DIY Mama: A Month of Homemade Luxuries for Mama and Baby

updated Sep 30, 2020
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)
(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)

Ten short weeks ago, I became a mother to a robust and tiny dark-haired daughter. For all the time I spent hoping and dreaming of this little one, nothing could have prepared me for being so needed, so craved in a primal, biological way. I’m funneling my life straight into hers, building a little human from scratch.

And I’ve realized: When you’re a new mama, life itself is DIY.

Homemade Belly Butter (Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

Motherhood: The Ultimate DIY

The wild jolt of becoming a parent, in the early days, is largely due to this fact that, suddenly, you’re doing it all yourself — when it is sustaining an entire human life, as well as your own. It begins with spending your body to grow a human from scratch, or expending precious resources to adopt. And when that little person pulls up at your door, she is hauling the alarming reality that this creature needs you every hour of the day. She desires you with her whole being, with her hungry, searching little mouth.

You can understand this theoretically before you have a baby, but there’s no substitute for the visceral shock that whether you’re feeding her from your own body, mixing bottles at midnight, changing diaper after sopping diaper, or simply coping with the fact that the demands upon you never stop (except during those precious 23-minute catnaps) — you’re doing all of this yourself. You’re doing the living for two, or more. There are more calls upon your body, your energy, and your emotions than you ever thought possible to meet.

But parenthood means you just do it. You do it yourself — your way, your style, with all the love you have pent up to give.

And if you’re one of these new mamas, or know one new to this game, then you know that every moment of luxury counts triple what it used to. I am talking about the brief steamy showers, glorious bites of chocolate cake between late-night feeding sessions, or the first glass of wine after a duteous nine-month abstention — they are savored with fresh appreciation between the bouts of getting it all done.

I am seeing how the first years of parenthood are fueled by this appreciation, and by reminders to be gentle with yourself and to look for small luxuries to nourish your own body and spirit in everyday routines.

Lactation Cookies (Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

DIY Mama at The Kitchn

Everyone can use a little more of that kind of luxury — whether you’re a new mama, know someone who is, or simply want some gentle refreshments for your own home and life. We’re celebrating the spirit of DIY mamas and the first energy of motherhood this month with 20 small, naturally inspired projects from the kitchen to make your home and life a little more luxurious.

Not because we think new moms should DIY one more thing — good lord no. You are DIYing a human. Therefore you deserve a treat — one that will nourish you, your babe, and your home. Whether that’s a batch of gentle baby powder, a dozen lactation cookies packed with delicious oatmeal, a lotion for your beautiful belly, or a mocktail for you and your wee toddler to drink together, this month offers a collection of 20 pretty, practical projects from the kitchen to make mamas’ lives a little more luxurious.

Infused Cleaning Spray (Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

DIY Mama: 20 Little Homemade Luxuries

Here’s what to look forward to this month — we hope you’ll follow along with DIY Mama, for you or for a friend!

But of course you don’t have to be a mama to enjoy most of these handmade projects this month. Sign up to get one of these little luxuries in your inbox each day in April, for the next four weeks.

Week 1: The Home Apothecary

Little luxuries for health and comfort, from homemade baby powder to mother’s milk tea.

Week 2: Natural Cleaners

How to make fresh, homemade cleaners for mama and baby, from wet wipes to a calming room spray.

Week 3: Food for Mama-Baby

Treats like lactation cookies to take to a friend, and small snacks with built-in twists to make them tasty enough for mama, or simple enough for early eaters.

Week 4: Body & Beauty

True luxuries for the mama, from a bath soak to simple masks to brighten your under-eyes for a new day.

Sign Up for DIY Mama

Sign up and receive a project in your inbox each day, starting Monday April 4.

(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)