What? There are ‘laws’ for visiting a new mom?
Indeed there are, the unwritten kind, the kind that you had better stick to if you still want to keep on the good side of your bestie or that special family member!
You may be tearing at the walls ready to hold and cuddle the new arrival, your natural instinct is to want to nurture and protect and help, but let’s face it that Mom has quite probably had a bit of a rough time and it’s best to err on the side of caution, be warned!
Firstly she’s managed to carry a rather large extra bit of precious cargo in her stomach for the last nine months, which isn’t exactly the most comfortable ride in the world. Mental note to yourself, before the baby has arrived, she’s already exhausted.
Now she’s managed to deliver the bundle of joy, and well without going into too many details, let’s just say that it’s not exactly a bed of roses as you might think from all those magazine pictures you’ve seen.
I mean those moms all look so gloriously beautiful during and after the birth, happy and content! Well yes, happy and content they may be, but they’ve just managed to get a small person out of their bodies, and that is certainly not going to make anyone feel all wide-eyed and bushy-tailed is it?
The big day has arrived; she’s packed her bags and has made it home safely all in one piece. But all of a sudden there’s this little person that needs to be cared for constantly, and when we say constantly we mean constantly.
There’s a whirlwind of activity happening over in that house, that you’re probably not even vaguely aware of, a whirlwind of feeding, burping, nappy changing, trying to grab a bite to eat while showering and doing the laundry all at the same time.
And most importantly, if that mom was tired before the birth, you can bet your bottom dollar that she has almost reached the point of insanity from sheer exhaustion at this point.
So, when you take all of this into account, you really do need to follow the unwritten laws of visiting that new mom! Follow this advice, and all will be good in the world, don’t and you may have someone growling at you!
- Do NOT just ‘pop-in’
Be that person, that good person, who calls beforehand and asks if it’s okay to come over and WHEN it’s suitable. Don’t be offended if you get a half-hearted answer or a tired grunt. You’ll get there, don’t worry; just be patient.
- Do take food, goooooood food!
When you do get the nod, you just have
to take food, the kind that is already prepared, doesn’t need a thing doing to it, and that you know they’ll love! Make it a bit special, even a takeout, as we can guarantee you there has been little more than toast or crackers noshed down at the speed of light, and that’s probably as far as it goes. Do this and you will be high up on the list of friends to be invited again.
- Don’t send the baby into orbit
Okay not literally, but there is nothing worse than somebody coming around and speaking inappropriately loudly, constantly bouncing the baby up and down like it’s on a seesaw or even picking it up at every opportunity. Warning! Babies get over-stimulated very quickly, and your good intentions could see a minor meltdown from the smiling peaceful bundle of joy and an even more intense meltdown from Mom! Take it slow and don’t force yourself onto anyone, not anyone. There are dangers lurking in a house with a new baby.
- Do NOT EVER give advice
There is a thing, a very horrible thing that all new moms hate and that is advice, especially advice that they haven’t asked for. Whatever you think or feel, keep your mouth firmly shut and keep it to yourself!
- Do make yourself useful
When you get there, don’t expect tea and cake waiting for you as there ain’t gonna be any and do not by any means eat a thing. Anything that you find will be scoffed down in a hurry, and any leftovers are tomorrow’s dinner. New moms can barely move themselves from one room to another, let alone take a shower, so while you’re there get busy and get useful. Don’t ask, as they’ll say no, so just get on in and get your hands dirty. Clean the kitchen, or do the laundry or just clean up, do the dishes; whatever you do will be HUGELY appreciated and score you extra brownie points.
- Do give mom a break
Your friend has quite possibly not got out of her pyjamas for a few days, might not have washed her hair and could be looking a little rough around the edges. Go and run her a bath, march her in there, and look after the baby. Now’s your chance for that gentle and quiet cuddle! Remember no screaming in the baby’s face or rocking her into orbit. You will be sorry if you do! Tell her she has 2 hours ALL to herself and you’re in charge. She will literally be eating out of your hand if you manage to pull this off. If she comes lurking send her away, send her to go and sleep or read a book!
- Be THAT friend
Be that friend who genuinely cares for her wellbeing and that of the baby. Think in practical terms…what will she need? Maybe its nappies, maybe muslin cloths, maybe a good cup of coffee, maybe even nursing pads or even a dummy? Phone her from the shops and ask her what she needs. When you get there with your goodies, just be there; pick up things for her, tidy up the nursery, get the changing table in order, anything really. Keep a sharp lookout for things that are amiss, and fix them without saying a word! This dear friend will mean the world to her. So, there are the unwritten laws when visiting a new mom. Take our advice and you’ll be right on up there in the good books. If you don’t well then we can’t really tell what might happen!