I was weeks away from becoming a new mom…for the second time. While I still had excitements and anxieties surrounding the arrival of my second son, I also had a sense of calm and confidence that I didn’t have the first time. With the birth of my first son, I was at a complete and utter loss in regards to how to “do motherhood.” I didn’t grow up around younger children nor did I babysit, so I felt out of my league.
People always asked me how they could help.
I was often frustrated with myself because I couldn’t articulate any suggestions. I was overwhelmed, adjusting to crazy hormones, and learning how to do life with a newborn.
The second time, I was more prepared (and willing) to ask for and accept help.
If you know a new mom, I’ve got 5 easy suggestions on how you can help make her life a little easier.
1. Drop off a meal.
More often than not, new dads need to go back to work soon after the baby is born, and there is no way a new mom is going to have the time or energy to make her family dinner each night. While my husband is more than willing to cook dinner, I wanted him to help me with the baby as soon as he got home from work.
If you want to help a family with a new baby, arrange to drop off dinner. If you’re not the cooking-type (*raises hand*), arrange to drop off take out or order pizza to be delivered!
Dinner time is often the witching hour, so don’t plan on staying…or even going in. I often drop off the meal at the front door, ring the doorbell, and head to my car. It’s the adult version of ding-dong-ditch.
2. Visit, and ask how she is doing.
A new baby brings so much excitement and joy that most people forget to ask the mom how she is doing.
When my son was first born and I was home alone for 10-12 hours a day, I was so lonely. But because no one ever asked how I was feeling, I felt uncomfortable expressing my loneliness or sadness or frustrations.
You don’t have to make a new mom a dinner to be helpful. A visit and a genuine conversation is just as appreciated!
3. Do an act of service.
When my first son was born, our downstairs looked like a bomb had just gone off. One of my closest friends came over, and without asking, she just started putting dishes in the dishwasher. She wiped down my countertops and folded the (approximately) 47 spit up towels and swaddle blankets that were strewn across my living room floor. I still get teary eyed just thinking about how much I appreciated those simple acts.
4. Ask if you can bring anything over.
Starbucks, diapers, wipes, toilet paper…whatever.
It’s difficult for a new mom to leave the house, so an offer to run by the grocery store or Starbucks to pick up some essentials is so, so helpful.
5. Entertain the older child.
When I became a mom of two-under-two, one of my biggest concerns was my toddler and how I’d keep him engaged and entertained during those first few weeks with a newborn.
I had been told that an iPad would be my new best friend, but I also had close friends and family members offer to take my toddler out for a few hours each week, and I was eternally grateful!
Whether it’s a woman’s first newborn or not, being a new mom is a major adjustment.
Women need their tribes to help them make it through the transition. Food, conversation, and thoughtful gestures are bound to make any new mom feel appreciated, loved, and helped!