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I’ll admit it….I’m a crier. Now before you sigh and go “Oh, she’s one of those” let me just clarify. In life’s memorable moments, when I’m so overcome with joy, I sob. If I could tell you the number of pictures I have from the birth of my kiddos, their first steps, their preschool graduations and more where I’m really and truly just doing the ugly cry of joy (if there is such a thing) you would seriously laugh. I honestly don’t know what it is about those moments but emotions just seem to flood over me and come pouring straight out of my eyes.
Now, I didn’t used to be quite as much of a crier as I am now…but then I became a mom. And for all of you moms nodding along, you know that when that baby takes it’s first little breath, something in you changes. Those emotions you used to feel are magnified by a million. You’re fierce. You’re gentle. You’re a mixture of lioness and caregiver. You love hard. You care hard. And yes, you cry hard. Knowing that more often than not, in special moments my love pours out of my eyes, I keep more than my fair share of Kleenex Tissues on hand. But for me, preparing myself isn’t enough. So I decided it was time to initiate some of my soon to be mama friends into the Kleenex club with a gift basket perfect for their first days of motherhood.
So, how did this gift basket idea come to be? Well, it’s pretty safe to say that my baby birthing days are over (que the tears). But man, were they ever memorable. Through the birth of both of my babies, I sobbed. Now, some might say it was the pain. Some might even blame the 32 hours of labor with my firstborn (yes, I did say THIRTY-TWO).
But it wasn’t. It was simply the flood of emotion that fills the room as a new life enters the world. It was those first moments of meeting a person who has grown beneath your heart. It was even the relief that this little person you’ve so longed for is finally in your arms. In those moments the tears flow freely. They wash you clean. And for the first time, the feeling of motherhood changes your very being.
And while I’ve (somewhat tearfully) accepted the fact that those days for me are but a memory, I have many friends who are having babies for the first time. While I’ve shared stories and tried to prepare them with words, I wanted to do something more. I wanted to put together a gift basket that I could give all my mom-to-be friends that would help them make those first moments of motherhood memorable and remember them for years to come.
As I came up with ideas of what I wanted to put in my gift basket, I thought back over my first moments as a mom. It was amazing. Wonderful. And completely overwhelming. There were tears and questions and images that I wanted to commit to my mind forever. And as I headed to Walgreens to pick up the essentials for my gift basket, I couldn’t help but get a little misty eyed remembering those first days when life as I knew it was totally new.
As I walked down the aisles, the item I looked for first was Kleenex tissues. Those first few days of motherhood in the hospital are filled with so many tears of joy but let’s be honest, the tissues they give you won’t make you happy! Knowing that other parts of my friend’s bodies were going to be extra sore, I wanted to ensure that they had soft tissues on hand for drying their eyes and wiping their noses. But I didn’t want to stop there! In fact, the Kleenex were just the first essential step of my mom-to-be gift basket. After walking the aisles of the store and picking up a disposable camera, picture album, baby basics and tissue paper, I headed home to see what type of mom-to-be gift I could come up with.
As soon as I got home and laid out all of my items, an idea began to come together in my head. I had found the cutest picture album at Walgreens that would make a perfectly modern and sophisticated baby book! Since that was one thing I totally forgot when I headed to the hospital to have my babies, I knew that it was something any new mom would long for but might not have. So I set to work transforming my picture album into a sweet baby book that would capture every moment and bring all the emotions flooding back each time it was opened. Step one was creating a simple Welcome Baby Printable where the new mom could jot down all the details about her bundle of joy.
I left the printable loose for the time being but decided to include instructions that it was to be secured to the front page of the memory book at a later time. Then I opened up the memory book and added notes to indicate where special moments were to be stored. From attaching a small piece of ribbon to tie on a tiny baby bracelet to cutting a perfectly sized piece of paper for baby footprints, I carefully went though and dedicated a place for all of those special first moments.
After completing my keepsake book and setting it aside, I laid out all the additional must have items I had bought at Walgreens and set to work assembling a basket that was perfect for my mom-to-be friends.
I started my basket by adding some white tissue paper (perfect for when you don’t know the baby’s gender – if you are in the know, using pink or blue can be extra cute). Next I placed my customized memory album and both a large and small box of Kleenex tissues inside.
After adding my tissues, I stuck in some baby essentials, like powder and baby wash. After all, a new mom will want to use these things herself in the hospital to make sure her skin is safe for her new baby to be against.
Next, into the basket went a disposable camera. Why you ask? Because in those special moments when it’s completely crazy and you’re welcoming new life, it’s much easier to grab a camera that you don’t have to worry about dropping and breaking! Plus, my newly created memory book was going to need some pictures and I wanted to ensure that a way to capture them was close at hand.
Finally, I added some pocket sized Kleenex tissues that are perfect for sticking in diaper bags, placing in your pocket or simply carrying on the trip home when all your hospital essentials are packed up.
Then I stuck my printable into the top of the basket for a finishing touch and my memorable occasion gift was ready to give.
Now, whether it’s at a baby shower, taken to the hospital or simply as a sweet gift left on the mom-to-be’s front steps, I know that I’m prepared with a meaningful gift for my new mommy friends that might just bring a tear or two to their eyes before heading to the delivery room. And I can confidently say that it will be the first of many times that I offer them Kleenex tissues over our shared years of motherhood.
Because while I’ve shared plenty of wisdom and stories about all the ways that motherhood will change them, perhaps my gift will better prepare them to start a life long journey that’s filled with tears of joy.
If there is a new mom or a mom-to-be in your life, be sure to give them the gift they will need for the rest of their lives – Kleenex tissues for all those amazing, wonderful, memorable, tear-filled moments of joy that motherhood brings! And don’t forget to stock up yourself! Because as it’s so eloquently been said over the years, life’s not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. And in those moments of births, milestones and memories, if you’re anything like me you’ll be reaching for a Kleenex!
To help you get started on your own memorable moment gift basket, be sure to grab your coupon for $.75 off any size and variety of Kleenex Tissues at Walgreens. Then stock up, share and embrace life’s moments that fill you with so much joy you just can’t keep it inside. After all, those are the times you will always treasure.
Now that I’ve shared with you how I’m helping friend prepared for motherhood full of happy tears, I’d love to know what you would pair with Kleenex Tissues for a mom-to-be gift basket of your own!