If you're following me on Instagram you know I've had a bit of a health issue recently- through either a scrape or a bug bite on my left hand I developed an infection called cellulitis, which for some reason would not heal, which led me to being on days and days of various kinds of antibiotics, with my hand in a full on cast. Not being able to drive and being sick with the infection allowed me lots of time at home to rest and to think- I'll post more on this later but the quiet time was one positive outcome of this unexpected situation.
In the flurry of this busy holiday season I was forced to let go and relax- which is hard for me. It also meant, with five kids and only one hand, I really had to rely on the help of others. And I am so grateful for the many friends and family who came to my assistance. So grateful.
Since people were asking how they could help, it got me to thinking about what busy moms really need this holiday season. So I've put together this gift guide that I hope will help you cross a few gifts off your list, organized in a couple of fun categories!
BEST GIFTS FOR BUSY MOMS WHO ARE TIME STRAPPED
A cooked meal. With one hand out of commission there was minimal cooking action happening- and when people brought over prepared meals I was on cloud nine. I like cooking, but I don't enjoy it when there's a crying baby on my hip and toddlers dumping the contents of my tupperware drawer at my feet. So prepared meals for me are the bomb-dot-com. In the past I have tried Rose Riseman's Personal Gourmet which was delicious and wonderful and I stumbled upon this round up of the top 10 prepared meal delivery options in Toronto by BlogTO. Bonus of prepared meals- no clean up. That is a gift that keeps on giving for this busy mom!!!
An alarm clock. This might sound crazy, I know- but as I have written in the past, I am a huge proponent of waking up early. Like 5am early. Do I do it all the time? Nope. Do I miss it like crazy when I sleep in? Absolutely. Waking up before my kids, with 2 glorious hours of silence is THE BEST GIFT FOR MYSELF. I work out, I pray, I usually write a blog post- all before anyone has demanded anything of me. I am a happy person when my kids get up and that is another gift that keeps on giving. So to do it better, I'm using a simple cute alarm clock, with a light sensor so the glow won't disturb you when you sleep.
BEST GIFTS FOR BUSY MOMS WITH MODERN INTERIORS
Nuna Leaf baby seat. This seat is as beautiful as it is functional. It boasts an internal ball bearing that gently rocks baby back and forth with no motors or batteries. It can withstand up to 130lbs- so all my children have taken this for a ride! But my favourite aspect is that it is just so beautiful in its design, and comes in colours that can seamlessly integrate into your existing decor. If you follow me on Periscope I will be sharing a tour of my living room with this chair (likely with a baby in it too!) so stay tuned : )
Nuna Zaas high chair From the same family of products as the Leaf, this high chair is another item that seamlessly blends in with my decor. The genius of this chair is that it grows with your child- as pictured above it goes from high chair to regular chair, and comes in so many (non neon) colours to fit a modern interior.
Nuna Sena playpen. Can you tell I am a fan of this company? After discovering them at an event just before having our fifth baby, I honestly became obsessed. It is just so refreshing to find beautifully designed, functional baby products that aren't shades of neon. This little playpen has traveled with us everywhere- slightly smaller than the average playpen (which I find so convenient for storage in the back of our minivan), we have used this for our 6-month old as well as for our 2-year old while on vacation. Again this is a beautiful gift for the modern interior mama as its streamlined design and compact size allows it to blend in with your existing decor. We went with blue to match the wallpaper I selected for the basement!
Mamas & Papas Baby Snug My baby is just at the point where he can almost sit up unassisted, but not just yet- so this seat is perfect for him to look around and feel like he's part of the action with his older siblings. I love it for the mama who loves modern interiors because of the white exterior- again, neon child gear is just not for me- so when I find products that are functional and modern I am so excited to share. The pop of teal works in my living room really well, but it also comes in various colours (including a neutral!) to suit your decor.
Lakeland 4-in-1 convertible crib. The design of this crib falls a bit more on the transitional side but I put it in the modern interiors category for its colour and its price. It is super hard to find grey cribs off the rack that are modern and aren't at a more premium pricing level. At $300 USD, this is a really accessibly priced crib in a modern colourway- love that.
BEST GIFTS FOR BUSY MOMS WHO NEED TO SIT DOWN
Essentialism by Greg McEweon and The One Thing by Gary Keller. For my business and for me personally these have been game changers. I am not always the best at following the principles of pursuing less- but they are AMAZING principles and for me are the "secret" to how I balance 5 kids and a business. I go into a bit about Essentialism in a recent interview I did with the gals at Social Common- check it out here. These are great gifts for entrepreneurial mamas too.
BEST GIFT FOR BUSY MOMS WHO LOVE WHEN THEIR BABIES STAY SLEEPING
Graco Glider Elite. So you know when baby falls asleep in the stroller and you're like oh my goodness don't move him otherwise he'll wake up but you can't exactly leave him outside so you do the transfer with your breath held for like 2 minutes while you tip toe inside and pray he stays sleeping while you attempt to transfer to the crib? Been there SO MANY TIMES. Also failed so many times. What I love about this glider is that the bouncer chair is a separate unit that detaches from the glider- so when baby falls asleep while being rocked back and forth you only have to pick up the bouncer if you need to move and baby stays snug and secure. Also, it's a neutral, for anyone following that I LOVE neutral baby gear.
BEST GIFT FOR BUSY MOMS WHO NEED TO DE-STRESS QUICKLY
ESSENTIAL OILS! I have found that pure essential oils (I use doTerra but there are lots on the market) help me to de-stress like nothing else. Peppermint, lavender and grapefruit are my all time favourites for an instant stress fix. Simply put a drop on your wrists and take a nice slow inhale of the fragrance- for me it's an instant energy lift and I always recommend the ritual when in need of a quick de-stress fix.
I hope this helps with some ideas for the busy moms in your life! Love to know what's on your list.
Thanks to EiBrands for providing all the baby gear covered in this post. All opinions are my own based on thorough testing by my 5 kids, ages 6 and under : ) Affiliate links used in some cases.