fave five: new mamas
It's been a little while since I've gotten my blog on, turns out having a two year old and being pregnant is no walk in the park. Well, its actually lots of walks in the park, but the slow painful pathetic kind.
We are ready for babe number two to join us any day now so I thought I would share a couple ideas on how to love on those new mamas in your life. Newborn fog is real and intense and can be so so hard. I dealt with some PPD after Cash and while none of these things can "fix" how you're feeling, the small things definitely make a difference. Even if you're one of the moms who feels amazing and has a child who sleeps and eats well right away (we can't be friends)(just kidding) these things help the transition.
Feeding yourself definitely goes out the window when a tiny human is relying on you to feed them every 2 hours. Set up a MealTrain for the new parents and ask friends/family to sign up for specific days to bring meals. One less thing to worry about = yes. Also, I want to add that this is definitely not the time to feel like your cooking skills are inadequate. Bring over what you would be already making for yourself that night or if you don't like cooking slash don't have time ask for their order from a take out place.
Bringing food hot is definitely not a requirement. In fact having it cold and ready to pop right into your fridge for whenever you get a moment to stuff your face is great.
Bring disposable trays/bags when possible. No mama wants to be stressed about getting that giant pile of tupperware back into the right hands.
Offer to just leave it on the porch. Some mamas want space and others want all the visitors all the time. Be sensitive!
Yes I'm following up food with food. If you're not into cooking but love food this is your sweet spot. Do you have any idea how hungry a mama (especially a nursing mama) is at all times of the day? The answer is very hungry. And it's going to require a lot of snacks. Bring over a basket of quick snacks to have on hand for those weird times they actually remember to eat. Trader Joe's is a great place to get interesting/healthy/delicious snacks. Dried fruit, chocolate covered everything, veggies and hummus, the options are endless. Now there are also moms that just want a gallon of sangria and sour straws to snack on. You're gonna know your friends. And if you don't, ask the husband.
THREE: SMALL GIFTS
This can just be a small thing that the mama can use to help make her feel a bit more normal while all the focus is on the baby. A new nail polish color, a pretty headband to cover up that unwashed hair, a cozy lightweight robe or cardigan, a water bottle that entices them to drink the gallons of water required to create and endless supply of milk, etc. Also, FLOWERS. Those first few weeks your home can feel like a dungeon that you are trapped inside and will never be able to leave. Flowers in all rooms on all surfaces help. They just do.
FOUR: ACTS OF SERVICE
If you're over visiting and snuggling the babe take a moment to assess the situation. Dishes in the sink? Do them. Offer to sit with the baby while mom and dad sneak a nap. Other kids are acting up? Play with them or even take them to a park for a bit. Ask to throw a load of laundry in the washer, mow their lawn, go grocery shopping. I'm definitely someone who struggles to ask for help so when the initiative is taken I don't really have a choice to be reluctant even if it's something that would be so helpful. With that being said, some people would just rather you didn't touch their dishes or their laundry and that's fine! Go with your gut. I'm sure you can find other ways to serve them.
Like I said before, the post-baby time is going to look different for every new mom. Ask what specifically is hard. Pray for her. Join in the praises for what is going well. Words of encouragement will mean so much even if you personally never dealt with it. Let them know you are there. And on that note- text/ communicate with them like you normally would. You may find yourself wanting to give space but that may just end up in her feeling more isolated. Send the goofy pictures and updates on your life but have adjusted expectations on the response- as in you might not get one. It will still mean a lot knowing you are thinking about them.
While it can feel like there are a lot of 'wrong' ways to be there for someone who just had a baby (insert articles about people showing up at the hospital, coming over and visiting for hours on end, not using hand sanitizer, etc.) just get over it. Be sensitive but also just love them. Yay babies!