Guest Post: Six Ways to Help a New Mom

Today we have a guest post from our good friend and former college roommate, Amber! She's one of the best moms we know, so we thought she'd be the perfect person to share today.


Hello there, TTWWB readers! I'm thrilled to be here today sharing on some practical and thoughtful ways to help a new mom. I blog over at Love at Home where I share my thoughts on marriage, parenting, faith and daily life. In my free time you'll find me in the kitchen testing out new recipes or in the garage/barn/shed/patio refinishing furniture (I'm a paint junkie) or working on my latest DIY.

Even though I do work part-time outside the home, my most important job on this planet is being a mommy to my two preschoolers! Adjusting to mommy-hood was a whirlwind experience for me. Just as I was getting my feet wet in the world of breastfeeding, diapers, spit-up and sleepless nights after the birth of my first born son, I found out I was expecting number two! Yes, my kids are almost "Irish twins". Without a doubt my daughter was the happiest of accidents, but those early days of caring for a newborn and toddler were some of the most challenging days for me. It was the love, care and support of my family and friends that got me through those long days as a new mommy.

So needless to say, I have a special place in my heart for new moms and with Mother's Day fast approaching, what a great time to be thinking about these special ladies! Without further adieu, here are six practical ways to help out a new mom:

1. Food. Food. Food. I can't emphasize enough how helpful it is to have food brought to your home while caring for a new baby. Food is momentarily life-changing as a new mommy; it nourishes the body and soul, helps the nursing migraines subside, and if you're a foodie like me brings you true joy. Arrange or sign up to participate in an online meal schedule. My favorite online meal arrangement site is Take Them a Meal. Make sure you know about food allergies and dislikes before bringing over a meal. And be a gem and deliver your meal in a disposable container. The last thing a new mommy needs is to track down the owners of all the casserole dishes she has piled up. Don't feel like you have to whip up something from scratch. It's huge treat to get a delivered meal from the new mommy's (and daddy's) favorite take out place or pizza joint. Creative meals are fun too -- don't forget about an early morning coffee and pastry delivery or a late night snack basket (you could just leave the food at the front door).

2. Laundry. Babies pee and poop and spit up more than you can ever expect. While a new mommy might not feel comfortable having you do hers and her hubby's laundry, offering to wash, fold and put away the piles of baby clothes that will accumulate (at an alarming rate) is so incredibly helpful. And if you're willing, do a load of dishes, wipe down her counters and sweep the kitchen floor. A picked up home will help her feel more sane in the midst of chaotic moments.

3. The 2pm "just hold my baby" visit. Sometimes it can feel exhausting to have visitors and know that you need to mentally engage in a semi-intelligent conversation. Offer to drop by, with no intention of socializing (and really stress that) so that the new mommy can take an uninterrupted, hot shower or even better, a nap. After having both my babies, my sisters would walk through my front door, I would hand off baby without so much as a nod or a smile, point to the freshly pumped breast milk in the bottle on the counter and stumble to our bedroom like a zombie for two uninterrupted hours of sleep. It was a little piece of heaven.

4. Arrange for an in-home massage. Did you know these exist? A group of girlfriends got me a gift certificate for a post-pardum massage therapist to come to my home just days after my second baby was born. She set up right in our master bedroom, dimmed the lights, and brought in soothing music and aromatherapy. I wasn't quite ready to leave my baby yet within the first week, but I was ready for some pampering! While my mother-in-law loving cared for my newborn in the next room, I melted away and enjoyed a bit of serenity in my own home. Bliss.

5. Offer to run errands. It may just be a quick trip to the pharmacy or grocery store, but getting out of the house may seem monumental for a new mom. If you're in the new mom's part of town, or are planning a trip to the grocery store anyways, give her a quick call or text and find out if she needs anything. It could really settle her nerves of trying to pack up and shop with a fussy baby.

6. Ask what might be helpful to the new mom. Common sense maybe, but asking exactly what is helpful to a new mom days after a baby is born is so important. Offering your suggestions is fine, but what may seem helpful to you, may in fact overwhelm the new mommy and do more harm than good. So just run things by her first before jumping in, inviting her to suggest ways that would really help her out.

It was great to be with you today. Stop by and say hello if you like -- I love new visitors!

Happy Mother's Day!

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