Here's a little guest post I wrote for my work, Mothers and Company. Check it out!
Do you remember what it was like to be a new mom?
I remember staring at his little feet for hours ( thinking, wow- I grew those! and goodness are they cute!), sleepless nights, baby's first smile and endless amounts of laundry...
Those first few months can be the most wonderful experience with all the fascinating things your little baby brings. After the glitter settles, the in-laws leave, and the stocked freezer is dwindling some moms ( and dads!) can find parenthood isolating.
Think back to that time and think about what you really needed or wanted. Someone to talk to and share all the awesome poop stories with? The crying to stop and for baby to sleep? Help feeding your baby? Time with your spouse or partner? We all need help throughout parenthood- as the saying is true- it really does take a village to raise a child.
Here is a starter list of things you can do for your friends, or even that mom at Trader Joes you see struggling with her newborn and toddler:
1) Bring over some yummy food or snacks- Make some lasagna, veggie soup, or a big hearty salad. Bring a bag of snacks: almonds, cheese and crackers, or smoothies. anything that could be a quick pseudo meal for momma or papa. Don't have time to cook? Drop over takeout from her favorite place. She'll be glad you did!
2) Offer her resources: Tell her where the mommy party is at: Do you come to New Mom's Group? If you do, you know how valuable it is to hear that no-one's-baby-is-sleeping-through-the-night-at-3-months-old and yes you are wearing the same shirt as yesterday. Have a favorite class or place to visit with your little one? Tell your friend or even a random stranger about it. It'll be your good deed of the day and it will make theirs.
3) Offer to baby sit: Many moms are reluctant to leave their new precious cargo with a sitter they don't know, but would be more apt to go our for that post pregnancy glass o' wine with the hubs if you were on duty. They may return from their date after only 30 minutes and may call every 5, but you remember what that was like don't you?
4) Do a load of laundry: I will NEVER forget my aunt coming over after my son was born for an hour. She did a load of laundry and it meant the world. I had to choke back tears of thankfulness to have one load in the wash and one folded ready to be put away. It's amazing what clean clothes can do.
5) Writer Ann Douglas is responsible for our last piece of advice which is wonderful and true: "Help her to feel that she is part of a chain of women that spans from generation to generation. This is her time to receive. She will have plenty of time to give. For now she should just relax and accept the love and gifts from other women. That will be your greatest gift to your friend."
There are dozens more things you can do for your friend or a stranger- what say you? Did someone do something above and beyond after your child came into your life? Please share!