For first time moms, everything is new. Time seems to stand still as our senses begin to heighten. We become much more in tune with our bodies while healing from the aches and pains of pregnancy and childbirth, our hearing is laser focused on our new babies breathing, their coos and their cries, we adjust to the new smells of newborn life, and we see the world through a new set of eyes. It somehow feels like they were closed until now. We develop super senses all while functioning on little to no sleep.
This magical and transformative season of life changes every fiber of our being; how we think, sleep, breathe, eat, drink, walk, sit, – everything feels different.
It sometimes seems like the outside world is on pause while we’re focused solely on the needs of our new baby or babies.
It makes sense how this remarkable time can also be exhausting and isolating.
We need the occasional glimpse of reality to snap us back to ourselves and out of the coma of sleep deprivation, diaper changes and nightly feedings. A break from the 24/7 surveillance of this tiny new life we are protecting with a gentle reminder of the world outside that’s filled with our friends and family.
It’s a balance, though, for loved ones to walk that narrow path between helpful and overbearing.
Someone can have the best intentions but if it comes at the wrong time, it may not be taken that way. With exhaustion can come a short fuse and miscommunication. So, how can friends and family show their support and genuinely help those enduring the postpartum haze?
It’s more simple than you may think.
Although we do need our space, boundaries with our baby respected, and are most likely a little weary of accepting help with certain tasks (shout out to my fellow stubborn mama’s out there), a little does go a long way.
The first is through connection and communication.
Help that new parent feel connected to the outside world while maintaining a boundary and making sure they have the time and energy to respond. A quick text convo or even a text to ask if they want to FaceTime. Open that door for them to open up to you.
The second is through lending a helping hand.
This one is for close family and friends. Offer to grab groceries or a certain item they may need if you’re already going. In fact, don’t even offer. Just go ahead and drop it off on their doorstep! Follow up with a sweet text, “Hey! There’s a small surprise on your doorstep. Thinking of you! Xoxo” Send a meal. Help tidy up if you’re one of the lucky ones who they feel comfortable enough to have over for a visit. Play with their other children. Leave them a little better off than when you got there.
Through Connection & Communication
Keep in touch
Send a quick check in text
Have an open channel of communication
Call or FaceTime
Be a listening ear
Be kind and comforting
Lend a Helping Hand
Drop off a few fridge basics or a meal
Help tidy up the kitchen, toys or fold some laundry
Take them for a walk or entertain at their home