Being a first time Mom is filled with so many emotions. It's joyous, incredible, tiring, terrifying and at times frustrating. It can feel overwhelming in those first few weeks and months. When you don't have children yourself it can often be confusing on what you should do. Should you leave Mom to have alone time with her new baby? Should you put it out there that you are there for her but leave it on her terms? Here are some of the things I know I appreciated from people and what I have noticed others have appreciated from me as I was able to be there for my friends when they became Moms for the first time.
1. Don't just ask if she needs help, be specific on what you will help her with. Most people will never ask for help because they don't want to inconvenience anyone. Instead of "Call me if you need anything." Say "I am bringing you guys dinner, what night is good for you?" or "You sleep and I will clean the kitchen, bathroom, floors, ect…" This is better than any baby present you could bring over. Trust me.
2. Tell her she looks great for just having a baby. Having a baby changes your body and when you are sleep deprived and emotional with a squishy belly the last thing you might feel is stellar so hearing how good you are looking can be super nice to hear. And nothing is more beautiful than a new Mom holding her brand new baby.
3. Give her a week or two than come by or bring her lunch. People are usually lining up to meet a newborn in the first week or two but after that people slowly stop coming by or checking up on you and it can feel lonely. Most women are used to being around others while working or just being out in the world. When that newborn is here getting out of the house is can feel like you are packing for a weekend away. Offer to bring her lunch or some wine and a movie for a girls night in after a few weeks have passed. She may feel less tired, more bored and in need of real adult conversation.
4. Ask her how she's really feeling. When you have a new baby it can feel overwhelming and not what you expect. Yes, you love this little ball of cuteness but you are also changing from being free to do whatever you want, whenever you want to being dependent on a little person who tells you when they need to eat and when you need to change them. They are demanding and new Moms can feel guilty talking about how they really feel. We all know they love their baby but sometimes you just want to say how much it sucks that you aren't getting any sleep and your baby wants to be attached to your boobs 24/7.
5. Be selfless. When you become a new Mom you all of a sudden have to become incredibly selfless and it takes a lot out of you. Your baby depends on you for everything and it can feel tiring always giving of yourself. Sometimes all a new Mom needs is someone to be that for them. Having a friend who is willing to give a little more of themselves at that time is one of the greatest gifts you could ever give. Trust me when you have a baby she will return the favor.
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For Throw Back Thursday I am reposting this post I did almost exactly 2 years ago about Embracing the Newborn Stage. I feel like we are finally out of the cloud of craziness since having Everly and looking back at being a first time Mom is really humbling. I dedicate this post to my sister who just had her first baby, Valentina! Love you girls!
Originally posted: 9/20/12
Is it me or does time fly faster the older your baby gets?
I remember those first weeks of late night feedings, nursing marathons and pumping constantly(notice a theme?) and the time was seriously going at a snails pace. My son cried all.the.time and I felt like a 24 hour buffet. I saw pictures of friends babies all cuddly and content in the early weeks and thought my son was never going to stop crying, can we say jealous? It was rough to say the least. I was full of post pregnancy hormones and lacking sleep. I was a hot mess.
Apparently there's a party at my place at 3 a.m. that I am invited to. Awesome.
I thought I was just going to have a sensitive baby that cried just because and that was who he was. I loved my little guy no matter what but felt overwhelmed. I began to accept that this would be our life, crying together and not sleeping. I sometimes look back on those early weeks when it was just us snuggling and think I miss it all, then I look at this picture
and snap back into reality.
Then I see this picture and miss those sweet milk coma moments. You'd think with all the nursing we would have had more of those.
I will say he was cute even when he was screaming though. We tried for this baby for over a year so I was willing to sacrifice my beauty sleep for this angel and would do it all over again. I just can't say I would miss it anymore then I do now.
What were your baby's first few weeks of life like? Tell me I am not alone in this!
Need a little humor? Go read about all the annoying things my babies do HERE!