I spent all day yesterday at Becky's house doing all the things she would have done if baby Maddie had waited and came closer to her due date. While I was running around the house (and watching her two kids plus my own two) it occurred to me that there may be some out there that would be interested to know of some great tips on how to be a hero to a new mom.
These tips are perfect for the first time Mommy as well as the seasoned pro bringing home her 6th!
So, without further ado...Here is the Top 10 ways to be a hero to a new mom!
1) Offer to watch the older siblings and/or family pet(s) while Mom and Dad are at the hospital
The last thing your friend wants to worry about when her water breaks unexpectedly at 3 am is who is going to watch the kids or the family pet when they leave for the hospital.
I recommend stepping up to the plate and offering to do so well in advance of the mom's due date. Be sure to have backups in place in case you are away from home or out of the area when the big day arrives!
2) Clean her house or hire someone to do so
No new mom wants to come home to a house with a sink full of dishes, piles of laundry waiting to be cleaned, and an empty refrigerator (see #3). While Mom and Dad are at the hospital do the right thing and do a few loads of laundry (or better yet, all of it!), run the dishwasher and do your best to empty it and put everything back where it belongs, clean the kitchen and bathrooms and put a fresh set of sheets on the bed!
If cleaning truly is not your thing then call a cleaning service to come out and do it for you. One step better...arrange for them to keep coming for the first month after mommy and baby come home from the hospital!
I guarantee the new mom will come home eternally grateful to you for all you have done!
3) Organize meals for the first couple weeks from amongst her close friends, church family, or neighbors
When the new mom comes home from the hospital she wants to relax as best she can, get some rest, and care for her new baby. What she most certainly does NOT want to do is have to cook dinner for herself and her family!
You can prevent that from happening by calling the close friends, church family and neighbors to arrange a schedule of meals to be delivered each day for the first two weeks. A great place to start is with the women who attended the new mom's baby shower. Simply call and ask what day would work best for them and set a time for the meal to be dropped off.
Be sure to remind each contributor of any food allergies or of any foods the family may avoid (such as pork, red meat, etc.)
4) Be her very own public relations representative
Long gone are the days of having to call all your friends and family on the telephone when you welcome a new baby to the family. Now we have Facebook, Twitter, Whrrl, and text messages to relay the good news fast!
That being said, mom and dad are going to be busy holding that sweet new baby of theirs and so offering to be the families PR rep and relay the baby's name, weight, height, and how mom and baby are doing to the masses via all the various social media forms is a huge weight off their shoulders.
Just be sure to ask first...some parents like to keep things quiet for the first day or so as they soak up that new baby love all by themselves.
5) Prep the baby's room
Not all parents have the baby's new room all ready to go prior to the sweet little thing's arrival. In the case of my best friend Becky I was (and am) still in the process of getting the room painted and put together.
You can do the same for your friend by being sure she has the crib and/or bassinet assembled with sheets on it and ready to go, same goes for the changing table and opening the first package of newborn diapers, wipes, and taking that pesky safety tab off the new tube of Desitin and having it all arranged for her.
6) Do something special for the older siblings
With all the hubbub of the new baby being born its not hard for the big brother(s) or sister(s) to end up feeling a bit jilted.
One of the nicest things you could do for these kiddos is lavish a little attention on them. Consider taking them out for bowling and pizza or maybe a movie and ice cream. Both of those are special outings they probably won't be doing anytime in the near future with a new little one at home.
7) Do not criticize the choice of the baby's name
Trust me...you do NOT want to make this mistake. If the parents named their kid Leviticus Vesuvius Monticello the fourth the correct response is (and repeat after me)..."What a big handsome name for such a big boy!"
Under no circumstances are you to utter the following:
"You're joking, right?!"
"Sheesh, with a name like that you might as well put a sign up him that says, "Let the playground beatings begin!""
"Why didn't you name her after my father (mother, grandmother, great-grandfather..etc.)?
"Well, you can always change it later when you change your minds"
If you do...well then see #2 and pick up your mop and pail and get to work!
8) Always call before visiting and make the visit short.
Whether the new mom is in the hospital or at home recovering you should call first and be sure both mommy and baby are able to accept visitors. In fact, I would go so far as to say that once mom and baby are home you MUST call ahead.
That first day home is all about getting rest, eating a good meal they didn't have to cook themselves, and learning their new baby's routine of feeding and sleeping. What it is not about is having their entire extended family over for a an all day game of pass around the newborn. I guarantee the new parents would be left feeling like they need to do something when everyone is there when what they really should be doing is getting some much needed sleep! For most new parents a short half hour visit is appreciated.
If you ignore every other tip I have please do NOT ignore this one. This one really is a big deal!
9) Never visit empty-handed
This tip goes along hand in hand with tip #8! If you call ahead and the parents say its a good time to visit pick up something the family may need on your way to their house. A homemade or restaurant meal for the family, a cake, a bouquet of flowers (pre-arranged in a vase), or a box of diapers are always excellent gifts to bring.
10) Agree that her baby is by far the cutest you have ever seen.
I don't care if you have had 9 of your own and they all went on to win the Parent's Magazine cover contest...this baby you are seeing right at this moment is the most beautiful, precious, adorable, and lovely baby to have ever graced God's green earth. End of story.
The best part of following each of these 10 tips? You will be welcomed and blessed to do this....
because you play by the rules!
This post is Day 2 in the Problogger's 31 Days to Build A Better Blog program hosted by SITS and BlogFrog. You can read more list posts written by the other participants by clicking here.