What New Moms Really Want!
So, your friend, sister or even wife has just had a baby and you’re doing everything you can think of to support. You brought a giant balloon to the hospital and “oohed and ahhed” over the new bundle of joy. You dropped by after she was home with the baby, and even brought an adorable outfit. If you’re a husband, you may have ordered a pizza, or even cooked a meal. Perhaps you found your older child’s favorite movie on Netflix, and let him watch it on repeat to give mom and new baby some peace.
All of those things are amazing. But what is it that new moms really need to feel supported in one of the most challenging and emotional times of their lives? In many cases, they don’t even know what to ask for, or don’t have the energy to ask for it! We’ve asked four new moms to give us the honest scoop on what they would find most helpful as they navigate their transition to new motherhood, or the addition of a new child to the family. Here’s what they had to say:
"Just do it and do it the way I want!
With an 8-year-old, 2-year-old and newborn, school nights are a nightmare. It's literally an Olympic sport in multitasking that leaves one or all of us in tears, as my patience is tested. I can often be found helping my 8 year old with home-work while the two year old does my hair or tries to get my attention and the baby is at my breast or fussing with tummy troubles.
I have been told that I don't ask for help, but God knows I need it. I need my husband to know two things. I hate having to ask, I want him to see what needs to be done and do it. Don't wait for me to ask. Take over home-work time, give the two-year-old bath, take over one of my night-time tasks, and secondly, please do it the way I do it, or better.
This may sound a little harsh, but hear me out. If he/someone takes over a task, but I still have to end up cleaning up behind them or worried that my two-year-old will drown in the tub because she's not being watched, the "help" ends up adding more work and stress than if I did it myself. I love it when my husband takes over a task and does it better than I do! If that were always the case I would ask for and welcome help ALL the time."
Tennille, mom of John Adam 8, Alexandra 2 and newborn Arianna
"I’ve been a mom for all of five weeks now and it’s been quite a ride thus far. From all the amazing moments to the “am I doing this right?” moments and the moments that have been just plain hard; being a mother has turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever done.
It’s not something I’ve had to embark on alone though. Family and friends often tell me to let them know if there is anything they can do for me. And I know those are not just empty words; I have a great support system. I’m always grateful for the offer, but I find that I rarely ever take them up on it. It’s not because I’m afraid to ask, but because I really don’t know what to ask for. I could ask for food (because I’m always hungry) or to make a store run for me, but I can manage those things for the most part.
I’m the kind of person that has always just believed things will work themselves out, so I don’t sweat stuff like running low on baby wipes. But I take comfort in knowing that if I were to, all of sudden, go into a full-blown freak out about shortages in my baby wipes supply, I could ask any number of people in my circle to help me out and it would be taken care of. I’m like the friend who you invite out all the time, but never goes anywhere. I may say no 9 out of 10 times, but I don’t want to stop being invited. So, if there is one thing I could ask my friends and family for, it would be to never stop offering. It feels good to just know you’re there."
Keila, new mom to 5-week-old Angelica
"When my second baby girl was born, I was fortunate to have my mom stay with us for 3 months giving me all that I thought I needed to get through the new mom stages. My mom watched the baby while I took a nap. She shopped, cleaned, cooked and even played with my energetic 4-year-old, while I tended to the little one. It was ALMOST everything a new mom would need!
As I did with my first born, I ignored the one thing I craved/needed most of all! That was to be reminded of my worth, someone to listen while I vented about my insecurities without judgement, a helping hand to force me outside, reminding me that I'm not just a mother but a social being. Eventually, I managed to get myself out of the house to share experiences with new mama friends, online and at mom workout classes. As a new mom with no family around, it's easy to feel guilty or selfish to list this as one of our essentials, but for mental health and happiness, I truly believe it’s key."
Kelly, mom of 4-year-old Kaylee and 5-month-old Janie.
"Getting pregnant wasn't easy, my pregnancy wasn't easy, and neither was my delivery! After I had my daughter, I was very grateful to have help for the first few weeks, but the first 3 MONTHS were so hard! My husband called it the worst best thing to ever happen to him. I don't think people realize how hard those 3 months are and how lonely they can be. For many women, they feel like they have lost their identity and are thrust into motherhood. You do lose your sense of self a little bit. Don't get me wrong, it's 110% worth it!
Recently my friend had twins, and was registered on meal train. It would have been wonderful if people had brought us meals. I remember using all my "extra time" (ha-ha) to catch up on sleep! My husband would bring home pizza. The last thing I did or wanted to do was to cook and clean.
I think the things that would be the most helpful for new moms are meals, having someone come clean their house, and company! I often hear of new moms going to mommy groups. I nursed my daughter every 2 hours and it was really a hassle leaving the house. It would have been great to get more company while I was on maternity leave."
Desire, mom of 1-year-old Piper
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