Thursday, January 29, 2009

What New Moms Really Want

Since Precious Bundle #2 is taking her or his sweet time (read FOREVER!) I've had a lot of time to reflect on those first chaotic days... weeks (OK, months) of instant parenthood, and I've come up with a list of gifts for new adoptive moms.

These are all things I either received or found myself wishing for after bringing our daughter home. I guess they'd be good for any new mother, but they're particularly helpful for adoptive moms, who never know when they're going to be plucked from their routine and dropped into the giddy insanity of parenthood.

Gifts for the New (Adoptive) Mother

A catheter. Seriously. Before you roll your eyes and think "Here goes another mother martyr trip. Poor me, I don't even have time to go to the bathroom", consider how difficult it is to use a public bathroom with an infant in tow. You can't put the baby down anywhere - too dirty - so you hold the baby, leaving you with only one hand free to dispense and position the paper seat cover. When it slips off the toilet seat (the first one always does), you reach down to grab it before it hits the floor, which leaves the baby dangling upside down from your arm, and you quickly realize how much they hate that.

When you finally manage to get a seat cover to stay put you have to figure out how to get the t.p. with one hand. This should be easy, since the t.p. is perforated between the sheets, and the dispenser has that nice toothy edge to tear against. Yeah, right! I swear those perforations are just sketched on, and that toothy edge is about as sharp as a raindrop. One time I tried to hold Baby's head under my chin and make a quick grab-and-tear with two hands, but she wiggled and I had to drop the paper and grab her before she slid off onto the disgusting floor.

I've got some other ideas for how to handle the automatic flush, washing your hands, and opening the door, but we've spent enough time in the public bathroom for now.

Home visit hair cut. I think my daughter was well over a year old before I got my hair cut. No time, no baby sitter, no way I was going to take her into a salon full of hairspray and chemicals... I would have paid double for someone to come to my house and cut my hair.

Hair bands, hair clips, and barrettes. See above. These, carefully arranged, can get you through a trip to the post office or the bank.

Drive-through gift cards. Fresh hot coffee for me, and a nice leisurely nap-inducing drive for Baby. It's like a mini-vacation.

Olay Daily Facial Express Wipes. I fell in love with these! Some days it was the closest I came to a shower. At least my face felt rejuvenated!

Nice house clothes. I have to admit, before I became a mom I never understood the allure of sweatpants, leggings, and oversized shirts. My husband still doesn't. I often wished I had something that looked better and wore as well.

Chocolate. Because it's chocolate.

Gift card for a car detail service. I was amazed at how fast my car became littered with wipes, tissues, spilled milk, hair bands, empty Purell bottles, etc. If you can find a service that makes house call, so much the better!

Zip-loc bags. I used these for everything, and still do. Great for stowing a dirty diaper or spit up clothes until you get home, or for holding small portions of formula, cotton balls, cheerios, chocolate, etc. If you're handy, you can even fashion an emergency catheter out of one! It's surprisingly easy to wash the bags in a sink of soapy water, then let them dry overnight and use them again. And again and again.

I'd love to hear your ideas for new mom gifts. I'm working on a list for new dads, too, so I hope you'll share!

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Adoptive Parent Website

I'm excited to announce the launch of my latest website, a resource for adoptive parents. It's called , and I hope you'll join me there for articles about adoption and parenting, helpful hints for navigating the adoption journey, and a sneak peek at my "literary pregnancy" - my first book about adoptive parenting.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you. You are all part of my experience!

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+