New motherhood is an exciting, beautiful time.
It's also the perfect storm of hormones, sleep deprivation and major life change, so mothers of newborns often feel lonely and overwhelmed the first weeks and months after childbirth.
Mamas are still physically healing, even as they sacrifice sleep and adjust to the emotional toll of worrying about their tiny babies' needs.
How often those many friends and family members who once promised to drop by and offer support get busy with their own lives and fail to appear.
So, as good friends, relations and neighbors, what can we do to offer the much-needed support these new moms need?
Here are 5 can't-fail ways to offer support to the new moms in our families, communities + circles of friends.
1. Bring food
Whether you cook something, grab takeout or drop by a grocery store and fill a few bags with goodies, any new mom will appreciate some tasty food that she didn't have to cook herself.
2. Show up to clean
What new mom has the energy to vacuum or do a load of laundry?
Be careful with how you volunteer for this one.
Keep judgment out of your tone, or you just might get her fretting that you think her house is dirty.
Just tell her that every new mom deserves to be spared some work and that you'd be more than happy to empty the dishwasher or clean a pot.
If possible, offer this via text or on the phone BEFORE you come over, so that you haven't even seen the house when you ask.
Whether this means holding the cutie while Mom grabs a shower or hanging out for an hour or two while she naps or runs to the mall, this offer will always be appreciated. Just the opportunity to take a worry-free nap will be so incredibly helpful and valued.
4. Pamper her
Take mama for a manicure, or drop off a gift certificate for a pedicure.
Another option: Put together a gift basket filled with bubble bath, body butter and foot scrub. ?
5. Encourage her
It's so sweet when a bouquet of flowers arrives at your doorstep offering congratulations, and it's adorable to get a card in the mail sending love.
But you know what's the best? (And so easy...) Receiving text messages from a friend offering support and asking how you are.
It's free, it's not time-consuming, and it lets a new mom know, repeatedly, that she is not alone and that there is someone thinking of her.
Don't worry if she doesn't always respond to your messages. She might be asleep or simply overwhelmed.
But keep sending the love: “Hi mama, thinking of you! Just a note to say you're awesome. Sending a big hug."
That's a guarantee to remind your friend that there is still a world she is part of beyond the four walls of the nursery.
It's a small gesture that has a meaningful and lasting effect.