Sympathy Gifts & Simple Acts of Service

Sympathy Gifts and Simple Acts of Service| A Simple Haven

At the beginning of the summer, I admitted to being in full-on survival mode. And to being fully ok with that.

I also expected survival mode to end more quickly than it did–or at least I expected not to revisit it anytime soon.

But with preparing for our big trip, re-adjusting to life back at home, then being sick or taking care of sick babies for about three weeks while pregnant, and Daddy traveling more and working longer hours than usual, life has not felt “normal” for a while.

Thankfully, I’ve been learning to adjust expectations of myself and lean into grace during this season. And I’ve got some pretty sweet friends and family who have helped make it better than it could have been.

If you’re in the midst of a hard season yourself, I can totally empathize. If you know a friend who is, here are some simple ways to help make their load a bit easier to bear.

Sympathy Gifts and Service for Friends

Bring a Meal

It can be dinner, but it doesn’t have to be. I like to bring new moms breakfast-y foods. Snacks are also great. For inspiration, check out this spread of summer meals to give.

But remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy to be appreciated! Personally, when I am sick/pregnant/just had a baby, I think food tastes ten times better when I didn’t have to make it myself.

My favorite granola bars to make and give-recipe to come!
My favorite granola bars to make and give–recipe to come!

Deliver Coffee or a Treat

I’m pretty content to be at home more often than not. Still, for me one of the hardest aspects of caring for sick kids is being house-bound. After a while, I find myself getting antsy and wishing for coffee shop delivery services.

Until one exists, you can be it for a friend who’s house-bound. Get her order, then swing by with the drink or a treat and maybe a nice note.

Offer Childcare

Not practical for sick littles, but definitely helpful when a friend is in the midst of a move, welcoming a new baby, or just in a hard season of life. Bring your kids over for a playdate while Mom rests in her room or tackles a necessary task.

Or, offer to pick the littles up and take them to the park, Chick-fil-a, library, or local fire station. (My kids think the fire station is awesome).

Offer to Help Pack/Unpack

We’ve moved a lot. There are always loads of emotions, but there’s also the reality that the kitchen needs to be packed. If I can do it with a friend, all the better.

Epsom salt + oatmeal bath sachets in a mason jar
Epsom salt + oatmeal bath sachets in a mason jar

Make a Survival Kit

My sweet friend Danielle brought me a “first trimester survival kit” back in the spring and it was fabulous. She included bath sachets of lavender-scented epsom salts (apparently magnesium deficiency is a cause of nausea) and pregnancy tea (which really could just be called “women’s health tea” because it’s helpful whether pregnant or not).

I took one bath sachet along on our big trip and treated myself to a much-needed soak in our Montreal hotel’s tub after a long day of wrangling Buckaroo. It was lovely.

Other Simple Survival Kit Ideas:

For a moving friend: special toys for the kids for a long car ride, a Starbucks gift card for coffee stops, and a compilation of encouraging notes from friends (especially if it’s a long-distance move!)

For a new baby: diapers, snacks for mommy (particularly a mom who’s nursing), and a new candle/bath product to encourage mom to take a break when she can.

For a general rough season of life: an encouraging note, a CD of uplifting tunes, and an offer of a free date night for mom and dad.

What would you put in a “survival kit” for a friend?

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About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.