9 thoughtful things to stash in your favorite new-mom care package.

Making time for self-care is essential for everyone, but it's especially important for new moms.

12 days after his scheduled arrival, baby boy Alexander Anselme Keith came into the world on the morning of  Oct. 5.

His mother, Peggy, is one of my best friends in the world.

Little Alexander, hanging out with his penguin and lion friends. Image via Peggy Gordon, used with permission.


I met Peggy in our first year of university in Canada, where we're from. We were nerdy and witty, obsessed with "The Simpsons," boys with bleached hair, music trivia, and flavored vodka.

Over the last 20 years, we've grown up a lot. Our hair is better, our eyesight a little worse. There's a lot less body glitter and a lot more coffee. Peggy got married. We've both established careers and traveled. While I'm not sure I'll ever have kids, I knew from the day I met her that Peggy's fierce devotion and powerful capacity for love would make her a wonderful mom.

And, of course, she absolutely is. Once baby Alex gets a little better at object permanence, I'm excited to take on my role as a goofy, nerdy aunt and teach him about Monty Python, Harry Potter, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Me on the left, Peggy on the right. It's 1998, if you couldn't already tell by my hair. Image via Heather Libby.

In the meantime, I have another important job as a best friend: helping his mom maintain her sanity and composure while she adapts to her new role. Even though we're in the same city, I can't be there with a wipe for every stuffed nose or soiled backside. I can, however, share with her some lovely little items that'll make her busy life a little easier and her downtime a little more relaxing. Making time for self-care is essential for everyone, but it's especially important for new moms. After all, we can only fill up our children with love if we’re full, too!

In honor of my wonderful friend, here’s what I’m putting in her care package:

1. Specialty dark chocolate

The health benefits of fair-trade dark chocolate may be up for debate, but that it is a wonderful, delicious indulgence is not. Coupled with a wheel of local camembert, some crackers, and a mandarin orange, it’s a nice treat for mom on her own or to share with dad on an impromptu date night once the baby is off to bed.

Image via Pexels.

2. Escapist reading material

The world can seem like a dismal, ridiculous place at times. But this baby — and all others born in 2016 — have the potential to grow up and change it. I picked up a Rolling Stone magazine featuring a beloved band and a book about our shared favorite nation (Canada!) for a glorious, positive distraction.

3. Tinted lip balm

Because looking and feeling put together isn't something moms should have to give up.

4. Face wipes

Blessed are you, quick-cleansing wipes. Image via Healthy Essentials®.

These face wipes are great for busy mornings that start too early, or for those times when she just needs a quick refresh.

5. A silky moisturizer for (almost) baby-soft skin

When mom is snatching a few hours or minutes of sleep at a time — and trying to raise a quickly growing bundle of love — remembering to take care of herself isn’t always a priority. This AVEENO® Daily Moisturizer will keep her skin soft and moisturized all day.

6. Dry shampoo

In my opinion, dry shampoo is the greatest innovation of the 2000s. It foofs (yes, that's the technical term) up flat, dirty hair in seconds, making the choice between "Mom gets to wash her hair for the first time in four days" and "Mom cleans spit-up off the couch before it dries" a lot less disappointing. (If you can't find dry shampoo, sub in JOHNSON'S® baby powder — it can actually serve as a form of dry shampoo!)

7. A sleep mask for napping during the day

A two- or three-hour feeding schedule makes things like daytime and nighttime seem pretty arbitrary. For moms who prefer a little darkness when they sleep, this mask comes in pretty handy during tandem afternoon naps with a sleepy babe.

8. Fancy caffeine-free herbal tea

Because it smells and tastes like relaxation. Mmmmm.

9. Hot water bottle and fuzzy sleeve

Making a baby and giving birth is some of the hardest work a mom's body will do. This hot water bottle will help sore muscles relax as her body heals. Added bonus: It looks like a giant wooly sock!

BRB, going back to the store for one of my own. Image by Heather Libby.

There's a lot I still don't know about life. One thing is for sure, though: Taking time to care — for ourselves and for those we love — is essential.

I've been friends with Peggy since we were dorky teenagers, and I know we'll be friends when we're older, grayer, and probably not wiser. Whenever we can be, we're there for each other. When we can't be, care packages are a great alternative!

More
True
Healthy Essentials
The Guardian / YouTube

Earlier this month, a beluga whale caught the world's attention by playing fetch with a rugby ball thrown by South African researchers off the waters of Norway.

The adorable video has been watched over 20 million times, promoting people across the globe to wonder how the whale became so comfortable around humans.

It's believed that the whale, known as Hvaldimir, was at some point, trained by the Russian military and was either released or escaped.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Maverick Austin

Your first period is always a weird one. You know it's going to happen eventually, but you're not always expecting it. One day, everything is normal, then BAM. Puberty hits you in a way you can't ignore.

One dad is getting attention for the incredibly supportive way he handled his daughter's first period. "So today I got 'The Call,'" Maverick Austin started out a Facebook post that has now gone viral.

The only thing is, Austin didn't know he got "the call." His 13-year-old thought she pooped her pants. At that age, your body makes no sense whatsoever. It's a miracle every time you even think you know what's going on.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / Katie Sturino

Plus-size women are in the majority. In America, 68% of women wear a size 14 or higher. Yet many plus-sized are ignored by the fashion industry. Plus-sized clothing is a $21 billion industry, however only one-fifth of clothing sales are plus-sized. On top of that, plus-sized women are often body shamed, further reinforcing that bigger body types are not mainstream despite the fact that it is common.

Plus-size fashion blogger Katie Sturino recently called out her body shamers. Sturino runs the blog, The 12ish Style, showing that plus-sized fashion isn't – and shouldn't be – limited to clothes that hide the body.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular