My mother is staying with DH and I at the moment helping out with our 10 day old newborn.
By "helping out", here is what she is doing: all of the household laundry everyday (yep, daily!), cooking every
meal and making snacks in between, doing all the dishes after each meal, keeping my water bottle filled constantly, offering me juice and other beverages every 30min or so, changing nappies / burping the baby (not all the time - I quite like to do that myself!), running errands, and in between times she is gradually spring cleaning the entire house. My fridge hasn't been that clean for a long time. I think I've forgotten what my own kitchen looks like. So she's a BIG help. She is also consulting me on everything and taking care not to overstep at all, and giving DH and I plenty of space. The funny thing is that we don't *need* the help - our baby is doing great and sleeps/eats well, I came home within 24hrs of the birth and DH went back to work the next day, so I was by myself for a couple of days before she got here and doing great. However it is lovely being taken care of all the same.
I keep telling her nothing else needs doing but she always finds something! I have convinced her to sit down and relax with me a little bit however it feels to me that she is working like crazy!
My question is, how do you thank somebody for essentially turning themselves into your servant for 2 weeks? Is this just one of those things that family do for family? I can't really think of what type of thank you gift is adequate for this situation. And in a weird way it almost feels as though a thank you gift would cheapen it. What can I do that would seem appropriate and not token gesture given how hard it is to measure a gift of this nature? Normally I'd take her out for a nice dinner but we're not really at that stage yet with bubs for big outings. I should also note that my mother lives thousands of miles away, so once she leaves next week I won't see her again for six months. (Her other grandbabies live closer to her and see her regularly, so I guess we're getting 1 years worth of grandmothering all concentrated into 2 weeks!