Author Topic: What type of thank you is appropriate?  (Read 3362 times)

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Ceallach

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What type of thank you is appropriate?
« on: February 09, 2013, 10:26:15 PM »
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!  ;D
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amandaelizabeth

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 10:46:40 PM »
How about a special photo taken of baby and grandma?

With some smaller ones she can use to brag with.

guihong

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 10:52:29 PM »
What an awesome grandma :).

Instead of going out, can you bring in something a step nicer than fast food or carryout? 

I second the idea of a special photo with newborn and grandma, too.

(congrats on the new dolphin ;)).



Sharnita

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 11:02:53 PM »
I might actually wait the 6 mont+hs and then not only take her to dinner but maybe a whole outing type thing where you could do a show and dinner.

delabela

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 01:13:50 AM »
First of all - congrats!  Here's to good health (and some sleep!) for you all.

As for the thanks - I think you can make sure she know you appreciate her, and maybe send a heartfelt letter/card after she goes back home. 

I know going out is not really an option, but is there a nice restaurant you can get takeaway from that she likes? 

ETA: I see guihong already make the takeaway suggestion!

Acadianna

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2013, 01:31:59 AM »
If you can get away for a couple of hours (can Daddy babysit?) how about a manicure/pedicure for both of you?

I think the photos were a great idea too.

Iris

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2013, 02:48:15 AM »
I don't know about the thank you, but if there's any way you could clone her for the rest of us...

I like the idea of a heartfelt letter with a Grandma/baby snap included, plus I would imagine a big hug and a "Thank you so much, Mum, I can't tell you how much this means to me" would be most welcome while she is still there. I know my own mother *really* likes getting nice flowers so that is my go-to thank you for her. Is there something like that that your mum loves?

Congratulations on the new baby :)
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cicero

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 03:08:37 AM »
wow - your mom sounds awesome!

i like the idea of a framed photo.

is she the spa type? how about a spa day for her? maybe if your husband could get two spa days for the both of you to go while he watches the bundle of joy for a few hours? "grandma, you deserve a little pampering after all your hard work!"

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CakeEater

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2013, 04:56:45 AM »
My Mum is similar to yours - we call her Saint Nan.

I suspect that you're right and you're getting lots of grandmothering all at once. My mum really feels like she should be being helpful while she's visiting. No point coming all this way, then sitting around!

Just enjoy it! While everything's going well at the moment (how wonderful!) babies can be unpredictable, and you might find your little one might develop some insomniac tendencies later. Enjoy the help your mother is able to give you now, and
find some way to tell her how very much you appreciate all she's done. In my experience, yes, it's something family does and there's no gift required.

Penguin_ar

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2013, 06:24:40 AM »
How about a special photo taken of baby and grandma?
With some smaller ones she can use to brag with.

That is what we did when my mom came to help with the twins.  We scheduled a photographer to come to the house (so I didn't have to go out with newborn twins) a few days before mom left, and had them rush a couple of pics to give her before she left (she lives in a different country), then sent her a nice album a little later.  Bonus that we got some pics of grandma with the twins too  :)

bonyk

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2013, 07:35:52 AM »
In my family this is just what you do.  My mom is a lot like your mom.  She would walk barefoot over broken glass for any of her kids or grandkids.  I didn't really understand what a big deal that is until I had a child of my own.

Honestly, I think the best 'thank you' is making sure that she always feels connected to baby -- is setting up weekly Skype a possibility?   But if you can make a dinner for the 2 of you happen, mention that you've learned a lot of selfless love from her, and that you'll be a better mom for it.   :)

Redsoil

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2013, 09:17:08 AM »
A heartfelt letter, detailing just how wonderful you think she is, not only for helping out so much in this situation, but detailing the special memories you have of growing up as her daughter.  Maybe saying something like "I hope I can be as great a mum as you have always been  - you're truly a role model for me." 

Have flowers delivered for her, give her the letter, and order food that hubby can pick up and bring home for you all.  Maybe even a special cake for dessert?  (With "Worlds Best Mum" written on it?)

Too often, our words remain locked in our hearts, when they would do more good residing in the hearts of those closest to us.

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TootsNYC

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 04:31:23 PM »
My mom did that for me. Here's what she wanted: for me to love her. For me to want her around. For me to want her to be a regular part of my life. For me to care for her sometimes when she needs it. For me to be well, and happy, and off to a good start. For me to now and then let her know, in very convincing ways, that I know what a wonderful mom she is (I used to call her at random times when my friends were having a tough time w/ their parents and say, "thanks for being a mom like you, instead of a mom like hers")

Other thank-yous just get in the way, in a situation like that.

I hope to be your mom someday. And personally I would feel that a more conventional or formal "thank you" would actually CREATE distance.



Veronica

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2013, 05:39:27 PM »
My mom did the same.  I gave her a card in which I said how much it meant to us and a gift certificate for a local spa near where she lived so she could have a spa day.  She really appreciated it. 

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gramma dishes

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Re: What type of thank you is appropriate?
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 08:23:20 PM »
I love *amandaelizabeth's* idea of a framed photo of the two of them. 

Or -- If you're kind of 'into' the photography thing, I'd take lots of digital pictures of her with the baby, doing different things with him, then I'd have them made into a small permanent hard bound book for her.  You can get them done for less than the cost of a dinner for three adults at a nice restaurant and can even do them completely online with Blurb or several other sites.

Then she can show her newest family member off to her friends.  You can enclose the letter of thanks inside the book, or you can even have it printed at the front of the book on the first (or last) page or wherever you want it.

Letter plus book would mean more to her than any other kind of gift I can think of and I'm speaking as a Grandmother.

And I must say, your Mother sounds like a delightful gem!!