June 10, 2015

5 Ways To Help a New Mom {Motherhood}

After having Jonathan, I understood first hand what it means to be a first time mom. I struggled with no sleep, lack of personal time, feeling overwhelmed and constantly tired. I also, became more understanding of what other mothers of newborns go through. As a matter of fact, I became aware of how much we don't do to help mothers of newborns.
It's sad but our culture as a whole does not support and help new mothers at all. For example, by Russian tradition, the entire family gathers and comes over to the newborn's house, usually for dinner. They bring gifts but expect to be fed first class food and  leave without offering clean up (or any other help). I've been there myself - I visited other people's homes when the new mother just came home from the hospital with a simple outfit in tow. I didn't understand how exhausting it is to entertain when you have a newborn on hands (and possibly a few older siblings). From now on, here are the rules I practice.

1. Bring Food (not flowers). 
When visiting a new mother with her baby, think about what she might need at that point. She doesn't need another thing to worry about, like flowers but she will definitely appreciate food she didn't have to make. Think nutritious and healthy, something she can eat while breastfeeding and can easily reheat later. Of course, if you want to splurge on a restaurant quality gourmet meal, by all means. But even bringing a platter of pre-cut fresh fruit will brighten her day. Making things yourself will put you on her 'awesome friend' list because it shows that you really care. 

2. Ask When You Can Visit. 
Don't just barge in whenever you feel like it or have time. Even at the hospital, there are visiting hours (thank God) to ensure that mother will get the necessary rest she needs. Giving birth and caring for a newborn is exhausting enough, so don't be a nuisance. If the new mother doesn't want to offend you by saying that she doesn't want to see anyone, just tell her straight up that you wouldn't be upset in either case. It's comforting to know we have those people in our lives who will understand. 

3. Offer Help (and do it)
Instead of waiting to be served and sitting around, offer to help the new mom. She may be reluctant to say 'yes' but if you are serious, she may take you up on it. Wash the dishes, take out the garbage or run an errand. It doesn't have to be a whole day thing but every little bit helps, You can offer her to watch the baby while she takes a nap (which I'm sure she desperately needs). 

4. Drop Off Goodies
Some moms are not up for seeing people for a while but you still want to help. She may not want you to come inside her house (it's a disaster let's be honest) but she would appreciate a box of fresh bagels and fruit first thing in the morning. Drop it off at the front door and tell her to go get it, while you sneak out unnoticed. She will be eternally grateful and will not forget the act of kindness. 

5. Offer to Babysit Older Siblings
If it is a second or third (or forth) child, chances are she is as tired as ever. Now there are multiple mouths to feed and a new baby who requires all her attention. Offer to take the older child(ren) for a day so she can relax and bond with the the newborn. Make sure to ask her if she has any rules about places you can take the oldest to and food preferences. You can have fun and spoil them but she doesn't want sugar high maniac(s) to return home. 

Some of these acts are more involved and depend on how much you know the family. But anyone can pick up some food and drop it off without knocking. Life as a new mom is quite difficult. that's why we all need to help each other to get through the adjustment time. The world will be brighter and life more pleasant when we spread more kindness around. 

Photo Credit: Kate McCoy Photography


  1. I agree with everything, what a great post!

  2. You have perfect timing. For real. My best friend just had her first baby last night and I'm so eager to help and be there for her but sometimes it's hard to know how.

    1. I hope you will enjoy the time with your friend! She does need lots of help now;)


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