Let me know if you need anything once the baby is here! Seriously, like anything at all! Day or night, doesn’t matter!
Could there be any more useless words said to new parents in the history of ever?
Let you know if, IF, I need something? Really? Day or night? Are we being serious here? Yes OF COURSE I’m going to need things! Most of all SLEEP. You know what I can’t do when I haven’t slept? Think of specific things to tell all the well meaning people who superficially offered to help me during this time. If we are being honest, here’s a list of things I’m going to need. Someone who will...
Tell me I’m pretty.
Fix me meals. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, second breakfast, little lunch, early dinner, and a midnight snack. All of those. And then some.
Hold and rock my baby during the witching hour(s) and/or in the middle of the night. Preferably someone that gets a regular full night’s sleep so they don’t fall asleep while doing so.
Walk my older children and take my dog to the movies. Wait, maybe it’s the other way around. At this point I can’t tell, either one would be helpful.
Bring me a big ass carton of my favorite ice cream and listen to me ugly cry while I eat the whole thing. AND who won’t judge me while doing so.
Help with things I’m too embarrassed to ask for help with. That smell? Yeah that’s me. I need to shower. I also need to take care of that giant pile of laundry over there…. And there… Yes, it’s gross, it’s covered in sweat, baby poop, spit up and let’s be real, probably some blood. You really want to help? Grab some gloves if you need to and toss them in the washing machine for me. BUT stick around long enough to put them in the dryer and at least get them in a “clean laundry” basket before you leave.
Show up in their pajamas with a bunch of funny dvds, a box of tissues, and a listening ear. And coffee, always coffee.
Tell me I’m pretty. Seriously. I mean this one.
Get the idea? There are three rules for offering TRUE postpartum support.
Be specific. “I would like to cover dinner for you one day this week, would Wednesday work? Text me what you want and I’ll get it for you!” “I’m free on Friday, let me take your older child out for the day!”
Be realistic. Don’t offer to come help with baby overnight if you’re not a night owl and like to be in bed by 9. That won’t help anyone involved.
FOLLOW THROUGH. You follow through. Don’t wait for the new parents to contact you saying they need you. They don’t have time to think about you. They’re busy trying to keep a little human alive.. And themselves.
If you want to help but aren’t able to physically help? Help pay for someone that can. A dog walker, a babysitter, a house cleaner, or a postpartum doula!