What's the best thing you can do to help a new mom?
Some of the best advice I got on grandparenting was how to help out in the postpartum weeks, also known as the 4th trimester. It’s a tricky time for everyone and so much of a learning curve for the young family, especially with the first baby. My friend said to have my daughter give me a list of a few daily goals, such as taking a shower or reading her Bible, and that I should do everything necessary to help her accomplish those goals the first few weeks so her routines would be set in place when I went home. She suggested I do the cooking and cleaning and let the young parents care for the baby.
I was honored that my daughter and son-in-law wanted me to come stay for a week or so once the baby came. We all were conscientious of wanting to have it be a good and successful time so we went out of our ways to be considerate of each other. They stocked up on our favorite snacks, and we purchased a few items needed around their house like a new hook in the bathroom for the baby towel. It was such as sweet time with our kids and our new granddaughter. It IS the GRAND life!
After 60 hours of labor, the first week was spent just getting caught up on sleep and healing. The second week was being over the moon with our new granddaughter! We took daily walks in the nearby park and enjoyed a few hours with the baby each night so the parents could go to bed early. Being able to help out in the postpartum weeks was a sweet time for all of us.
To summarize: have the mother write down two lists, ideally before the baby arrives. One is the daily and weekly routines for running the house (laundry days, when the trash service comes, favorite meals, etc.). The second is a list of personal goals for each day. This is super helpful to have to ask all the questions answered without having to bother the new parents.
Not everyone wants help and not everyone can give help, but if you have the ability to do so, cherish the moments! Help the new mom get into new routines and maybe even stock up the freezer for the weeks to come. This advice to make a list of routines ahead of time would also apply to helping out a friend after surgery or caring for kids while their parents travel.
Want meal ideas for postpartum or post-surgery?
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Table Talk: What is one daily goal you have? Who can you help out this month?