Originally published on www.poppylist.com.
You’ve bought the gifts and sent your congratulations, but you still feel like you want to do more. You know (maybe from experience) that being a new mom can be exhausting, overwhelming, and incredibly lonely. So what’s the best way to help?
Purchasing more items off the baby registry is hugely supportive and appreciated, but I want to help you think outside the box. This list is for moms, not the babies or nursery, the moms who are up at night feeding, changing, and burping and don’t have the time or energy left to think about their own needs.
Taking care of an infant while preparing healthy food can feel impossible. Make it easy by dropping off (I mean drop-off, leave food at the door) and nourishing the whole family. In the early postpartum period, foods high in protein and healthy fats are ideal (e.g., soups/stews made with bone broth, casseroles with high-quality animal protein, easy grab & go snacks like oat/date rolls, etc.) If you don’t have the time to cook, you can order delivery for them or send a food delivery gift card. Some great snack options to send via Amazon:
Has anyone asked Mom how she’s feeling? How adjusting to life with a brand new baby is impacting her? I bet you the answer is no. Our culture loves to avoid feeling uncomfortable emotions, so instead, we ask about the baby and gloss over everything else. Swing by with coffee or treats and allow her to share whatever is weighing heavy at the time. Focus on holding space for her big emotions and refrain from offering advice (unless asked). This gift costs you nothing but could make all the difference.
Adjusting to the juggling act of multiple kids can be a huge learning curve, not to mention exhausting. Allow her to nap (or do whatever else) by offering to watch older kids for a few hours. Even an hour of not multitasking is a huge win for a new mom. If babysitting is out of the realm of possibility for you, then consider paying for a few hours of postpartum doula help and/or their regular babysitter.
Some of the most helpful acts of service have nothing to do with holding babies or making food. Instead, they look like laundry, doing dishes, or running errands. These types of tasks add to the invisible load of motherhood, weighing on a new mom’s mind until she’s up vacuuming the house instead of napping. Take some of that load off by either doing one of the chores, hiring someone else to (think house cleaners), or asking “What can I get you on my next Target/grocery run.”
She may not need more baby items, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shower her with self-care essentials. Build a custom gift basket full of things just for mom. Here are some suggestions to get you started: Audible gift card, skincare products, chocolate bars, athleisure clothing gift card, bath salts, mushroom coffee/hot cacao, new water bottle, etc. The trick is to think about her hobbies and what she loved before the baby (e.g., reading = audible gift card, health & wellness = hot mushroom cacao). Don’t have time to build your own? Consider creating a custom box from one of these beloved Poppylist recommended companies:
I hope these tips are helpful! We’d love to hear other ways you’ve supported the new moms and dads in your life (or were supported by your friends/family) in the comments.