There is nothing more daunting than entering motherhood for the first time (or even the second or third time around). New mums need help – and in more ways than one.
The newborn days are often seen as some of the most challenging times of parenthood. You have to learn to navigate sleepless nights, routines, and a new addition to the family on top of an explosion of hormones. Whether you have been through it yourself or just want to help a friend who is about to embark on this magical and life-changing journey, you might be wondering how you can do it. With that in mind, here are five useful ways to help a new mum.
- Offer your time
One of the best things you can do to support a new mum is to offer your time. This will be invaluable when it comes to those newborn days where they may feel like they can’t get a minute to change their clothes, let alone shower or take a nap. Offering your time to sit with the baby, feed them if you can, and be there will help them do small things that will significantly impact how they feel. Both physically and mentally.
- Make them food
Anyone who has had a newborn will know that time is a big factor, and cooking food can go out of the window. It might mean that they rely on take-out food options or things that aren’t exactly healthy. Making them a meal that they can put in the oven or microwave to heat up or prepare healthy meals by batch cooking for them will make such a difference.
Many people can be too quick to offer unsolicited advice when it comes to a baby, even when it comes from a good place. Instead, one of the best things that you can do is listen. Let them tell you how tired they are, vent their struggles, and delight in the good times. Listening will allow them to believe that their feelings are valid. If they ask for your advice or opinion, you can give it, but try and be tactful with your response as a new mum will have all those hormones raging.
- Help with the housework
A newborn is all-consuming, which often means that other aspects of life can be neglected. With that in mind, one of the best things you can do is offer your help when it comes to the housework. Or even letting them nap and then getting the vacuum out, emptying the dishwasher, doing the pots, or loading the washing machine. Motherhood can be exhausting, so these small gestures can help. Perhaps you could arrange to collect and do their laundry or ironing.
- Keep in touch
Finally, try and keep in touch. A new mum may be feeling overwhelmed, lonely and isolated as well as, of course, sleep-deprived. A simple text message, a voice note or even a phone call can make all the difference. The truth is you likely won’t get a response back straight away (unless you text at 2am and they’re probably doing a night feed). Simply knowing that you are at the end of the phone could make all the difference. It could certainly help them feel as though their old life hasn’t gone forever. Furthermore, if you are organising get togethers, even if you know they won’t be able to make it, be sure to invite them. Finding out on social media that your previous party-going friends did just that without so much as a word to you can be crushing. And remember, sometimes you can bring the party to them, even if it is a toned-down version.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you to help out a new mum in the future. What helped you the most when you were a new mum?