7 Gifts for Moms of Kids With Disabilities
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I parent two children with disabilities. If you are anything like me, “perfect” gifts are things I need to either make my life a little easier, or presents that force me to focus on myself and not just my kids.
I personally love gift cards. They are the perfect Christmas, birthday, and “thinking of you” gifts. I love the feeling of walking into Target and feeling like I can splurge on the comfiest pair of pajama pants because I have a gift card.
My favorite gifts? Last spring someone anonymously gifted us a cleaning service that came every other week for three months. And almost four years ago, when life was especially hard, a close friend of the family recognized my husband and I desperately needed time together and away. This friend covered the cost of a getaway and pushed me to find childcare, which was covered as well.
I dream of this happening again, yet I am also keenly aware of how fortunate I have been that people in our lives recognized our needs and made magic happen.
We reached out to our Mighty parents and asked them what their perfect gifts would be. As suspected, they shared things that would make their lives a little easier. These were the most common suggestions.
1. Gift Cards or Gift Certificates
Almost every parent answered that they would appreciate a gift card. Favorite gift cards included: Starbucks (or other coffee shops), movie theaters, a favorite family restaurant, a certificate for a haircut or nail salon, Amazon, and Target.
2. Spa Day
Who doesn’t want to have a spa day? Moms tend to take care of everyone else’s needs, except their own. A spa day is the type of gift that forces you to slow down, get pampered and enjoy yourself. Want to include a hotel night? Even better.
Our suggestion: Find a local Spa and get a certificate. If possible, book the appointment, too. Marriott hotel chains tend to have spas so book a night, too.
3. Profesional Massage
Raise your hand if you could use a massage right about now! For some parents who have kids with disabilities, the stress and the added physical involvement takes its toll on the body. I think of a massage and can picture releasing the tension I carry in my shoulders and back. If you want to take it a step further, cover more than one session.
Our suggestion: Find a local massage therapist and get a certificate. If possible, book the appointment, too.
4. Cleaning Service
Gift magic! When I was little, my mom would make my bed without me noticing and say the “bed fairy” showed up to make the beds. The fact there is no “cleaning fairy” is more devastating than the idea that Santa is not real. This might be one of the best gifts you could give to a parent of a child with a disability. Between therapies, doctor’s appointments, fights with insurance that can take hours or days, never-ending paperwork, and school issues, having someone clean your house is magical. A cleaning service for a parent of a child with a disability is what Santa is to a child.
5. Meal Delivery Service
A dreaded question many parents have to deal with is: “What’s for dinner?” When you’ve spent all day at the hospital or taking your child to several doctor’s appointments, cooking could make you want to cry. Not having to worry about dinner is one of the best gifts you can give.
6. Respite Care
Ask a group of parents of kids with disabilities what they need most and chances are respite will be one of their top three needs. If you are unable to provide the respite, consider covering the cost of a qualified respite provider or respite agency.
Our suggestion: Write a letter letting your loved one know you want to cover the cost of a respite provider and include a check or cash.
7. Hands-On Support for Your Friend
Sometimes the best gift is letting a friend know you want to be an active part of their lives. With the many responsibilities that come with parenting a child with a disability, knowing someone is willing to go to an IEP meeting with us or can drive our kid to soccer practice makes a big difference.
Have a gift you’d like to receive that didn’t make this list? Let us know in the comments below.