Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Pre-Baby Delivery


My friend Lauren is pregnant with her first baby and a week past her due date. The thought of being in her shoes right now makes me cringe! I was miserable at the end of my pregnancies and had no desire to do anything, especially cook an entire meal. When I heard from Lauren that she was still pregnant, I decided to make our friends and their happy, yet obstinate baby in-utero, a dinner to help with the end of pregnancy exhaustion and possibly entice the little darling to make his way into the world.

I typically make meals for our friends who have just given birth. After arriving home from the hospital, many new parents find that food is the last thought that runs through their minds (excluding the baby's food, of course)! Mr. Darling and I received so many meals after our first child was born that our refrigerator and freezer were completely full. I remember thinking: This is amazing, but what are we going to do with all of this food?

After the first day at home, without the help of our parents who came to give us a hand for a few days post delivery, we looked at each other and said, "Oh wait... what are we going to do for dinner???" We remembered all of the meals stocked by our friends and family and immediately felt a sense of relief. We quickly learned that welcoming a baby gives you a new found appreciation for a warm meal prepared by someone else!

Lately, I've come to find that a meal for Moms-to-be before the birth of their little darlings are just as beneficial and meaningful as the meals you make after their little darlings arrive.


Preparing the deliveries!
My tips for making meals for new parents and families are as follows:

* Make meals that are easily transported and frozen - often times, parents are overwhelmed with meals throughout the first few weeks after their arrival home with baby. Making simple, easily frozen and thawed meals allows parents to pull them out as needed without the risk of the meals spoiling and going to waste. Pasta sauce, soups and stews are just a few of many examples of easily transported and frozen meals.

* Remember that breakfasts and lunches are important too - Parents and siblings are not always the only ones enjoying delivered meals. Many family and friends stop by to visit and meet the new baby. It helps parents to have a variety of meals that they can share with guests such as baked-goods, breakfast foods (like bagels and lox or baked oatmeal) and cold-cuts and bread.

* Place meals in containers you are willing to part with - New parents, or even parents welcoming another baby are not thinking about returning your containers after your meals have been enjoyed. If they are, they shouldn't be! They just went through a major life milestone and are marveling in the life they brought into the world. My advice is to buy serve-ware that they can keep or throw away. I prefer simple Pyrex containers and bake-ware. They are more sturdy than aluminum. Rubbermaid containers are also great, but are limited as they can not be baked in the oven to reheat.

* Include a note to the family and baby - not only will this personalize your gift and serve as a lovely memento, it also helps parents when it comes to remembering who to send thank you notes to when they have a few minutes of peace to write them.

*Have fun with packaging your meals - I like to "swaddle" our meals in Aden + Anais swaddle blankets. This way, they are like a two in one gift for both parents and baby. They even look like little stork deliveries. I also like to include a bottle of champagne or prosecco... a little glass helps to relax and to celebrate!

*Remember that store-bought meals are just as meaningful as homemade meals - I am a firm believer in "It's the thought that counts". A few of our friends who work full-time and have families of their own barely have time to make a meal for their families, let alone make one for ours. They picked up healthy and nutritious pre-made meals (one even ordered in for us one night). We were so touched by their thought and generosity that it did not matter that they didn't make the meals themselves. It didn't diminish the love that they gave toward our family.


I hope you find these tips helpful. Being a part of the joy in welcoming a baby is a tremendous experience. Every little contribution and good wish is cherished and remembered!

With love,
Mrs. Darling

P.S. A day after writing this post, our dear friends became parents to healthy and beautiful, Aris James Morton. Welcome, sweet darling! We have been waiting for you.


Ready for delivery - A meal of italian sausage and peppers, herb and cheese polenta and blueberry cobbler. Prosecco was picked up on the way!          

The swaddle blankets used for our delivery to the Mortons were from the  Aden + Anais organic muslin collection - pattern: "Into The Woods" How charming is this little fox? 



2 comments:

  1. So sweet. I was born in Kentucky and maybe it's something my Mom taught me, but a home cooked meal is golden so it will always be my thing to deliver a meal during times of need.
    I love your swaddling wrap.
    pve

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    1. Thank you so much! Mr. Darling is a good old boy from Kentucky! Where in KY were you born? I am a big fan of your work!!

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