New Mom Life: How to Really Help a New Mom
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stop. Coming. Over. Uninvited.
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.).
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.
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.
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!
Think about my husband.
I'm not going to — would be nice if someone did.
Which of these would you consider most important?Read More