My mother-in-law flew into Omaha last night to spend a couple of days with us. My friends are throwing me a small baby shower on Sunday, and I’m happy she will be able to attend!
Over dinner, the three of us chatted about what needs to get done before/after the baby arrives. JB and I expressed our concerned over having a houseful of family members expecting to be entertained during our first couple of days as parents. I’m sure there will be several times during the day when my husband and I will want to retreat into our bedroom for some peace and quiet. So what will they all do then? They can only coo over the newborn for so long!
I love this post about the different ways family and friends can support new parents after the birth, especially if mom and dad are too shy to ask for specific help. It includes everything from running errands to cooking dinner to emptying the garbage.
1. Buy us toilet paper, milk and beautiful whole grain bread.
2. Buy us a new garbage can with a swing top lid and 6 pairs of black cotton underpants (women’s size____).
3. Make us a big supper salad with feta cheese, black Kalamata olives, toasted almonds, organic green crispy things and a nice homemade dressing on the side. Drop it off and leave right away. Or, buy us frozen lasagna, garlic bread, a bag of salad, a big jug of juice, and maybe some cookies to have for dessert. Drop it off and leave right away.
4. Come over about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then fold all the piles of laundry that have been dumped on the couch, beds or in the room corners. If there’s no laundry to fold yet, do some.
5. Come over at l0 a.m., make me eggs, toast and a 1/2 grapefruit. Clean my fridge and throw out everything you are in doubt about. Don’t ask me about anything; just use your best judgment.
6. Put a sign on my door saying “Dear Friends and Family, Mom and baby need extra rest right now. Please come back in 7 days but phone first. All donations of casserole dinners would be most welcome. Thank you for caring about this family.”
7. Come over in your work clothes and vacuum and dust my house and then leave quietly. It’s tiring for me to chat and have tea with visitors but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to clean, organized space.
8. Take my older kids for a really fun-filled afternoon to a park, zoo or Science World and feed them healthy food.
9. Come over and give my husband a two hour break so he can go to a coffee shop, pub, hockey rink or some other r & r that will delight him. Fold more laundry.
10. Make me a giant pot of vegetable soup and clean the kitchen completely afterwards. Take a big garbage bag and empty every trash basket in the house and reline with fresh bags.
What did you find most helpful after having a baby? If you’re expecting your first, what kind of support would you like to receive from friends and family member?