How to Help a New Mom & Dad
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Do you have a friend with a new baby? Contributing writer, Lauren suggests some sweet ways to bless the new family.
Those first few weeks of having a new little one at home are so precious. As a new mom, you just want to soak in each second because you quickly learn how fast those newborn days go.
Do you have any new moms in your life? As a mother of four little ones, I can assure you that tangible, practical help is so appreciated. While offers of “Call me if you need anything” are thoughtful, a new mom is grateful when you go the next step and actually do something helpful.
I can remember many times in newborn days where I didn’t even know how to tell others to help me. Perhaps I couldn’t think up a good response due to the fog of sleep-deprivation or being generally overwhelmed. Regardless of the reason, I was so tremendously grateful when others gave me the practical gift of their time.
If you have the privilege of knowing a brand-new mother, pick one of the helps below. You won’t believe how much you’ll bless her.
Stock her freezer with staples.
Frozen lasagnas and casseroles are fast and easy for new moms to take out of the freezer. Also think outside of the box a little: Consider browning several pounds of ground beef and portioning into smaller bags for spaghetti and homemade sloppy joes. Roast a whole chicken, debone it, and then freeze in 2-cup portions for chicken enchiladas or a quick casserole. By stocking mom’s freezer with pre-cooked meat, you’ve cooked half of the meal for her. Make sure to label and date everything clearly so she won’t have to guess what is inside.
Instead of bringing the traditional meal of supper, carry mom and the kids lunch instead.
As a new mom, things can start to get hairy around lunch time. Kids are getting cranky because they’re hungry and it’s close to naptime. Instead of treating the family to a traditional supper meal, treat mom and the kids to a lunch instead. Homemade macaroni and cheese or a sandwich tray with a side of fruit are good choices. Easy and simple is almost always best.
Pick up her groceries.
Does the new mom in your life use a service like Lowes Foods to Go or Harris Teeter’s Express Lane? Find out what time the groceries need to be picked up and then make it happen. If that type of service isn’t available in your area, have mom email or text you a quick list and then pick them up as you purchase your own items.
Drop off a stack of disposable plates, napkins and cups.
While I’m not a person who uses a lot of disposable cups and napkins, I do enjoy them during the early days of a new baby at home. A new mom doesn’t feel like standing at the kitchen sink washing a ton of dishes. There are much more important things to do like snuggling with her kiddos! By bringing her disposables, you’re giving her the gift of time.
Take mom’s older children for the morning.
I guarantee that this new mama could use some uninterrupted quiet time, even if she’s unable to take a nap. Just a small mental break could be what she needs to regroup in those early newborn days. Ask mom what day is best, then schedule it on your calendar. Take the kids to the park or back to your house to play, as this doesn’t have to be an expensive outing.
Bring the older children a goodie bag full of tasks to keep them busy.
Choose things that will keep little ones busy for awhile: craft supplies, new books, several packs of stickers, scented markers. Again, these things don’t have to be expensive. Items from Target’s Dollar Spot or the dollar store are quite sufficient. If you’re feeling really industrious, you can make a set of busy bags for the children who might enjoy those.
Spend an hour or two cleaning her house.
Don’t visit with her or offer to hold the baby while she cleans, just clean. Only do basics – get dishes caught up, fold a load or two of clothes, vacuum the floor if she says it’s okay. Clean dishes and clean underwear have a strange way of bringing a sense of normalcy to the house. New mom will go from feeling overwhelmed to feeling like things are manageable after you help her get caught up a little.
Pray for her.
While the results aren’t as obvious as a basket of folded laundry, prayer is one of the most practical ways you can help any new mother. Ask her if she has specific things you can pray over. If she doesn’t, simply pray for her rest, that God will bless her milk supply if she’s nursing, for her relationship with her other children and her husband, or for her physical healing.
Do you have a new mother in your life?
How are you choosing to bless her during those early newborn
– Lauren Hill is the ‘Mama’ behind Mama’s Learning Corner, a site that features all kinds of educational ideas and tips as well as free printable worksheets. She is the mom of four young children and loves to learn alongside them.
most of these can apply to those who are dealing with a “tragic” event as well.
We blessed friends with a gift card to a pizza place (that offers nice pastas too and delivery) for those nights that all of a sudden it’s 5pm , and you have no idea what to do….
and that’s what they used it for, a drs apt ran hours late…and 5 hungry kids to feed!!!
for friends who adopted a 5 yr old domestically..and got 36 hrs notice to go get her…i asked for her house key and told her supper would be ready for her…they got home to a roast in the oven with all the sides and baloons all over the place and a cake saying WELCOME< WE ALREADY LOVE YOU
she still talks about it 7 yrs later, especially because it took care of several lunches afterwards..and we gave them PEACE to get acquainted..i was a silent fairy who wasn't seen…lol..
YOU are awesome!
Awesome, practical article! I am blessed with many (and I do mean many) fertile friends who seem to be fulfilling the “fill the earth” command on a regular basis, so this helps me know how to bless them in real ways.
We’ll be having #4 in 1 week or less, and I gotta say, these are fantastic ideas. 🙂 We also have a few expectant mommies who will be having their babies in the next few months, so I’m going to have to remember these to help them out too!
