Eight Creative Ways to Assist a New Mom
Eight Creative Ways to Assist a New Mom
Bringing home a brand new baby is no easy task. Even for a seasoned mother on her second or third child, the process isn’t any less daunting. It’s especially important during this time that the new mom feel love and support from her tribe: relatives, co-workers and friends. While the tradition of stopping by with well wishes and a casserole certainly won’t be turned down, it doesn’t hurt to take your new baby welcome game up a notch. Here are some ideas guaranteed to put a smile on a new mom’s face.
Use 21st century technology.
New moms don’t have time to pick up a ringing phone and chat with you about your visit. Join the digital revolution and text Mom a few times that you’d be available to stop by and let her choose one. If you don’t hear back right away, give it a day or two, then check back in.
Short and sweet, and then repeat!
One hour is the absolute maximum length for a visit. Remember, a new baby is on his own time schedule, so that could mean an emergency breastfeeding session or a spit-up catastrophe. If that occurs, offer to help in any way you can, then quickly make your exit. Text the next week to ask when you can stop in again to help out in another way. Moms enjoy company; they just need small doses of time rather than one long, drawn-out visit.
Ready-to-eat is best.
It’s tempting to bring a casserole, but with all of the potential dietary restrictions, it’s impossible to know what ingredients could spell trouble for Mom. Consider bringing a large dish of healthy fruit and veggies that are already cut, washed and ready to eat. Bonus points if the snacks come in a reusable container that you don’t expect to get back! If you’re familiar with Mom’s dietary needs and likes, offer to come and make her favorite dish while she relaxes with the baby. Who doesn’t want a chef in her kitchen?
Help Fluffy Out.
Oftentimes a new baby means the original baby in the house—the family pet—doesn’t receive the attention he’s accustomed to. Volunteer to stop by and walk the dog or clean out the cat litter. Consider bringing a special bone or toy that might keep the animals entertained as well. The more the pets are out of Mom’s hair, the more she can concentrate on her new bundle of joy.
Offer your stellar maid services.
Laundry is a never ending task, and it’s multiplied 10-fold with a new baby. Offer to help fold some clothes or move the wet clothes over to the dryer. Unload the dishwasher and wipe off the kitchen cabinets. Clean a toilet! These are all tasks every mother wishes someone would tackle but would never dream of asking for help with.
Practicality is golden.
New moms barely have time to take a shower, let alone run to the grocery store for toilet paper and wipes. Offer to stop by with some essentials and then deliver the goods with a steaming cup of coffee and an offer to watch the baby while she drinks it. (Drinking hot coffee is like cashing in a winning lottery ticket to a new mom.)
Watch the older kids.
New moms who already have children are walking a very thin line of sanity. While the newborn is crying, the 3-year-old has found crayons to decorate the walls with and the oldest just bought a pay-per-view movie with the bedroom TV remote. Volunteer to take the older kids out for a few hours so Mom can rest and recharge.
While women traditionally stay home with the baby, the new adjustment can be tough on dads as well. Consider offering a service that is typically taken care of by Dad. Mow the lawn, shovel the driveway or offer to change the oil in the car. Taking care of one of these tasks ensures Dad gets time with his family when he returns home from work. (And a cup of hot coffee for Dad is just as golden as it is for Mom.)
Taking care of a newborn can be isolating and difficult, but taking care of a 6-month-old isn’t any easier. Keep any offer of support alive and well past the length of the new mom’s maternity leave. After all, it takes a village!
What Not to Offer a New Mom:
- Books or advice on parenting: If you aren’t asked, don’t offer.
- Alcohol: It’s a nice gesture, but Mom may be breastfeeding and unable to consume alcohol.
- Diet or exercise advice on getting a pre-baby body back: Just don’t do it. At most, offer to take a long walk with Mom and the new baby.
Kim Antisdel is a freelance writer and interior design sales rep for Kansas City and surrounding areas. She lives in Liberty with her husband, two stepdaughters and infant son.