiwi Crate, National Geographic, and Little Passports are extremely fun.
And if you totally forget to add your Mommy Match’s kids to your gift list this year? No worries. Just go out for a fun girls night at one of these restaurants and after a few margaritas, all will be well.
Wishing the greatest of holidays to my beloved Mommy Matches out there!
Looking for more winter fun? Check out my ideas on how to celebrate Christmas in Chicago, as well as how to simplify your holiday season!
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