by Claire Mazur, Of a Kind
Baby Registry Requests
Not to knock the traditional baby registry — seriously, realizing I had a complete breast milk storage system at the ready was, for better or worse, a high point of last week — but some of the best, most meaningful gifts I’ve received around the birth of my son were not the sort of things you even think (or know) to ask for. Some of the highlights from my three week postpartum, bleary-eyed vantage point below.
Breastfeeding (and a lack of sleep) has done a real number on my back, neck, and shoulders, so I straight up applauded when one of our friends told me he was sending a masseuse from Soothe to the house.
Healthy and accessible food has, predictably, been in high demand ‘round here. A good fat and antioxidant packed granola and a simple, citrusy red lentil soup were so good that I reached back out to the friends who made them to ask for the recipes. And, a gift certificate for The Culinistas was exactly the thing I needed to ease my fears about the grandparents heading home and leaving me to a life of takeout dinners.
I hate, hate long nails and decided to focus a lot of my pre-labor anxieties on how to time a visit to the nail salon as close to the birth as possible, in order to avoid this fate (So rational! Such a useful way to spend brainspace!). As luck would have it, a pal handed me a voucher for an at-home mani-pedi from ManiCare a week before my due date. Now it’s just my son’s little scragglers I have to worry about... and those can be bitten off.
For as much as I desperately want every woman and man to have ample and paid time off after the birth or adoption of a child, I’ve also been wrestling with a different side of all this: I wish I could keep working. I love my job; I have FOMO when I’m not there. And, the thought of being totally out of the loop for months sounds, well, nightmarish. When my work wife proposed coming over to my place two afternoons a week during my leave to catch me up on what was happening at the office, I cried. It’s one of the nicest things anyone has offered to do for me, ever — not just as a postpartum thing. It’s probably not a realistic ask for a lot of people, but even a weekly email update with a rundown of the need-to-knows has the potential to be a real game changer and to make the eventual return to work for new moms so much less daunting.