Hello, dear readers! First off, I have to say CONGRATULATIONS to Margot on her little Pip! Babies are the best gift we could ever receive in life, and I know that little Pip is coming into a world full of love and adventure having Margot and Reggie as parents.
I myself have two littles, Sidney and Rhealen, and they are the light of my world. It's hard to believe I've been a "Mom" for almost five whole years now, as I'm constantly learning new things every day with my girls. One important thing I've learned -being a mother and being a friend to other new mothers- is that there are certain things we can do as friends and family that really help out a new Mom who's just bringing home baby.
Here is a quick list of simple, easy things you can do to help out a new Mom (or a repeat Mom, like I was last June!):
- Offer to come by and see Mom and baby after they get settled in at home - not while they're in the hospital ( if they deliver at home or a birthing center, give them a few days space before you visit). When I delivered my firstborn back in 2007, people were so excited for us and for this new baby - we were flooded with visitors all hours of the day. It was nice to know people were anxious to meet our little girl, but it would've been even nicer to just have some space and recovery time - those first few days are precious and it's important to give the new parents some space and time to bond, relax and recuperate.
- Stock up on their necessities! A lot of times people will bring over frozen meals that are easy to heat up and eat, which is incredibly thoughtful and sweet, BUT sometimes there are other items in the house that need to be re-stocked. With a new baby, it's easy to forget everything you need to make it through the day! Bring over items like fresh fruit, drinks, toilet paper, snacks, etc. and of course, extra hand-sanitizer, tissues and other germ-reducing things to help keep Mom and baby healthy!
- One of the worst things you can say to a new Mom is the open-ended, non-committal, "If you need anything, just let me know!" - the last thing most new Moms want to do is feel like they have to ask for help. So many of us -me included- want to be Supermom and do it all without anyone's help. If you see a new Mom struggling, offer specific services and time-frames for when you'd be available to help out. Say something like, "I'm free on Friday afternoon, why don't I come over and help you sort the laundry" or "I'd love to come by on Wednesday and watch the baby for you while you catch up on some rest".
- Which leads me to the next item: if you offer to watch the new baby, make sure you are willing to go and stay at the family's house. It was such a relief when my friends would come down to our house and take care of the girls, even if only for an hour. I was able to focus on some much-needed "mommy" time without having to worry about them leaving the house! If I needed to sneak in and steal a baby snuggle, I was able to do it and still go back and finish my "me" time.
- Lastly, be supportive! It's tough being a new Mom, and sometimes there aren't words or gestures that can help out. Just being there, being a shoulder to cry on or a pat on the back, can give any new Mom the boost she needs to feel better.