Until then, I guess I didn't really think about the practicality of the gift I was giving. I usually had a budget, I had whatever timeframe I had left myself to organise the gift e.g. on the way to the baby shower, two days to get something delivered, two weeks out (rare organised occasions in life). Those things alone would dictate where I went looking and what I bought the new or expectant parents.
Blankets, towels, cute bunnies, overpriced onesies with matching beanies. All lovely gifts to give and receive, but none of those things are going to save the day.
At no point is the new mum going to get to 7pm, having not showered or eaten all day, still in her PJs, getting the dreaded text from her partner that the trains are stuffed and they're going to be at least 30 minutes late, then look over to the cute stuffed bunny and think, lucky we've got this to entertain us until help arrives. No, bunny isn't going to step up to the stove top and cook your tired, depleted friend a nutrient dense hot meal and hold the baby while she sits down to enjoy it.
It is at that stage that she is going to remember that someone sent her meals for the freezer. She puts the oven on (baby in arms) and whacks a meal in to cook while she feeds and baths the baby.
Unfortunately, this scenario happens more than we would like to remember or admit. A cold piece of toast at 8pm or ordering takeaway, again, because we did not have the time, strength or brain width to prepare anything to eat for dinner.
Using your money to prepare yourself or a loved one for getting through these days is far more valuable. It's the sort of support you wish you had. It's the sort of support that you never forget.