I’m currently 11.5 weeks post-partum with my third child in less than three years. As such, I feel like I’m always a “new” mom. Or always pregnant. Or both. Ahem. So I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite things to hear - and some of my least favorite things, as well. I’m sure all moms can relate! And if you don’t have kids and you don’t know what to say to a new mom, well, here’s some ideas!
...as opposed to, Let’s go out to lunch in a restaurant. You can manage that, right? With all your kids?
Umm, no. I cannot manage three crazy kids at a restaurant by myself. Sure, I know you’ll be there, but the fact that going out to lunch sounds like fun to you tells me that you’ve never taken three babies (ish) to a public eating establishment and know nothing of its terrors: macaroni flying across the table, toddlers throwing up (at least, my kids) into my outreached hands (hopefully – or the table/chair/floor/t-shirt combo), kiddo #1 screaming “I don’t like this!!” at the top of his lungs while kiddo #2 rubs ketchup in his hair while kiddo #3 wails an I’m hungry, you’re not allowed to eat ear-piercing cry, and me watching $20 of over-priced kids meals land on the floor and thinking to myself, I could buy seven outfits at Once Upon a Child with that cash.
But bringing us dinner? Please and thank you!! Dinner is the most stressful time of the day, second only to lunchtime and bedtime. Your generosity is appreciated more than you know. Bringing a post-partum mom dinner isn’t just an offering of food, it’s a restoration of sanity. At least for a few blissful hours. It also means I don’t have to leave the house, which is insanely difficult with a new baby. Pajamas for the win.
2. I miss you! Whenever you are ready for visitors, let me know.
I would love to hold the baby (and watch the kids) so you can take a few minutes to yourself for a shower, or a nap, or whatever.
as opposed to, I’m available tomorrow and thinking of dropping by to hang out. Is that cool?
Being a mom is a lot of work, even if it doesn’t look like it. New baby time (especially the first 8-ish weeks) is crazy busy. I find it really difficult to find the time (or the free hands) to see to my own basic needs, because I’m meeting every basic need of baby. And the other kids.
My two favorite things to do when someone offers to help? Eat. And shower. Oh, and go to the bathroom. And do the laundry the way I like it done. And sleep. There is no sleeping. So five things. Meaning, I soooo relish your offer for just a little bit of help!!
Some days, all I want is a visitor. But some days, it’s just too much, and I have to say no (which makes me feel bad). Or I don’t say no (out of guilt) and it ends up being a really stressful event (just for me). So I reallyappreciate the respect offered when someone says “whenever you are ready”.
But just an fyi – if you’re expecting anything from me other than a blank zombie stare while I dream of taking a shower? Well, uh, expect to be disappointed. Lol.
3. The house looks soooo clean!
Not that you should lie, of course. But one of the proudest moments of my post-partum period was when my friend came to drop off a meal about 2 weeks after the baby was born and she said this to me. And it was true. Ok, relatively speaking. It was soooo clean for someone who had just had a baby. As a mom of three kids, she’s the only one who noticed and commented. It meant the world to me. So if you’re at a new mom’s house and it doesn’t look like a tornado went through and destroyed everything, it’s probably because she (or someone) has spent a good amount of time cleaning. And your compliments are much appreciated.
4. You look amazing! No one would guess that you just had a baby!
My awesome friend is always telling me this. May I just say, this makes my self-esteem go up by about a thousand points. Which is a lot in self-esteem currency. Even if it might not be true. ;P
5. You have a beautiful family. You’re doing a great job!
This is pretty much the best comment you can give. Hands down.
So, moms. Which of these do you like most to hear? Or is there something I missed? Conversely, what annoying things do people tell you when you have a new baby?