SWE Suggests: 5 Things a New Mom REALLY Needs
Everything changes when you become a mom. Your body, your heart, your brain and your libido. It’s a top to bottom overhaul of the things that used to matter, the way you spend your time and money and your ability to remember your own name. You talk about yourself in the third-person using a generic label, and where your ass used to be is now just one long thigh. Your formerly sexy, confident and self-care focused self has left the building, and in her place is someone who cuts her own hair and has 3-week-old string cheese in her purse.
My social media feed is flooded with articles about what moms should be doing: finding something called “Me Time” that includes day spas or an hour at the gym. We’re reminded about how important it is to have a strong identity—both for our own personal sanity and for our kids’ benefit. But all of this peripheral advice is really just another measuring stick that we use to flagellate ourselves: I haven’t worked out since giving birth—I’m doing it wrong. I haven’t had a pedicure in six months—I’m doing it wrong. I haven’t had a date night or sex with my husband in weeks—I’m doing it wrong.
I’m just weeks away from giving birth to my second daughter, and I can’t guess how this impending change is going to alter the lives of myself, my husband or our four-year-old daughter. Along with general pregnancy forgetfulness, I can’t really remember how to do anything infant-related anymore; nursing, holding, soothing…all that knowledge is lost in the ether. I’m just going to wing it, and assume it will come back to me—just like riding one of those things with pedals, handlebars and two wheels.
But here’s what I do remember: the things I really needed, particularly in those first six months of being a new mom. There are the obvious things—like haircuts, naps and a personal chef—but these are often remedied by thoughtful gestures from friends and family. I’m talking about the things that used to make me feel like me. You know, normal.
So if you know a lady-in-waiting to motherhood, here are a few non-traditional items that might just make her feel more sane, human and whole:
1. Amazon Prime
Most people have an Amazon Prime account these days because we love instant gratification. But when I became a parent, I learned that diaper and wipe delivery (and subscriptions!) was the gift that just never ended. Also, there’s what you think you’ll need (the things that go on your registry like onesies and hats) and then there’s what you actually need (like maxi pads, stool softener, Lidocaine spray and granny panties.)
One thing few people know about when it comes to the perks of Prime membership is the Prime Now App. This is a grocery and goods delivery service from local stores with a low minimum purchase (usually $20-$30) and no fee—with the exception of a reasonable tip for your delivery driver and personal shopper (around $5.) You can have whatever you need delivered within hours: Baby’s first cold? Baby Tylenol, Humidifier and a Nose Frida, stat. I’ve ordered everything from emergency ice cream to dog food, and never had to leave my couch.
In lieu of a registry gift, my genius girlfriends transferred money into my PayPal account that I could use for anything: a haircut, housekeeper or date night. If you don’t want to give cash, an Amazon gift card is just as good. I personally save mine so I have a little currency in the bank for those items I didn’t know I needed (see above!)
3. Do Not Disturb Sign
I love my dog. He was my first baby. He is how I found out I was pregnant with my daughter; he went from being a quiet, loving and grateful rescue to a clingy, protective barker overnight. I Googled “why is my dog so clingy” and the results were “are you pregnant?”
He became even more protective when we brought our daughter home. He started barking at everything: the mail carrier, my husband when he came home and the sound of the UPS truck driving down the street.
So you can imagine the rage that developed as a result of his barking waking up the baby every time I got her to sleep. No one wants to hate their dog who is only doing what he thinks is heroic. So get this sign and a bark control device that can be turned on when the baby goes down.
4. All the Booze
I remember my first taste of wine after my baby was born. With the miracle of pump and dump technology, I shared a bottle of Malbec with my sister that tasted like sweet nectar of the Gods. You can even get creative and make your own wine labels that say things like “First Tooth,” or “I’m Covered in Vomit,” or “Because it’s Tuesday.”
Did you know wine can just magically appear at your doorstep? Trust me, when it comes to those early months of parenting, mama’s going to need a drink, and she’ll toast to you with every tipple of ripple.
5. Strong Kegel Muscles
This is a doozy, because it encompasses so much about what life used to be like for a mom before her title change. She could laugh, jump and floss her teeth without peeing her pants. Also, sex was likely pleasurable for both her and her spouse before a vaginal birth.
Women are supposed to be doing Kegel exercises, like, constantly. On the elevator at work? Squeeze one, two, three…release. Making a smoothie? And squeeze, two, three…Sitting at the computer? I’m flexing and relaxing right now. By doing these exercises (like any exercise), we strengthen those pelvic floor muscles, therefore making it easier to control both our pee and our sexual pleasure. Strong Kegels=better sex, better orgasms and better bladders.
Cool, cool. but unless I’m listening to someone talk about it or reading about it somewhere, I’m probably thinking about my to-do list or just, you know, trying to keep my baby alive in general, and not doing my Kegel exercises.
It turns out, there’s a shortcut to stronger Kegels. The Intensity is a sex toy that both gives you pleasure and does your exercises for you. This device exercises all your muscles for you (correctly!) and helps you have stronger, more frequent orgasms. It has both an external rabbit-like clitoris stimulator AND an internal vibrator that hits the G-spot. These work your pleasure points while two pads conduct gentle electrical muscle stimulation. Trust me: every mom alive would love the gift of guaranteed orgasms and the ability to enjoy a trampoline at her kid’s birthday party.
Having a newborn means that the new mom in your life will be lucky to sit down to pee, let alone find time for any kind of exercise—abdominal, gluteal or Kegel. So this device is the perfect way for any mom to find “Me Time,” even if it’s only five minutes while hiding in a closet. With a glass of wine.