New Mom Life: How to Really Help a New Mom

new mom help
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Everyone experiences new-motherhood differently. Some people have great support at home, some not so much. Some new mothers have babies with special circumstances or just really big personalities and well-developed lungs that they enjoy using to their fullest capacity. Some newborns adjust more easily to their new environment and sleep and eat easily while finding little reason to cry.

Regardless of the particular nuances of your new life as a new mom, having a friend or a family member willing to dedicate a few moments (or hours!) of their time to you as you are adjusting to baby raising can be a true lifesaver. And also, sadly, not so much.

If you truly want to be on the helpful side of things, here are some things new moms noted that really rocked their sleep-deprived worlds.

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Offer to run errands.

I haven't washed anything other than my face in days. I'm exhausted, I'm irritable, my boobs leak when I exhale, and the thought of combing my hair or putting on real pants over this real incision makes me want to kick cute things. I'd rather sit here and doze off with my baby on my chest than run out for toilet paper the day before a blizzard. But, OMG, I neeeeed toilet paper. Please go get it and leave it on my doorstep for me.

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Listen more. Talk less.

I know I don't know quite what I'm doing; there is a pretty winding learning curve to motherhood, and I am riding it hard. But your reminding me that I don't know what I'm doing every ten minutes by questioning all of my moves? So unhelpful. Yes, I want to call you on the phone and cry about all of the things, but unless I ask, please don't tell me all of the things I should be doing, or need to be doing, or would be better off doing.

{ MORE: 5 Ways to Spoil a New Mama from Afar }

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Bust out your elbow grease.

You know how everyone is all lined up to hold the baby while I do all of the cleaning and cooking and shopping and everything? You can hold him while I shower, and then I'm begging you to run the vacuum in the family room while I sit there and stare at the wall.

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Stop. Coming. Over. Uninvited.

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And that also includes you texting me while you're on the way with “Ey yo, was hitting up Trader Joe's, and thought I'd pop over to meet your spawn. Be there in 10. Cool?” UNCOOL. Unless we're related and me going to sleep with my boob leaking a wet spot on my t-shirt is totally not even a thing, you dropping by for an extended visit is not gonna be awesome. And when we do map out a visit well in advance, please don't expect me to feed you (I can barely feed myself) or entertain you (I'm a boring schlump who is on a never-ending cycle of eat, sleep, change, be screamed at, repeat. I can not entertain you.).

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Don't stay all day.

Everything I do is in short bursts. Let our visit go that way too so I can move on to being puked on again.

{ MORE: Should You Hire a Sleep Coach? }

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Bring food. Perishables especially (think: fruit and veggies).

And quick, healthy meals that I don't have to remember to thaw. Of course, the hubs would love a tasty lasagna for dinner, but I am struggling just to get lunch in my belly while he is at work grabbing Chipotle with his coworkers. So something I can easily munch on would be ah-mazing. Everyone knows if I have to bake it I will probably fall asleep while it's in the oven, only to wake up suddenly to the smoke alarm blaring.

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Don't forget us.

I know, the shiny is going to wear off of this kid pretty quickly, but in a couple of weeks when the family has gone home and Dad has gone back to work, it would be awesome to have a friend call while she's at the grocery store to see if I want a salad. Or a gallon of ice cream. Yes! Pleeeease!

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Think about my husband.

I'm not going to — would be nice if someone did.

{ MORE: What You Need to Know About Keeping Baby Safe Before They Can Get Their Shots }

Which of these would you consider most important?

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What do you think?

New Mom Life: How to Really Help a New Mom

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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3 comments

  1. CM says:

    I agree with a lot of these things but there is one other thing that I would like to add:

    Please DO NOT ASK TO HOLD MY BABY!
    Unless you are a close family member to me, the thought of anyone holding my newborn scares the hell out of me. As a new mom you get so much pressure from visitors and it is really hard to say no to some and yes to others while you are still in the hospital bed yourself. I don’t care if you are a natural with kids or an expert with babies, please don’t ask to hold my baby!!!!!

    (For example it drove me crazy when my husband’s sister-in-law who I secretly don’t like very much, held my baby and I had to get out of my hospital bed after a very difficult labor and hover over her within an inch of my baby. I practically grabbed the baby out of her hands in about a minute in front of all the visitors. She is a mother of 3 herself but I am not that close with her. She’s a very loud, abrasive, and overwhelming person and it was incredibly hard to deal with her just a few hours after I gave birth.)

    In addition, if you are one of the few people who I do trust to hold my child, under no circumstances may you pass the baby to someone else who wants a “turn.”

    I know I may come across as paranoid but I think most new mothers will understand where I am coming from. I am so exhausted as it is that the last thing I need is the fear of someone dropping my baby by “accident.”

  2. chrissy says:

    I especially like the one about visits. Please call a few hours or a day ahead of time. Make sure I’m up for a visit and please don’t get offended if I’m not up for a visit. New babies are exhausting. Most of our friends are wonderful though. They usually call and bring food. It’s so super awesome after bringing baby home.

  3. Tara says:

    Love this article! So true. My mother in law is planning to come help after my husband is back at work and it has been stressful to think about because I imagine I’ll be doing everything while she sits bonding with MY baby…ugh wish I could just say something without her or my husband getting offended.

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