avatar

About Katie Clemons

Katie Clemons is a storycatcher and journal crafter. She helps people celebrate their stories with her award-winning writing prompt journals at Gadanke. She also blogs at Making This Home about simple, handmade living from a vintage airplane hangar in Montana.

pregnant-belly

16 gifts for new mothers

When you dig through the archives of The Art of Simple, you can find a beautiful assortment of baby-related resources – cloth diapering, creating a memorable baby’s first Christmas, product essentials, breast feeding, homemade baby food. They’re great for mamas! Today I’m adding to this list – not necessarily for moms, though.

This list is for friends and relatives of new mamas.

I’m a couple months into this parenting thing, a portion of which I solo parented early on while my husband was away for work. A lot of it’s been a blur – but not the kind gestures people have extended to me.

Here are a few things that people either did for me or that I would have loved to have done.

Baby milestone book
Photo by Katie Clemons

Save this list. You never know when your life will be blessed with a beautiful baby down the block!

  1. Change and wash her sheets and baby’s sheets. She probably doesn’t remember when this was last done.
  2. Hold the baby; let her take a long shower or bubble bath. Or just eat a snack or even a whole meal. Most likely, she doesn’t remember when she did these last, either!
  3. Bring her that commonly referenced frozen meal. She probably won’t even want you to put it in her freezer.
  4. Fold some laundry and get another load started. Don’t make funny faces when you come across her and her husband’s underwear in the basket.
  5. Un-decorate her Christmas tree (or whatever holiday or seasonal decor and household things she needs done. Put screens back in her windows for summer? Pull out the winter clothes?
  6. Give her this baby book. I designed this book with the busy, baby-holding mama in mind. You can fold the book flat, and jot down quick notes in response to the fun writing prompts when time is limited. The ring closures make it simple to tuck in treasured mementos. Sit down and simply visit. She’d love the company.
  7. Bring her coffee and baked goods from the bakery. She probably can’t get out of the house yet, so treat her.
  8. Bring groceries and make her lunch in her kitchen. Clean it up. And leave leftovers. She might insist you take the leftovers; ignore her. You both know she could use them.
  9. Unload and load her dishwasher. She had no idea this little task would become such a bottleneck in her life.
  10. Refill her soap dispensers. When baby came home, the family was washing their hands like crazy.
  11. Take care of the baby while she goes through bills and gets caught up. The phone company doesn’t really care if she’s just had a baby.
  12. Tell her she looks beautiful and mean it. As Megan at Sorta Crunchy pointed out, its easy to feel un-beautiful when you’ve got babies and still don’t fit into your pre-maternity clothes.
  13. Take out her trash.  Run the recyclables to the recycling center.
  14. Walk the dog. We don’t have a dog, but believe me, if we did, the poor thing would be desperate for some outside time right about now!
  15. Upload her photos to a photo printing site for her, then print a few and give them to her.
  16. Give her a hug. Look her in the eye and tell her you’re there for her.

What’s something you would give? Or that you received?

Join the Conversation
I am worthy

I am worthy

When I started creating the writing prompts for my first Gadanke journal, I was so excited. My grandma had inspired me to help women capture their stories as we quickly scrambled to record everything she could remember when she was about 90. She had a zip-top bag of old letters she exchanged with college friends (read more…)

Join the Conversation
christmas in germany katie clemons

Baby’s first (Czech, German, American) Christmas

Today as you read The Art of Simple, I’m either carrying a little baby in my belly or in my arms. There’s no way to know which, of course, so I am focusing my pre-mamahood energy to tell you what our little family has planned for the holiday season.  My husband is a German Czech; (read more…)

Join the Conversation
hiking-yellowstone

Could your kids navigate the old-fashioned way?

For 70 years, generations of my family have been racing to a rustic cabin in the woods whenever we don’t have work on a summer day. The one-room log cabin has electricity, an outhouse, and no running water. If you want heat, you have to crawl out of your sleeping bag to chop wood and (read more…)

Join the Conversation
summer ice cream

Moms are more than chauffeurs

As I was eating lunch along the counter at the nearby Food Cooperative, two moms were sitting in the stools beside me. “What are your plans for the afternoon?” one asked the other. The woman sighed and began to list all the activities she had to get her kids to. The other woman nodded and (read more…)

Join the Conversation