6 Practical Steps: Organizing & Gift-Buying When Friends are Expecting​​​​​​​

New life is a beautiful thing! I strive to celebrate the special time of pregnancy, birth or adoption with the women in my life - like I do with most events or milestones in life. I definitely need a system since all the sweet babes seem to be coming at once these days! Can you relate?

I’m sharing my tips for keeping track of card and gift-worthy moments for friends who are expecting, and also share recommendations for unique, affordable gifts that new and experienced moms will absolutely love.

Here are 6 practical steps that will help you stay organized and thoughtful for your expecting friends:

  1. When you discover your friend is pregnant, add her due date to your phone calendar. Set a reminder for four weeks prior and also for the day-of. Of course, those babies don’t always arrive on cue, but the notification reminds you the day is just around the corner! If your friend is in the process of adoption, ask her about important dates that are coming up so you can support her through it.
  2. Stock up on paper goods + gifts you love giving! You’ll be prepared for births you know of and any you hear about last minute.
    • Check out give with joy’s baby + adoption cards. Your thoughtful note on a hand lettered card will definitely brighten up a new mama’s day. The sets equip you with a variety of messages you can send at a moment’s notice!
    • While you’re at it, check out the Baby Milestone Journal (currently on sale) for a go-to baby gift. This 4x6 journal comes with a muslin bag, so it can be safely tucked into a purse or diaper bag. Because it’s so portable, mom can always have it on hand to document milestones, even while she’s on-the-go. If you’re looking for an affordable gender-neutral gift you can easily mail or tuck into a gift bag, this is it! I like to have a few ready to mail with a card at all times.

3. When you receive a calendar notification four weeks before the due date, check in with your friend. If you haven’t talked in awhile, ask how she’s doing. And while you’re at it, find out if she knows Baby’s gender, so you can collect intel for the next step!

4. If you’re planning to send another gift, jump to one of my favorite sites to order something special. Here are a few handmade baby gifts I absolutely love!

Another idea to treat a mother getting ready to deliver is sending a gift box for her hospital stay. I like to include comfy leggings, candy bars and something easy and fun to read.

If your friend is close to completing the adoption process, send her a journal or a gift card to grab coffee.

5. When you hear the bundle of joy has arrived, send your card (and gift if you have one) to let your mom-friend know she’s loved and celebrated for bringing life into this world! I like to note the characteristics I see in my friend that I believe will shape her child into an incredible force in this world.

6. In your phone, open your friend’s contact information and add Baby’s name and birthdate to the notes field. You can also add the name and birthdate to your calendar, so you’ll remember the birthday next year. Make sure your birthday reminder is set to recur annually, so you’ll always know when it’s that time again!

Let’s continue to love and celebrate women in our communities -- whether she’s pregnant for the first time or a totally experienced momma. We can all use some encouragement, acknowledgement, and positive energy to warm the soul and remember we are loved.

with joy,

Aneta

Do you have other tips for keeping track of new births? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

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How to Rock Mother’s Day: 7 women to honor and what to say

Mother's Day is around the corner and it’s a prime opportunity to honor the women in our lives. Some people  buy one Mother’s Day card, jot a note, and send it off to mom. But what about less obvious, though equally important, women who have shaped us or our children?

Each of us know women we don’t necessarily call “mom” who deserve to be recognized for their sacrifices and gift of presence in our lives. Giving birth is not required to have a mother-heart, so let’s give a shout out to ALL the ladies who shape our families by their care and example.

Here are seven people who deserve recognition this Mother’s Day and what you can say to honor their influence and brighten their day.

Mom

We all have different relationships with our moms. Whatever the dynamic, we can recognize our mothers, while staying focused what is positive and true. Here are a few options that allow you to go deep or keep it light.

What to say:

  1. Share your favorite memory. Give her insight to that time with her you’ll never forget.
  2. Share three positive things you’ve learned from her. These can be sentimental or light-hearted. Whatever you say will communicate that she has shaped you as a human-being and you recognize her influence.
  3. Explain what you like most about your relationship with her. What role does she have that no one else can fill?
  4. Tell her what she’s taught you about being a mother. If you’re a mom too, you’ve likely had mothering moments that came from her example or advice.  
  5. Wish her a beautiful day. For some relationships, a big gesture is simply send that card and letting her know you’re thinking of her on Mother’s Day.

Mother-In-Law

Take a few moments to recognize the mom-figures who shaped your spouse. She may be like your second mother or a person you see just on the holidays. Whatever her role, she’ll appreciate knowing you’re thinking of her on Mother’s Day.

What to say:

  1. Mention something you’ve learned from her family traditions and dynamics.
  2. Acknowledge positive things you appreciate in your spouse, which you attribute to her parenting.
  3. Share what you’ve learned from her as a person or about being a mother.
  4. Simply wish her a lovely day, and let her know you’re thinking of her.

Like a Mother

How many women in your world have shaped who you are? Mother’s Day is the perfect time to encourage all the influential mom-figures you’ve looked up to over the years. This might be your favorite grandmother, aunt, friend-of-the-family, or mentor.

What to say:

  1. Thank her for being a positive and caring influence in your life. You could even mention she’s been “like a mother”, a second mother, a mentor to you.
  2. Tell her you look up to her, and list a few ways you’ve learned from her example or hope to be like her.
  3. Mention that her words or actions have shaped you. What is something she’s said or done that you’ll never forget?
  4. Simply say, “I want to honor you on Mother’s Day as an influential woman in my life. I’m forever grateful for the ways you’ve shaped me.


ALL the moms

I bet you could make a long list of all the ladies – new and seasoned moms – who deserve a standing ovation for their constant commitment to family, considering all the sacrifices and balancing acts in life. Every mom has a unique set of challenges and needs an encouraging word to remind her that she’s doing a good job, including:

  • Working moms. Recognize co-workers and friends who balance a career while raising little ones.

  • Stay-at-home moms. Honor friends who dedicate full-time energy to their family and home life.

  • Single moms. Applaud the strength of the single women with kids in your world.

What to say:

  1. Point out what you’re learning as you watch her raise her kids.
  2. Make a list of ways your friend is rocking her mom-role.
  3. For example, “You look really good in spandex and tennis shoes.” or “You’re an amazing host no-matter what your living room looks like.”
  4. Remind your friend of her unique gifts and characteristics – the things that are true about her as an individual, with or without children in her world.
  5. Tell your friend how you’ve seen her grow as a person since having kids.
  6. Mention the ways you connect in parenting approaches and how it gives you perspective, keeps you sane, makes you laugh, etc.

Mother-heart friend

She’s a constant friend and example to your family – the one who came to your baby shower but hasn’t had her own, plays with your kids so you can go out, listens as you talk about your children, and reminds you of your identity in the midst of motherhood. If you’re a mom, you know that it takes a village to raise your child, and your friend with a mother-heart is a huge support to you.

What to say:

  1. Point out the ways she positively influences your children.
  2. Mention favorite memories your kids have with her.
  3. Recognize the generosity you see through her commitment to children.
  4. List the ways she blesses you and helps you to be a better mom.

give with joy wishes you a beautiful Mother’s Day! You have so much to give your family and community, and you deserve all the honor and encouraging words today. May you give and receive generously and with joy this Mother’s Day!

with joy,

Aneta

Purchase cards here and here. Use code LOVE for a $6 savings on any 4 greeting cards! 

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