Pregnancy is a dreamy time when our thoughts are preoccupied with images of all things baby. This tends to be the calm before the storm. Once the precious bundle arrives, it is easy to be caught off guard with how much work is entailed to keep a tiny human alive.
Managing a newborn is an intense time and with all of the emphasis on the new baby, the Mother is often overlooked. It can be difficult to ask for help, but always a welcomed relief when offered.
One of the biggest challenges is finding the time to cook. There are several ways to help organize a meal plan for the new family. You can personally drop off precooked meals that can easily be frozen like soup, stew, or lasagna. Mealtrain is an online resource that creates a community schedule to drop off healthy snacks and wholesome meals. Many delivery services are popping up in urban areas such as Munchery, so you can have a healthy home cooked meal delivered. Getting to the grocery store can be a burden, so services that deliver fresh ingredients and include a meal plan like Blue Apron can be a real lifesaver.
Help run errands for her or offer to entertain the baby while you run errands together. This is a great way to spend time with each other. If she prefers to stay put, or you don’t have the time, schedule a service like TaskRabbit to handle the details.
Propose an easy day outside of the house like a stroll through the park or meet up at a cafe. Mom might be too tired to make the plan but will be grateful for the much needed change of scenery. Moms of infants often spend too much time in the house, so getting her out whenever possible is a great idea. Babysit so mom can get some rest and relaxation. Bonus points if you schedule her a massage or pedicure.
Figuring out gear can be overwhelming and is even harder when you have a baby on your hands! Offer to help assemble baby contraptions such as: car seats, strollers, bouncy things, etc.
There is often an endless shower of receiving gifts from well-wishers near and far. While this is always welcome and appreciated, keeping up with the “thank you” notes can be cumbersome. Offer to help with addressing envelopes or trips to the post office.
Offering to take the older kids for a play date so that parents can have bonding time with the newborn is a wonderful gesture. Take photos of the new family to document this special time. There will be tons of photos of baby that only include the Mother or Father’s hands. This is a nice way to include the whole family in the picture.
Take a peek around and see what needs to be done and just do it. You don’t need to scrub the whole house but if you see some laundry that needs folding or dishes that can be put away, chances are that nobody will stop you. Keep the visit short and sweet. Keep the help coming even after the newborn stage! While it does become more manageable with time, Motherhood is never really effortless. Help all of the mommas you see out there struggling to open a door or battling at the grocery store. A helping hand forms a strong community and creates a high vibe that is contagious.