2.09.2014

Momma Monday: 5 Ways To Help A New Mom

Before I became a mom, I had about a handful of friends who had babies before me.  Some of them were local and some were not.  I may or may not have texted one of them while they were in labor, asking how it was going, which really....what was I thinking!?!  When my sister had her baby I remember sitting in the hospital room, just awkwardly staring while she had needles stuck in her arms and wriggled around, unable to get comfortable.  I really didn't totally know or understand how to be responsive to  my friends while they were pregnant or after they had the baby, this was an empathy that for me didn't come until after I had a baby.  Sometimes we don't learn lessons till we go through them ourselves, right?  I just didn't understand what a pregnant or new mom might want or need from me, beyond a shower gift and a message of congratulations.  

So now that I've been through the trenches, here are 5 things I think can be helpful to a new mom:



1.  Food.  Food is good.  In that first week or two I would literally forget to eat, or not have time to eat.  Eating is kind of important when I was trying to recover from labor and nursing a baby.  Going to the store was not a priority and no-one really wants to get out and drive to get fast food.  Providing a new mom with a gift basket of snacks, or bringing them some groceries or a meal is beyond helpful.

2.  Sleep.  Ah, sweet slumber.  Sometime within the first month we were visiting my mother in law and I jokingly asked how much I could pay her to watch the baby for the night.  Surprisingly she said she would take him for the night (on the house), and although it was a little weird not having to wake up, that sleep was so needed and appreciated.  Even if you can't watch the baby over night, which most people probably can't, even letting the new mom take a nap while you watch the baby would be equally welcomed.

3.  Pampering.  Those first few weeks I was lucky to get my legs shaved, teeth brushed and deodorant on.  I was a hot mess, justifiably.  Taking a shower was like a vacation, so I can only imagine how good something like getting my nails done or a massage would have been.  I probably wouldn't have taken the initiative on this for myself, so instead of maybe flowers or baby clothes, splurge on something for the mom to be to enjoy.

4.  Alone time.  As an introvert I really need alone time to recharge.  I wrote a post about it in my early blogging days (which wasn't that long ago).  Letting my husband watch the baby for just a little while so I could veg in bed and watch TV is life changing.  Better yet, you could offer to watch the baby while mom and dad take some time together, like going for a walk or out to dinner.  Finding some normalcy in this big life change is so vital, I think.

5.   Surprises.  Most new moms are going through the motions, adjusting to things, sometimes on automatic.   I had someone send me a little note of encouragement in the mail along with goodies for the entire family (including the dog!) that really helped me to get off automatic for a minute and be in the moment, and re-centered.  This was just such a fun, unexpected surprise and a nice pick me up.  You could do something along those lines, or even surprise the mom with something like a magazine subscription, beauty box subscription like Birchbox, a movie to watch, or a simple note or text of encouragement.

I know I am not one to usually ask for help, so don't be afraid to offer something up to a new mom without them asking (if you're looking  for a way to help).  Half of these things can be done without you even having to come to their house, if you're wanting to try and give them some family time and rest time before physically going by for a visit.

Mom's role is to take care of baby, so it's nice if someone helps to take care of mom too.  A happy, healthy, rested mom is good for baby!   I'm certainly not an expert, but as a new mom these are things I think would have been and/or were helpful to me!

4 comments:

  1. My sister really, really, really needed alone time. Since I am an extrovert I didn't get that for a while and I thought she was pushing me away. Totally opposite!

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  2. Great post. All these tips are so important. Having a meal brought in was the most helpful.

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  3. Excellent! This is helpful, as 874939 friends are currently impregnated.

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  4. Yes yes yes I love #1 and #5! I was so thankful when someone did these for me. I admit the same, you just don't know what is most helpful until you go through it yourself.

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