When someone has a baby there are so many ideas that run through our head of what we need to do. When can we go? What should be bring? Can my child come? Can my husband come? Today I want to tackle some of those questions as you’re deciding what to do when going to visit your friends that have received the titles, for the first of fifth time, of mom and dad.
*Plan your visit in advance. There are some times that a spur of the moment visit will work, but more than likely it will not. I can’t tell you how many times I would be nursing Emma and someone would ring the doorbell. There was nothing I could do about that so they either had to wait or leave. Also, even though we don’t care what a new mommy looks like or if a new daddy has had time to mow the lawn in the past 3 weeks, they might. It’s always courteous to ask before showing up.
*Don’t forget dad. A lot of times, not enough credit is given to dear ole dad. He definitely feels like the third wheel when compared to mom and the new baby. Sure, he didn’t have to labor for hours on end, but he was more than likely there the whole time. He was the one who went through all the mood swings and crazy cravings. The one who stayed up with the baby in the middle of the night trying to get him or her back to sleep. The one who held his wife every time she had a postpartum breakdown. I have a special place in my heart for new dads. JR rocked as a new dad and a VERY supportive husband. He definitely deserves more credit than he ever received.
*Bring food. I don’t care if you don’t have time. That mommy and daddy haven’t had sleep, or food, in DAYS and need something edible. If you don’t have time, pick up something. Don’t ever ask if it’s ok to bring something because a lot of times people will say, “No, don’t worry about it” when they really want to scream, “PLEASE! For the love of all things holy, bring FOOD!”. Just find out what they won’t eat and go from there. Anything will work but I’ve found casseroles work best. They last a long time, feed a lot of people, and can usually be frozen for later, too.
*Don’t stay for hours on end. When you arrive, please do not go sit and talk for 3 hours with the new mommy and daddy. They are exhausted, tired, and absolutely beat. If you’re going to stay for that long, however, there are some exceptions that can be made that will make it ok to stay that time length. You can wash dishes and/or clothes. I never let anyone wash my clothes but with number two I may be willing, however, I always loved it when people left a clean sink behind. You can cook dinner. If you’re someone who wants to come and prepare food fresh for the family, go for it. However, make sure to go back to recommendation number one and CLEAN the mess you make before you leave. You can take care of the little one while mom and dad sleep. I can’t tell you how good sleep felt when Emma was first born. I craved it more than food. My momma came over one night and got up with Emma while I slept. It was amazing. I pumped beforehand so she was able to give her bottles and what did I do? I continued to sleep. This offer is always on my list. The last idea will be ok with some new parents and not ok with others. You can offer to stay with the baby at the house while mommy and daddy go out. I had a very dear friend, Melissa, come one day to watch Emma while mom took me out to eat less than 5 minutes from the house. I was close enough in case something went wrong or Melissa needed relieve, but was still able to get out. It was good for me, Emma and Melissa. She is going to be an amazing grandma one day. Bless her heart!
*Offer to pick up anything the family needs prior to coming. My awesome friend Stacy did this regularly. I can’t tell you how many times her and Barry would go to the store for us, pick up things, and send a text saying it was on the back porch. They were truthfully a God send to us newbie parents. We were worn out, tired, and in no shape to make the hour drive to Wytheville with our newborn so they did it for us. Does this mean you’ll always go to Wytheville? No. But it may mean you will bring over milk, laundry detergent, toilet paper, or diapers. Trust me, a run to the store to new parents is as good as gold.
*Brag on the parents. Every new mom and dad love to hear people bragging about their child as well as their rockin’ parenting skills. I know my parents always do really great at this. I feel like the best mom ever when I hear my parents talk about JR and me. There are a lot of times we mess up, and sometimes we’re not even sure we’re doing that great of a job, but when I hear people say how great Emma is and how well we’re doing, I feel like there’s hope. Something else to brag about is the new big brother or sister. It’s always tough for a sibling to adjust to this new baby in the house and compliments for them go a long way. It also doesn’t hurt to bring a little something for them, like a coloring book and crayons. Make sure and check with mom and dad first though!
*Enjoy the time. There is something special about seeing a mom and dad with their new child. Sure, they’re exhausted and unsure if they’ll even survive, but the glow that still comes is beautiful. It’s amazing to watch them care for that child, especially how fragile the sweet baby is treated. I absolutely love it. Enjoy that sweet baby, too! They will be grown soon and out of the cuddle phase before you even have time to blink. Encourage the new mom and dad to enjoy it, too. Right now they’re ready for that child to be 12 but as we all know, even at 15 months, I can look back and miss the times when Emma really depending on me and wasn’t so independent.
Here is my advice for all of you preparing to visit your friends with new kids. It’s always great advice for all of you that are expecting. Send it to your friends and family and don’t feel bad. People can’t stay mad at pregnant people. It’s impossible. That cute bump will get you out of all kinds of trouble. You’re welcome in advance.
What advice do you have for new parents? Anything you’ve done that you’d suggest or anything you’ve had done for you that you really liked?