Gift from a distance to support a friend who is a mom and exhausted?
December 19, 2017 8:36 AM   Subscribe

My good friend has two young children and is going through alot of stuff right now and is exhausted. Any ideas on what I could get her as a gift to support her? Complications, limited budget ($25) and from a distance.

My good friend has two young children and is going through alot of stuff right now and is exhausted. Unfortunately her children have high health needs and she recently moved cross country away from her support system.

I would like to get her something that to cheer her up and help with self care.

Any parents ever receive a small gift that made their lives easier and was valued? She recently mentioned that she is struggling to get through her days so I really want to support her in a tangible way.

My ideas so far include:
-Amazon gift card (she loves to read)
-Something kid related to make her life easier?
-Mailing her a copy of my favourite book that I think she might enjoy
posted by snowysoul to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Coffee/coffee-related gift card? My brother once ordered a giant box of play doh off Amazon for my kid and it was very much appreciated.
posted by The Toad at 8:41 AM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

the best gift you can give her is time/a break. so can you order her a pizza for delivery one night? dunno the kids age but maybe send a cheap dvd from amazon or gift her a movie on itunes if they have an ipad.
posted by noloveforned at 8:54 AM on December 19, 2017 [7 favorites]

Does she have task rabbit in her town? Pay for someone to do her laundry for her. Should take an hour.
posted by charlielxxv at 9:00 AM on December 19, 2017 [5 favorites]

the best gift you can give her is time/a break. so can you order her a pizza for delivery one night?

Seconding. $25 is likely enough to cover take-out from somewhere, which means a night without dinner prep and cooking. That would be awesome for everyone.
posted by Kriesa at 9:00 AM on December 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

My mom friend loved the Amazon gift card I gave her - she had something in mind that she was going to try to get anyway, and when I gave her that it made it really easy for her to get it.

I think mailing her your book is a really sweet and personal idea -- maybe tuck a gift card into it as a "bookmark," like for coffee or some really nice tea. David's Tea is really nice and you could definitely get something really lovely for $25, and they usually have sales where you can buy 2 teas and get another one.

The other thing that I always get for people are these little essential oil rollers from Frisky Fish: here they are! I seriously buy these for everyone. I don't really "believe" in essential oils, I just get them (and have one on my desk right now) because the scents are really beautiful and they bring a moment of quiet and calm and mindfulness to my long days which is really lovely.

Other random ideas:
A really smushy soft big sweater and some cheaper tea
Smushy slippers
Gift card for a meal delivery, like for Caviar or Amazon Restaurants or GrubHub (depending where she lives)
Homemade baked goods in a tin
posted by fairlynearlyready at 9:02 AM on December 19, 2017

While I do think it's a good idea for readers, if you mail her the book, I'll suggest you mention that you don't expect her to read it, and don't ask her if she's read it later on--I know I've had several books given to me that I just haven't gotten to for one reason or another, and the guilt for not reading them doesn't help.
posted by telophase at 10:20 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Send her links to these youtube videos for the kids. Using quality video as a babysitter can be a lifesaver.
The Snowman is really enchanting and sweet.
Christmas Eve on Sesame Street is a bit dated, but we loved it.
Tuck a 20 in a holiday card so she can hire a babysitter and do whatever - run errands, get a haircut. Or the food delivery - such a treat.

When I had a young child and was overwhelmed, friends who would just listen were a lifeline. Hugs to you both, and the kids.
posted by theora55 at 10:27 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

When my kid was a newborn someone awesome gave us a gift card to a delivery service in my town that will pick up takeout from any local restaurant and bring it to your house.
posted by xylothek at 11:25 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would go Amazon gift card over a physical book. I still read a fair amount as a mom but so often it's 15 minutes here and there on my phone's ebook app.

Or a gift card to a close restaurant or chain (you can type in her address or the hospital she's at the most if that's relevant in google maps and search food or pizza).
posted by typecloud at 1:43 PM on December 19, 2017

Is she okay financially...?

Broke people in crisis do not enjoy new books or stuff like that. They generally look at it want to weep thinking of how it could have been $X in groceries or $ towards a bill. Send a used copy...!

My vote would be for a distraction for the kids (Play-Doh is great -- how old are they? -- but can be a £€!? nightmare to clean) and a gift card for a place that sells beer/wine, or a cheap but decent pizza chain, and the book, which is obviously 2nd-hand. The kids' gift(s) can be thrifted, too. (Steer clear of anything that requires parental assistance/interaction!) "Slime" is very popular right now amongst certain age groups here and the ingredients come from the dollar store -- if they are old enough to DIY from YouTube videos, and you include cheap tablecloths and a couple more as drop mats, that could be good.
posted by kmennie at 3:02 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Cash with a lovely note saying to use it for takeout. I got this for my second child and it was the best gift.
posted by gatorae at 7:22 PM on December 19, 2017

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