Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How To Help 'Bleary-Eyed' New Moms :: A Guest Post from Jennifer


Hello “Our Love Nest” readers! I’ve been an avid reader of this blog for about a year now so I’m so glad to have the opportunity to guest post. I recently started a blog with my sisters, called The Four J’s (www.thefourjs.com). Through my blog, I post baby updates as well as my ramblings about cooking and crafting attempts. My super cute sisters often post about fashion and fitness. Because, you know, they are still cute like that. I’ve crossed over into mommyhood and fitness and fashion are no longer at the top of my priority list!

Like Pamela, I am expecting a baby boy this summer. This will be my second baby – my first is also a boy. Shout out to all boy moms! I’ve loved reading Pamela’s updates - first babies are so exciting! But do you kind of hate how cute Pamela looks even as a pregnant woman? She makes those colorful skinny belts work! I, on the other hand, am loving anything oversized and stretchy…
When I met my handsome firstborn two and a half years ago, the heavens did not part. I did not hear a chorus of angels. I instantly fell in love with my little 7-pounder, but it was a hard adjustment for me. My husband and I had enjoyed a relatively easy 5-year marriage. No big fights - just fun, selfish spontaneity!

After I had my bundle of joy, I was a mess. I did not slip into my pre-pregnancy jeans easily. In fact, I wore nursing tank tops ALL. DAY. LONG. I suffered a pretty tough physical recovery. I showered regularly but did not wear make-up. I fought with my husband pretty regularly - he’s a saint for sticking with me! I was tired and I had a little sweet one who would not sleep in his crib.

Some women have it together early on. Clearly you can see that I didn’t.

Us moms spend so much time being critical of each other. Who has the smartest kid. Who has the cutest kid. Who is and who is not breastfeeding. Who is and who is not vaccinating their children. Who disciplines the “right” way.

In an effort to support each other, here are some things you can do for a new mom in those first few months after a new birth:
  1. Bring her a meal, and better yet, bring her a meal in a disposable container: My friends from church do this regularly. It is very easy to set up through online programs such as www.themealtrain.com. An added bonus is using disposable containers so the new mom doesn’t have to do dishes! 
  2. Offer to run errands: It is hard for some new moms (like me!) to get out those first few weeks. I had friends offer to pick things up from the store for me which was a huge help! 
  3. Visit her and make her take a shower and nap while you watch the baby: When friends visited me, I felt like I had to entertain them. Yes, I loved the adult conversation, but I was exhausted. One of my friends insisted that I take a nap when she came over, which was glorious! Additionally, my mom lives in town and she came over daily to give me time to take a hot, long shower. It felt so good to be clean when I felt like I was a mess. 
  4. Offer to watch her older kid(s): I’ve heard the adjustment from 1 to 2 kids is tougher than 2 kids to 3 or even more. I’m a little nervous about how this will work out, especially since my firstborn cries whenever babies cry and he regularly tells me that he does not like babies. Silly boy! I think he will enjoy time out of the house as much as I will enjoy some alone time bonding with my baby. 
  5. Make the new mom get out of the house: I had a hard time leaving my house, partly due to my tough recovery. One of my friends forced me to get out. She picked me up in her van, installed my son’s car seat, buckled him up, and drove us to a store. This first time getting out helped me realize that I could do it. Yes, the baby will cry in public and I will struggle to calm him, but it’s okay. Some people will look at me like I’m crazy and some will look at me with empathy because they’ve been there. 
  6. Compliment her and the baby: Because who doesn’t like a compliment? Do not tell her that she looks tired. Tell her that she looks great and that she has the cutest baby in the world! 
  7. Clean for her: It was almost an embarrassment for people to see my messy house.  My mom was so much help since she allowed me to shower, but I would have loved more help with simple household tasks (i.e. laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc.). I tried to “do it all,” but I couldn’t keep up. Nursing was difficult and my son was a lazy eater so I felt like I spent my whole day on the couch with him and never got anything done. Some women will not let you touch their house, but others wouldn’t mind if you wiped down the counters or vacuumed a couple of rooms.
Having a new baby (especially the first one) is quite an adjustment. We need lots of support early on. How can moms continue to support each other as kids grow? Here is one of my favorite articles: http://lisajobaker.com/2013/01/what-mothers-can-do-for-one-another/

How do you support new moms? If you are a mom, what helpful things have others done for you?

4 comments:

willtherebecake said...

Hooray! I'm a regular Four Js reader and just wanted to say that I love these tips! As a fairly new mom (my son will be 10 months soon), I can say these tips are spot on.

Erin said...

These are fabulous tips! I have a 14 month old, and when I had a friend come over and insist that I go nap, it was so nice. Even if it's just an hour, it's better than nothing! We also had people bring food or come and cook us a meal. It's nice to not have to worry about things like that when you are bringing home your first child!

Ashley said...

My favorite thing was having my mom there to help. I'm the type that is not comfortable with other people doing things for me, but having my mom help clean and take care of the kids was great!

P.S. I have to respectfully disagree on number 4, haha. I went from 2 to 3 about a year ago after having my first at 18, my second at 21, and my third at 23. That third was definitely the hardest! I thought going from 0 to 1 to 2 was easy peasy. Having a third can't be any harder, right? We have two hands, two car seats fit in cars, a lot of stores have regular carts for two kids, there are typically two parents... I seriously don't know how moms with 4+ kids do it! Kudos to them!

SwishDesigns said...

So so true!!!! Love the article!