Remember when you were a new parent? “Exhausted” doesn’t even begin to describe it. You had no idea you could function on so little sleep.
We all got through it, but we probably had some help from other people. If you have a new mom in your life, don’t let her go through this experience alone. Here are some simple ways you can give her hand. These will make all the difference!
1. Bring her dinner – Often caring for a little one doesn’t give her time to prepare dinner for herself or her family. You don’t have to buy expensive take-out. Instead, cook something homemade, package it up, and bring it over. This way she doesn’t resort to a bowl a cereal before bed.
2. Take the kids for a few hours – You don’t have to do anything special, just occupy them somewhere else for a bit so she can do whatever she needs – whether that’s taking a nap, showering at her own pace, running errands, or just lounging around.
3. Do a couple chores – Chores pile up for every family when they’re left unattended too long. Stop by real quick to load her dishwasher, fill her washing machine, or bring her trash cans to the road. You don’t have to deep cleaning, just the regular stuff.
4. Buy her a coffee – She’s exhausted. She’s been running on caffeine for a while now and will be for a while. She’d love a premium coffee. Actually, she’d love any coffee.
5. Give her your hand-me-downs – If you’re a parent, you probably have a bag or box of old baby and kids’ clothing in your basement or attic. Even if her kids don’t fit in them just yet, consider handing them over. Kids go through clothing so quickly during the first couple years that there’s really no reason to buy things new.
6. Pick up some groceries – She’ll probably insist on paying you back and that’s OK, but call her up before you get to the store. Ask her if she needs anything while you’re out to save her the trip. Packing up a few kids for a car ride can be arduous.
7. Exercise together – Exercising is important for all of us, but it’s often the first thing to go when we’re super busy. Encourage the new mom to get back into light activity so her body (and body image) returns to normal quickly.
8. Listen to her – It’s tough, as a new parent, to vent to veteran parents. They often give you that “oh let me tell you…” lecture. It can be condescending sometimes. The best thing you can do for her is to let her vent her frustrations and tell you how tired she is. Don’t be judgmental or critical; just listen.
Do you have any ways to help new parents? When you were a new parent, how did you wish people helped you?
Written by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle
Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.
Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.
Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!
For more information, visit www.woombie.com.
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