You don’t have to have to be a mom yourself to see the struggles that new mothers go through. Often running from a space of sleep-deprivation, it becomes hard for them to do things as effortless as you do now. They no longer have the luxury of pressing the snooze alarm, window shopping for hours or spend hours perusing sites looking at vinyl siding costs because their house doesn’t look as polished. In those early days, it could mean the difference between life and death to their child. Therefore, here are some grains of wisdom to better support to your friend when they bring their newborn home.
You don’t have to read an entire pile of baby books to get a general mental picture of what raising a child would be like. On your part, you can learn all how childbirth, and what comes subsequently, affects a woman. You might not be able to experience what your new mom friend is going through, but you might have a heightened understanding of how to navigate around them and how to be of support in the applicable sense of the word.
Feed her (and her family)
Society tends to fixate on children that we forget the very people behind the cute snaps we see on social media. Given the fatigue and lack of time new mothers face, the kindest thing you can do is offer to cook up a storm or have food delivered. If she can stuff it in the fridge for a few days, she’ll be all the more thankful. You should be mindful too, however, deliver health foods as per her preference or requirements. Even if you’re unsure (or she’s not picky), she’ll be thankful she can catch a few winks in the time that would have otherwise be spent over a stove.
Don’t be needy
A baby in the first two or so months of life requires feeding every between one and a half to three hours in any given day. That means ALL the attention will be on the baby and not on you. Therefore, when making the trip, acknowledge that it won’t be about you, not at least for a while. She will likely be distracted and too tired to listen to your ramble on about your husband or the new guy you’re dating. Consider having the conversation about how your friendship will look like on a day she’s particularly calm. If you had it before she gave birth it is likely everything you said went out the window.
Keep advice (from a book, your sister, your mother, etc.) to yourself
There’s a reason women insist nothing can prepare you for motherhood. Picture all the unique combinations that shape your personality, characteristics, preference, love language et al. When you think along those lines, it becomes quite clear that no two children are alike. It is therefore that any advice you have to offer won’t apply.
If you’re unsure about how else to support, ask!