Welcoming a new baby in the world is the most stressful experience ever and nothing you can imagine until it happens. I think of pre-Lucas Carrie and laugh/cringe at things I said or did to friends after they had babies and that’s why I thought I’d share a few lessons that I try to stick to when I know people having babies now.
Ask how they’re doing
Before you ask about the new baby, ask about her. It’s easy to feel consumed by motherhood and while it’s wonderful to be ‘Lucas’ mom’ sometimes it’s nice to be remembered as your own human being.
Bring or send food
Shopping and cooking can feel overwhelming with a new baby. Bring a prepared meal that you’ve made, a deli’s made or Stouffer’s – anything that can be tossed in an oven or microwave will be welcome.
Don’t be a problem solver
It’s so easy to want to help a new mom but everyone and every family is different. What works for one person may not work for another. New mom’s are trying their best, while feeling their worst and while great advice can be given with good intention, it can also make a new mom feel like she hasn’t been trying hard enough. Instead…
Share the secret
The truth about motherhood is that it’s HARD! Never tell a pregnant woman that because it’s not fun and impossible to understand but tell new moms and tell them often. Before having kids you imagine what it will be and in the best and challenging ways its never that. Let a new mom know she’s not alone and that all moms are struggling and often crying too.
There’s an adjustment period after a new baby. Everyone is figuring everyone out and it’s hard. It’s also hard to get out the house – car seats, diaper bags, winter gear and fear of germs. There’s also the reality that when there is that quiet moment, they may not want to fill it with more activity. I think the best gift to new parents is patience and understanding that things are different but when there is time (and there will be) you can pick up right where you left off with no apologies or excuses or hurt feelings.