|Tati (Jenny's new name) and baby Weston|
Ways you can help your new-parent friend/family member (with money):
- Buy them dinner: it's nearly impossible (but not impossible, as two nights after we were home from the hospital I made us giant salads with homemade croutons) to prepare a hot meal every night...there's always something which needs to be cleaned, cleared, organized, napped, burped...so, buy them some Chinese, or a pizza...anything!
- Body wash: Yes, I know this sounds lame, but when Jenny brought over a new Dove body wash for me, it was like a gift from God. This gift is two fold: one, showers are one of the only things which make you feel human again. Two, as you soon find out as a new mom, showers are sometimes the only mental break you have all day long...so, the longer the shower, the better! A new delicious body wash gives you an excuse to spend a few minutes longer in the shower. In fact, while you're at it, buy a new mom a fluffy towel, and some new and delicious smelling shampoo too--she will really appreciate it!
- Trashy magazines: It's really hard to focus for long when the baby is sleeping, but you still want to take a minute with a
bag of cookiescookie and coffee and just zone out...so bring your friend some silly magazines to just breeze through. My mom brought me a People magazine and I've read and re-read it about 34 times now.
- Granola bars: I can't stress this enough. When you get up to nurse/bottle feed a baby a gazillion times at night, you are STARVING. You need to grab something real fast that you can shove down your throat while the baby is eating too...and also, you sorta, kinda, maybe wanna feel like it's semi-healthy? I made a ton of granola bars and stored them in the freezer before he was born, but I'd be happy with ANYTHING. Just bring over a box of Kind Bars, or delicious chocolate Chewy bars and it'll be a dream gift.
- Coffee: Do I need to explain this? The first week we were home Jenny didn't even bother showing up without coffee in hand.
Ways you can help your new-parent friend/family member (free!):
- When you come over offer to help hold the baby so that the mom can brush her teeth, get dressed, do dishes, etc.
- Do dishes. But not the bottles. Some people are picky about how the bottles are washed. But, yes to the dishes.
- Give them the password to your Netflix/Hulu/etc accounts so that they can have new things to watch late at night when they're up with the baby. Jenny signed us into her HBO GO account and it's been a lifesaver (hello Girls and Six Feet Under!).
- Don't ask to come see the baby more than once. Okay, okay. Lemme explain. Yes, this is a personal issue, and yes, I may be sensitive about this, but that time after you give birth? MIND TRIP. You don't feel/look/act like yourself, neither does your partner, or anything in your world. You're in pain, you're sweaty, you forget to brush your teeth, change your clothes, and oh yeah...there's a baby there too. Your partner is tired, your baby is crying, and all you want to do is get to the next day. So, when people start asking more than once (and let me get this straight, my friends sweetly and politely asked once to see Weston, and I told them to hold off for a bit, they haven't asked again, they were totally respectful, which I appreciate!). Plus, I don't think people without kids really get that the doctor makes it clear (at least in our case) that the baby should not be around many people for EIGHT WEEKS. That's a long time! But, it's to keep the baby healthy...they aren't vaccinated, and in our case, he was three weeks early! If we say we can't see you right now, please don't be offended, please understand all we want is someone to gush over our babe, but it's a really awkward time, and maybe, for you moms out there, if it wasn't awkward for you, it was for me in a different way. Don't assume because something worked/was easy for you, it was for me/your friend, too! Giving birth is a big deal, so respect that time. And, believe new moms will be more than happy to see you...soon. When we can actually brush our teeth and get clean pants on.
How have you helped your friends after they gave birth? How were you helped? Any tips?!