A couple of weeks ago we received visitors at home and I had not prepared “proper” food for their visit. The lady visitor gave me a real grilling on how I didn’t make my guests comfortable, her exact words were “how could you know that you’re going to have visitors round but not prepare proper food, what have you been doing all day?”
I gave birth to my third child a few months ago and in all honesty, I’m finding life difficult. My daughter is super clingy so whatever I’m doing she’s there with me, I hardly have time to cook, clean or do any other activities as I used to, if you have a clingy baby you’ll probably understand how stressful this can be.
As a person that enjoys cooking, this comment obviously got to my heart. I couldn’t believe how she was painting me as this lazy woman/mother that never cooks just because she came to visit me at a vulnerable time. As I write this post I’m even angry at myself for trying to explain to her that I simply didn’t get time to cook a feast because I was CARING for my daughter who has become more cranky due to teething, 2, I am always running on three hours sleep and 3, let’s not forget that I’m exclusively breastfeeding!
She is a mother herself so I couldn’t understand how she didn’t bother to even ask how I was doing in general but her only concern was that I didn’t make proper food. The worse things is, whatever I said felt as though I was giving excuses.
Every mother out there is facing some sort of challenge so instead of making someone that you know feel uncomfortable, why not offer some help? If I went to visit a friend or family member who had just given birth I would want to help in any way I could, why? because I know too well how difficult those first few weeks can be.
If you’ve ever wondered how you can help a new mum whether they’ve just had their first or fifth child, here are a few ideas from my perspective as a new mother… for the third time.
Most new mums just need someone to listen to them, someone that will not pass judgment or criticism so try to be that friend, aunt or cousin and just listen! You never know how much you can make someone feel better just by listening.
It’s hard to get much done with a newborn around so help mum run those errands. Offer to do the shopping, post that important letter OR you can hold baby whilst mum sorts out a few bits and bobs. Take it from me, this kind of help is very much appreciated 🙂
Help around the house
Never ever visit without helping with some sort of chore, mum is probably sleep deprived & exhausted so chances are that the dishes need to be done, the bins need to be taken out, clothes need ironing etc… ask and offer!
Allow parents to have some time with their new baby without having to worry about entertaining guests, a simple text, email or card through the post is fine for the early days. When you finally stop by, it’s best to have a time frame of how long to stay for (30-45mins, unless they ask you to stay longer) this again will help parents worry less about keeping you entertained as they’ll probably be very tired themselves.
Offer to look after siblings if you can, take them to the park for a bit, do the school run or help with homework every little helps!
Like I mentioned above, I am a mother of three and I know the deal BUT it doesn’t mean that I don’t need any help! Motherhood is not easy at all, you never know what someone is going through so always ask and offer because the goodness that we do to others will eventually come back to us.
Do you agree with some of these ideas? what do/did you find most helpful after having a baby?
Thanks for stopping by!