Chill Out with Charlie

By Charlie Emilia

This millennial content creator, social media geek, part-time healthy person and now first-time mom is coming back to her original roots as a writer. Formerly a radio show, “Chill Out with Charlie” was a peek into my life and what I had going on. Since leaving the airwaves, my journey has taken an extreme turn. For updates on what’s been happening, sit back and chill out with me as I navigate these new paths in a whole new way.

Season greetings everyone! Ya girl is a week out and wide as a house! But at least I’m a happy house. I know I promised to update you on my third trimester, but since it’s still happening and every day is a new adventure in not seeing my feet, I figured I’d wait until after my little Nugget is born to give you a joint third trimester/delivery article. But, since we are in the festive season, what I would like to talk about is gift giving, particularly for new/expecting Mommies. I say mommy and not baby, because this is the season where you’re shopping for presents and while everyone loves baby shopping, it’s nice not to forget the baby’s walking incubator. I’m not judging if you’ve forgotten the mommy in your life in place of stuff for the baby, because I have found myself out shopping and been so distracted by baby items that I came home without my postpartum items for the hospital bag.

Why should I focus on gifting mommy?

Well, if you’re as far along as your last trimester, chances are the mommy has already received a bunch of stuff from the baby shower. I can attest to the blessing of having a home overflowing with baby items, and in my mind, I’m just trying to think of if/when my baby will be able to wear/use all of these items. So, yes, your items may get lost in the sea of baby. You know what won’t get lost? Items for the mother! At this point we have so little in comparison to our little bundles that it will be appreciated. Of course, and I personally subscribe to this option, you can do something for the mother as well as the baby. Like a gift for mommy, plus a case of diapers; you’re the new Santa. Santa is dead, long may you live. But, in all seriousness, moms tend to need a little extra love around this time.

If you’re wondering what you should gift mommy this is where it gets a little complicated, because everyone is different and gifting tends to be a very personal experience. What I can suggest are items that everyone loves based on personality. But, if you’re not very close to the mommy, you can choose something generic, like a gift card for a self-care hour or day. Let’s see what I can come up with.

Jewellery

I am not an expert on this topic, since I am pretty nonchalant when it comes to jewellery; I have been wearing the same necklace every day for over a decade. But, in the spirit of trying to interpret mommy brains, I’m gonna go ahead and say, maybe a tennis bracelet or necklace. If it’s got her baby’s initials and/or birthdate to commemorate the special event should be a good idea. No rings for now, because fingers are like sausages and she won’t be able to wear them until the swelling goes down. Pandora charms and pieces are also nice if she has a bracelet….if it still fits right now.

Electronics

New phone anyone? There hasn’t been a point in my pregnancy when I haven’t been standing absolutely still and my phone just flew out of my hand, as if slapped by a poltergeist who wanted to see a woman with a very large belly bend down in excruciating pain. I have broken enough phones to have an ultra-protective case, but not everyone does. A new phone, even if it’s not the latest Samsung or Apple giant, will come in handy when it’s time to take pictures and share memories of the adorable baby. Also, they are great for synching apps that control things like her baby monitor etc. Smart watches aren’t a bad idea, if the mom is into fitness and wants to get back into shape right away, but honestly, between taking care of her baby and postpartum healing, she probably won’t be able to get much use out of it for a while. Electronics aren’t really the way to go, in my opinion, but everyone is different.

Self-care

THIS. This is my section! I love gifts that allow me to decompress and relax. And being pregnant makes you very physically uncomfortable a lot of the time. Back rubs, foot rubs, manicures, pedicures, full body scrubs, if you can name it, I’m into it. People tend to be a little apprehensive about rubbing a pregnant body, for the fear of pulling or pushing something out of place, so whenever you can get that kind of treatment it’s amazing. I’m not sure if there are any local spas that have prenatal massages, but if there are and your mommy is still pregnant, get her one! And pedicures! You can’t see your feet, and they tend to be so swollen and the part of your body, outside of your back, that carry the most weight. Gift certificates are your friend.

Warning: not every salon is created equal, so be smart and picky about where you send mommy. If she can barely reach her feet, we don’t want her to add a toe fungus to her list of worries.

Wild card

Meals for the family! Something I learned recently is the need for meal prep. Contrary to baby meals yours aren’t limited to what comes out of your body, or formula that can be mixed within a few moments and consumed. Both mommy and daddy can be overwhelmed, especially if this is their first baby, so cooking isn’t something that either wants to do. Buy them a voucher for a Fit Foods meal plan for a month, or however long. If you’re handy in the kitchen bake them some meals that can be frozen, thawed and reheated. Buy them vouchers for other places that can be redeemed for ready-made meals and help them skip out on having to order junk food all the time. You can also offer to take their clothes to the laundry and have them cleaned at your expense.

DIY

This is where I live. Most of my gifts are DIY, because they are less expensive, but it also adds a flare of personality and, if you know the person, it’s nicer to receive something that had thought put into it. If your budget is low and you want to show a mom you love her, you can offer to babysit and do some housework while mommy gets a chance to shower; you know the long kind, with soap and everything. This is easier than a full babysitting session, because taking care of a new-born can be very daunting. Stick to the chores and you’ll be fine.

There are a few others, but baby brain has me a little jumbled and I’m sure I’ve written enough to better help you along. The next issue will be a surprise, since I’m not sure what will happen once I’ve given birth!

Make sure to follow me on Facebook.com/LikeCharlieEmilia or my Instagram Chvrl13. I’m open to questions, comments and any concerns you may have about your own health. But please remember I am not a doctor. My column is strictly for entertainment and although I may try my utmost to give accurate information, it should in no way replace a visit to your healthcare provider. Until next time, drive safely!