With every passing year more of our friends become mothers. It’s a pivotal moment in their lives that signals a brand-new set of responsibilities and priorities. Whilst it’s a really magical time, it can also be incredibly stressful, with many new mothers losing out on sleep, food and social interaction.
As their friend, it can be difficult to know how to offer your support but know that whatever you offer will be gratefully received. Here are some ways to lend a helping hand without overcrowding your friend and the little one.
Anticipate her needs and act on them
Babies need round-the-clock care and attention, so it’s no surprise that the regular household chores get neglected. Offer to do a food shop to stock up on the basics and anything else she’s craving or make it extra special with a surprise grocery delivery. Pack it full of healthy snacks, easy-to-prepare meals, veggies and frozen goodies so that she can eat well with minimal fuss.
Go one step further and bring a meal to her door. Nothing says you care like home cooked food, so go for gold with a big family supper that will guarantee delicious leftovers for the next few days. And don’t forget dessert! Make it a gift with a beautiful box of chocolate that has naughty decadence built right in.
Why not put together a little new mum care package for when you visit - gifts for the baby are lovely but a gift for the mum will be much appreciated too. Being a new mum is like Mother’s Day for her, so it would also be nice to gift her some roses and make it her special day.
Take on some of the chores
Other chores that fall down the to-do list include cleaning and general household maintenance. There’s certainly no time to do anything like washing the car, so make it easier for her by taking it to the garage or even do it yourself. With so much baby stuff strewn around the house too, it’s probably a good idea to clean or pay to have her house cleaned. You friend would love you forever!
Don’t be afraid to take on some of the baby duties too. Offer to look after the newborn so your friend can take a much-needed nap!
What not to do
During this time, you will need to be extra sensitive around your friend’s space. Don’t just invite yourself over and make sure not to overstay your welcome. Your friend already has all her attention taken up by the little one; don’t make her feel obliged to spend time with you too. Speaking of visits, try not to arrive early. This will throw your friend off the groove and likely make her feel unprepared for your visit.
Offer emotional support
You might not get much in-person time with your friend for a while, but that doesn’t stop you sending her encouraging messages and listening to her whenever she needs to talk about adapting to her new life as a mother. Make your interactions meaningful and positive; with so much baby time, she’ll be grateful for a willing (grown up) pair of ears.