I’m not a mother myself but have been around lots of babies in the last few years, as friends and family members start to procreate. Apart from my intense fear of holding babies until they can control their necks (who’s with me?!), I’ve always tried to be as supportive as possible as the women in my life go through this life-altering time.
Below are a couple of my tips looking in from the outside, and I also enlisted the help of a mother of three with this advice.
My #1 tip is to cook for the new mum and dad. 30 minutes of your life making a lasagna, casserole or whatever dish can easily be divided and transported, will make a huge difference to the life of their family. I usually recommend cooking something that freezes well, but have had numerous testimonies from friends that they eat pretty much whatever I bring them that night, rather than saving it for a busy day. As every day is a busy day now right?!
New mums have told me that they no longer feel like their head is in it - that they’re being a bad friend, host, partner, sister etc during the first months of having a baby. I’ve found this really never to be the case, but even if they are being hopeless, just forgive them.
A new mum’s friend became irate with her because she was always so distracted and was never available to listen to her friend’s problems. And proceeded to tell her so.
Making someone who is going through an intense time feel bad seems pretty low to me. Wait it out and try some empathy.
And the visiting advice from a mother of three?
- Offer to cuddle the baby while mum has a shower
- Offer to help mum have a walk around the block or sit with the baby while her and her partner do
- Run a vacuum over the lounge floor
- Make her bed
- Come for afternoon tea (but bring the coffee and the cake)
- Play with any other children
- Talk about the 'outside world'
- Leave your small children at home if you can
- Offer to pick up groceries for mum from the shops on the way to visit
- Hold the baby!
- Don't stay too long
- Food, food, food!!! (especially for dinner that night) Ed: Supporting my theory above!
Are you a mum? Tell me the best help you’ve had after bringing your new baby home.