These are awesome ideas! I am due any day now with #3 and am tempted to send the link to this post around to some of the people who I know would like to help! Great Post!
Really great ideas! I, for one, enjoy my alone time with all my kids after a new baby. I know that my husband helps with whatever he can, but, as stated above, I know he needs to go back to work in order to keep the financial normalcy in our home. Was really suprised after our fourth when one of his bachelor buddies brought over a homemade lasagna! Made my day! I too, like the idea of a treat for mom. When I send something to the hospital for a close friend or relative, I ask the florist (in our town, they do chocolates as well) to throw in a small box of chocolates for the new mommy!
What a great post! It’s amazing to me how some people don’t think of doing things like this for a new mom. It’s so common sense! For 2 of my friends we went the food route – I brought breakfast for a friend and her husband (turns out they had nothing in the fridge!) and for another several states away we ordered some staples from their grocery store to be delivered. It was such a blessing for us to have someone make meals when our son was born!
While it’s not a tangible help, I think especially for a first time mom, calling her just to see how she’s really doing is huge. I remember feeling really isolated and bewildered during my first few weeks with my first baby. It meant a lot to hear a friend’s voice reassuring me that life will not always be this chaotic and that we would in fact find a rhythm. I also try to share just a little with first-time moms about some “secret struggles” I had after my babies. Things like post partum depression, feeling like I was doing everything wrong, and feeling as though my personal identity had been swallowed by becoming a mommy. I loved being a mom, and so I felt guilty admitting those other feelings were there too. Now I always try to share those things with other first time moms to encourage them that it’s ok to struggle with being a mom at the same time as they love their new role.
I’ve started making breakfast burritos (egg, cheese, ham or sausage, small-diced potatoes) for the freezer, and bringing those over–great fast option for the growing families, and we like them for breakfast, lunch, or supper.
I love this list! Thanks for sharing.
I especially like the one of taking the older kids out for a morning. Someone did that for me. I didn’t even have the presence of mind to know that I would be helped by that, but thankfully they did, and it was SO nice.
Other ideas are to bring something FRESH. I got so many casseroles and baked dishes (for the obvious reason that they are easy to transport) and I was grateful. But I desperately craved fresh fruit and salad after I had babies. Many people forget that part when they bring food.
Yes to the FRESH fruit! With our fourth baby, a friend brought us a huge fruit bowl and we devoured it. Great suggestion!
I love the article, but wonder why the mom of a newborn is assumed to be cooking, doing the wash and cleaning. Dads need to step up to the plate; a new baby is also daddy’s new baby!
Kathy, what you say is so true, everything seems to point to the new mom to manage it all. Sure, dad needs to step up and help, but it is often the case that dad’s life must continue as normal as possible in order to provide the family a place to live and groceries to put on the table.
While I was able to stay home during the day and care for our four young children, my husband was up and out before daylight, first to work the farm, then to his “real” job, a seasonal business. He wasn’t home until after dark most days, just to make ends meet and allow me to stay home.
It’s a whole lot of give-and-take, and for each family, finding that point of personal compromise.
Great ideas! Especially the “drop of disposables” one!
My frugal nature screamed at me for buying them, but as you said, there are so many more important things to do those first precious, exhausting weeks than wash dishes. 🙂
Such wonderful ideas! I have received and appreciated all of these gestures with the birth of our children!
Another thing that I like to do that I learned from a friend–take something special to Mom, too. Because it’s amazing what fixing yourself up and splashing on new perfume or a cute new pair of earrings can do for your state of mind.
I try to keep a stash of Bath and Body Works products–they frequently have deals to get things for free or very cheap. Make sure there are no sensitive skin issues! And hopefully you would know the new mama well enough to know what scents she is fond of. I love surprising a new mom with a full-size Bath and Body Works body spray and lotion! Of course, other brands work too!:)
Or a cute pair of earrings that would look good on her–again, check for sensitive skin issues. (ie, I myself can only wear nickel-free) Target has some great jewelry for cheap, and I have found some very cute items on Kohl’s clearance (great way to use Kohl’s cash!). Or, if you’re skilled, you could make a cute pair of earrings yourself. It’s not that hard! And you can pick up beading supplies for cheap everywhere–garage sales, thrift stores, etc–just repurpose the beads from something else.
Because while we all love our roles as mama, sometimes, in the middle of newborn fog, it’s good to remind ourselves that we are still women, too.
This is a great post. We are expecting #5 in 3 weeks. So many of these things have been a blessing to us with our past babies. I also had a friend who would pick up the baby’s laundry, take it home and wash it, and return it to me folded. That was a huge blessing! She also took my oldest daughter to her home. Now she blesses me by picking her up from school and bringing her home since she gets out of school when our other kiddies are napping!
Love this post! All is sooo true! I was blessed to have my mom fly out from out west and be with me for two weeks whenever my babies were born. But the weeks after when things were dropped off and kiddos were occupied meant a lot too! I have two soon to be mommies in my life who have older kids as well – I look forward to putting all of this into practice again!
It’s so fun to be on the giving end after you know what was such a blessing!