Before I had kids, I had no idea! I would send the congratulation text and then a few days or weeks later, I would casually rock up for a cuddle with the baby, hand over my present (for the baby), drink my cup of tea made by the exhausted new mum and then head off on my merry way. People – learn from my mistakes and do not do this!
There are so many ways you can make a difference to an shattered new mum:
Talk about her and not just the baby
When the baby arrives, everyone is very interested in all things baby and often the mum doesn’t get a look in. Even when you get the text announcing the new person’s arrival, I always reply to say how amazing mum is. She literally just created life – she is a goddess and deserves to be told as much.
Check in on her a few days after the baby has arrived
The hormone crash a few days in can be brutal. This emotional rollercoaster on top of the recovery from the birth, no sleep, a crying infant 24 hours a day and your whole world turned upside down can lead to more than a few tears. The congratulations texts and calls have stopped, the world has carried on turning and yet life will never be the same for her again. Check in on her. Tell her there is no need to reply, but you just wanted to see how she was doing.
Don’t offer, just do
It is lovely when people say “just ask if you need anything”, but really, who does end up asking? Leave dinner on their doorstep, insist on taking their toddler out for an hour and when you visit, do the washing up. These are the things that they really need but will never ask you to do.
Unless asked, keep your advice to yourself
New mums are inundated with advice from well wishers who have all got a better way to do things. The best advice I ever got was to “ignore all the advice and do what you think is best”. Being a new mum is completely overwhelming and what every new mum needs to hear is that she is doing a good job with whatever decisions she has made. And KEEP telling her what an incredible job she is doing. I can guarantee she needs to hear it!