How To Be The Most Helpful To A New Mom
This is what I wish I had known when visiting friends and relatives after they just had their little nugget. It wasn’t until I was a new mom with twins and even my third little one that I realized I never knew how to tell others how to help.
After I had my third babe I realized how much I appreciated the visits from friends and family, but one particular visit stood out in my mind the most.
My sister-in-law drove in from out of town and I was upstairs crying and nursing my newborn, going through some pretty big emotions while she was downstairs with everyone else. While sorting through some feelings, I recall something my sister-in-law did that was one of the best things anyone ever did for me.
She didn’t come upstairs and grab the baby. Or talk to me (I couldn’t even finish a sentence I was so sleep-deprived.)
She scrubbed my toilets.
Seriously. She scrubbed my toilets and that small act of love and labor sticks out most in my memory. As well as a couple of my best friends coming over and watching the kids as I ran to pump. Or taking my older twins out to play. Or my mom coming over every day at nap time to put my toddlers in their crib because I couldn’t lift as I was recovering from a C-section. These small acts helped me in ways I can never express.
Promises to a New Mom
So the next time I visit a mommy after she just had her baby I promise to…
- Wait until you are ready for me. I know you have the sweetest baby and there’s no one I want to hold more but I will wait until you tell me when. Maybe it is at the hospital. Maybe it is when you get home. Maybe it is a couple months after things settle. I will not be offended at all. You determine when I meet your new addition.
- Tell you to take a shower. Or pump. Or go stare at a wall. Or apply some color street nails (just found out about these!). And when you tell me you are fine I will literally make you step away and go for a walk, coffee, or a half-hour snooze. Whatever you need most.
- Make you food. Know what you like, what you don’t, what you can reheat. Or give you gift cards for UberEats or Instacart. Anything to make life a little easier.
- Not ask you about breastfeeding unless you want to talk about it. Goodness, I can’t tell you the number of people who asked me about this when I was at my most fragile, unsteady time of my life. I know everyone means well but I will not bring this up unless you tell me about it. I promise to never ask you about this.
- Listen to what you have to say. Be there for you and let you lead any conversation you want to tell me. You want to tell me about the labor, I’m your girl. You want to cry about how blessed you feel but at the same time sad as heck, I’m also your girl. You want to tell me how you secretly want to punch someone in the face, I’m also your girl. Go ahead sister and give me your best shot!
- Be consistent. Everyone comes to visit the first baby. And then after the first few weeks or second child comes along you will wonder where everyone is at… I’m not going anywhere. And if I can’t be there physically, I’ll check in on you on a regular basis.
- Play with the Bigs. If you have bigger kids I will take time out so they can get their energy out and you can have time with your little. Even if it’s for a half-hour at a park.
- Never judge you. I have three boys that I raise under the same roof and each of them are totally different. WHAT WORKS FOR ONE MAY NOT FOR THE OTHERS! You do what works for you. I am a safe place for you!
Mommies, we need to be there for each other after one of the most exhilarating, exhausting, and scary times in our lives. To know that we have each other’s backs is comforting. Let’s lift each other up because it truly takes a village. So grab your scrubbers and let’s make these moms feel like we have not only their backs but maybe their toilets too!