With the birth of my third child just around the corner, surviving the “fourth trimester” has been on my mind. After my husband takes a week off of work, I will be on my own at home with three kids 4 and under. I am nervous about the adjustment, but I’ve got something going for me that is going to make those first several months postpartum a little bit easier: I have a supportive group of friends and family who I can lean on for the help I need while I clumsily navigate my new life as a mom of three. Largely, that is going to look like a lot of meals and some babysitting.
As a first-time-mom, I wasn’t always so willing to ask for the help I needed, but over time I have gotten better at making my needs known. That means I will be happily accepting casseroles with open arms and I might even be asking for a few more things that are a little out of the box. The truth is, dinner for the family is awesome when you are focused on caring for a new baby but an exhausted new mom needs a little TLC, too. I know I have a mental list of favors I would happily receive after giving birth, so I asked some of my favorite moms what they really wish their friends and family would give them after they add a new baby to their family.
So, friends and family of expecting moms, take note. If you want to bless a new mother, dinner is great, but if you want to really blow her socks off try one of these suggestions.
“I had a friend bring me homemade margaritas after I had Caed. It was one of the best things someone has ever brought me!” — Shannon C.
“A kid-free nap!” — Heather F.
“Someone to hold and care for the baby so I can have one-on-one time with my toddler. Can you tell I am feeling emotional about the change coming in that relationship?” — Skyler T.
“I want someone to take my big kids for a fun outing so I can spend a few moments alone with my babe! I want movie theaters and restaurants to be more accommodating to moms with new babies. I want friends to bring over pizza and wine for a game night where it's OK to wear pjs and nurse the baby!” — Lacy S.
“Come over with dinner, throw a load of laundry in, clean my kitchen, then sit down with me and chat for a bit.” — Elizabeth B.
“Friends bringing coffee win lots of points!” — Brooke B.
“Roll on my stomach.” — Jeanne S.
“A gift card for new clothes for mom because not everyone can fit their pre-pregnancy clothes.” — Beth F.
“Back rub. Clothes and linens all washed and organized. Protein-based snacks. The perfect music to listen to at night when up with baby. An expensive nursing bra that fits like a charm.” — Maggie E.
“A hug and some emotional support during the crazy hormonal roller coaster. Reassurance that everything will be OK.” — Katie F.
“A massage and chiropractic!” — Lauren H.
“I had a friend bring me Starbucks at home one morning when my little one was 2 months old. She remembered me after all the excitement of a new baby had died down. It was so thoughtful!” — Gretchen B.
“My aunt dropped lunch—a rotisserie chicken, bread, salad, etc.—on the porch, and text me to tell me it was there after she had left. A meal without the company was exactly what I needed that day.” — Kelley B.
“A babysitter so I can have a date night!” — Laura C.