The gift of rest: 5 things every new mother wants but won’t ask for

New motherhood: it’s an exciting, beautiful time. It’s also an exhausting and stressful time.

The gift of rest: 5 things every new mother wants but won’t ask for

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.

Bring food. ?? ?

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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.

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.

Babysit. ?

A photo posted by Frankie Kate (@luxebabylove) on

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.

Pamper her. ? ?‍♀️

A photo posted by Frankie Kate (@luxebabylove) on

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. ?

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.

This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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And that's exactly why my toddler loves them. ❤️

My 4.5-year-old is, let's say, spirited in his opinions. He very clearly knows what he wants and doesn't want (oh to have the confidence of a stubborn preschooler!). And what he doesn't want right now is anything that looks too babyish. "That's for babies," he'll say if I give him anything with primary colors or looks too miniature. He doesn't want the baby fork and spoon, he wants what grown-ups use. He doesn't want the baby plastic cups and plates, he wants the glass and ceramic ones.

Well, you can see where this is going.

I had to find something that would satisfy his "not a baby" opinions but still not shatter to pieces if he accidentally drops it on the floor. I had to find him something that's made for kids but doesn't feel made for kids.

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Boy was I wrong.

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